1) Plant phenology. Like many scientists at RMBL, I am interested in phenological patterns in flowering plants. Flowering plants have been monitored for several years along an elevational gradient. A student could continue this phenology work, as well develop their own question related to plant phenology. Another aspect of phenology that could be pursued is to look at phenological patterns in species distributions, which is a much larger scale. This project is mentored in collaboration with Dr. Nancy Lowe. Students interested in species distributions could photograph moths and plants and possibly other groups of organisms to document species occurrences over the field season at one location in Colorado. These data will contribute to a larger dataset accessible on the discoverlife.org website. Students will follow monitoring protocols for plants and moths, and possibly other species. In addition, each student will work with us to develop their own research question, related to some aspect of phenology.
2) Invasive plant management and habitat restoration. I am involved in experiments to determine effective eradication methods of invasive plants, as well as effective methods of restoring native plants to sites. Students could piggyback on existing experiments, as well as ask their own questions and set up their own experiments related to management and restoration. In addition, invasive plants have been mapped at the field station for several years now. Students interested in looking at retraction or expansion of invasive plant populations could use GIS software to investigate these patterns.
Students working on these projects need to be willing to work independently.
Jennie Reithel also oversees two interns: an invasive plant intern and a GIS / GPS intern. Please visit our Jobs page for more information on these internships.