Black Rock Forest Consortium
Field Ecology Research Internship

July 10-22, 2011

Black Rock Forest Consortium is pleased to announce its fourth annual Field Ecology Research Internship program for high school students (incoming sophomores, juniors and seniors). The goal of the two-week, residential program is to help science-interested students gain exposure to future careers in the sciences, while learning the skills needed to participate in scientific investigations. Interns will participate in real-world environmental research projects. Prior to partnering with scientists, interns will learn about forest ecology and investigative methodologies, from data collection and analysis to the use of technologies for monitoring and measuring biological processes.

Discovering a passion for science is a fun and unforgettable experience at Black Rock Forest. During their two-week stay at the Black Rock Forest Lodge, interns will hike Black Rock Mountain, learn orienteering skills, go owling, and view the movies that ecologists regard most highly on environmental issues. Optional activities include campfires at the Old Stone House; swimming, boating and kayaking; and carpentry skills workshops with Forest Manager John Brady.

Interns will work directly with leading environmental scientists on important, ongoing research studies. For example, our 2009 participants examined the impact of climate change and soil acidification on forests through participation in the Consortium’s research on oak tree loss. Students partnered with a research team of five scientists who are investigating how a documented trend of accelerated oak tree mortality is affecting forest carbon and nitrogen cycles, water quality, and biodiversity. Leading scientists from Columbia University, the Marine Biological Center, and the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies participated with forest ecologist and Consortium Executive Director William Schuster in this project.

The Field Ecology Research Internship is a rigorous program, with daily reading and journal assignments and a final project that each participant completes in order to receive a certificate. Applicants for the Field Ecology Research Internship program will be admitted on a competitive basis. A maximum of 12 interns will be selected. Participation in the program is need-blind; scholarships will be provided for those who cannot afford tuition.

The Field Ecology Research Internship is offered to students from Black Rock Forest Consortium member schools and/or public schools in New York City and Orange County.

Application Information
Click here for the application packet.
Internship Dates:  Sunday, July 10th – Friday, July 22, 2011 Applications Due:  Saturday, March 5, 2011 To apply, please complete the application packet and and email the completed packet to: Please note: if you are unable to scan and email the forms that require signatures, please send by postal mail to:

Black Rock Forest Consortium
129 Continental Road
Cornwall, NY 12518
Attention: Field Ecology Internship Program

All forms are due by 4 PM on March 5, 2010.
Decisions By: Friday, March 12, 2010
Confirm Participation By: Friday, March 19, 2010

Internship Program Instruction
Instructor: Dr. Terryanne Maenza-Gmelch is a palynologist and a lecturer and co-director of labs in the Department of Environmental Science at Barnard College. Her research interests include paleoecology, fire ecology, phytogeography, forest succession, climate change, and effects of habitat fragmentation on bird and amphibian populations. Dr. Maenza-Gmelch has taught Forests and Environmental Change at Barnard since 1998, and has conducted summer field biology and field botany courses in Black Rock Forest for New York University since 1994.

For Dr. Maenza-Gmelch’s full bio, click here.

Teaching Assistant: Angelica Patterson is a research assistant for Barnard College’s Department of Biological Sciences, where her work focuses on plant ecology and evolutionary biology. As the Mellon Grant Program Manager for Barnard’s Department of Environmental Sciences, Patterson works with student groups on sustainability initiatives. She is also a workshop leader for the American Association of University Women’s “Explore Your Opportunities” program for seventh-grade girls interested in the sciences.

Tuition $2,000 inclusive of meals, lodging and instruction.

Lodging, Meals and Community Living
Field Ecology Internship participants will stay at the Black Rock Forest Lodge, an award-winning green building with a well-equipped kitchen, 60 beds, and a Common Area for dining and meetings for up to 100 guests. For detail on the Forest Lodge, click here.

Interns will spend their days with Dr. Maenza-Gmelch and their evenings and weekend with the Internship Program Teaching Assistant, who will reside with students at the Lodge. The Teaching Assistant will provide oversight for all evening and weekend activities, including meals, preparation for the next day’s activities, and recreation options like watching movies and the Stone House campfire. Black Rock Forest Consortium staff, including the Forest Manager, Assistant Forest Manager, and Operations Manager, will help lead hikes and other organized activities on a daily basis.

Interns will live and work together, and are expected to abide by house rules regarding respecting the rights of others, sharing of meal preparation and other duties, lights out, and health and safety protocols. Interns will be expected to participate productively when assigned to small groups for either homework assignments or meal preparation and clean up. All internship participants are expected to remain with their group escort during the day and in the Lodge for dinner and evening activities; for safety reasons, solo exploration of the Forest and grounds is not permitted.

About the Black Rock Forest Consortium
The Black Rock Forest Consortium is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing scientific understanding through small- and large-scale ecosystems research, science-based environmental education, and participation in effective regional ecosystem management. Consortium members, including universities, scientific institutions, and public and private secondary schools, design joint programs and individual programs at the Forest. The Consortium also raises private funds to offer programs for the public and for schools that cannot afford membership dues. Learn more about Black Rock Forest Consortium here.