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Forest in Nature

Current Experiential Opportunities

Current Paid Opportunities for JCSU Students
please complete the form below and identify which opportunity you are interested in pursuing. 

1) Summer 2023 Experiential Explorations - Empowering Stakeholder Engagement within a Watershed and Ecosystem Services Framework (June 25-July 31; $2,500 plus room and board): This is a call for undergraduate students (students from any four-year university are eligible) to participate in a summer experiential enrichment program, funded by the National Science Foundation. Eligible students can be sophomores of any major, and rising juniors and seniors (according to classification for the Fall 2023 semester), majoring in ecological or environmental STEM disciplines. Students interested in environmental policy are also encouraged to apply. This program is hybrid, initiating with eight partial days of remote engagement exploring intersections of land, poverty, and cultural identity, focusing regionally on agricultural areas within the SE US. Students will meet in Charlote on July 8 and collectively depart with program leads on July 9th for a week-long trip to Highlands Biological Field Station. While at Highlands, students will explore biodiversity along the Eastern Continental Divide, and learn about the importance of these mountain landscapes to indigenous cultures. Students will return to Charlotte from July 15-20, and work independently on projects that were identified during the first week of remote engagement. The group will then depart for a trip, July 20-29, to the Baruch Marine Field Lab in Georgetown, S.C. situated in the Lowland County along the Gullah Geechee Corridor. While in the Lowland Country, students will engage with Gullah Geechee peoples and gain first-hand exposure learn about region's biodiversity and ecosystem services from culturally relevant perspectives. Currently accepting applications through March 1, 2023. Funding Source: National Science Foundation Grant # 2103574.

2) Two Undergraduate Assistantship opportunities focusing on hydroponic and aquaponic production of crops and fish in a greenhouse setting. (CRES Funding (amount dependent on the level of commitment), February 2023):  These two opportunities are for candidates will also assist with greenhouse operations at our Sustainability Village urban farm. Specifically, we are seeking students to assist with the production of hydroponic tomatoes and other vine crops using a Dutch Bucket system (one student), and to assist with our aquaponics food production system (one student). This is an excellent opportunity for an enriched Senior Investigative Paper (SIP) research project. This opportunity is limited to students who have declared the Sustainability Minor. Currently accepting inquires. 

3) One Undergraduate Assistantship opportunity focusing on Korean Natural Farming techniques. (CRES Funding (amount dependent on the level of commitment), February 2023):  This student opportunity is currently seeking a candidate who will also assist with our outside soil based raised beds at our Sustainability Village urban farm. Specifically, we are seeking a student who is interested to learn and assist with the production of food crops utilizing Korean Natural Farming techniques and materials provided by Fermented Plant Extracts. The selected candidate will work with staff at Sustainability Village and have the opportunity to receive guidance from the founder of Fermented Plant Extracts, Miles Fillippeli. This is an excellent opportunity for an enriched Senior Investigative Paper (SIP) research project. This opportunity is limited to a student who has declared the Sustainability Minor. Currently accepting inquires. 

4) CRES is proud to announce support for a delegate consisting of three JCSU Sustainability students to attend the 2023 Global Goals Week hosted around the UN General Assembly in September: During the United Nations General Assembly this year, UNITE 2030 is hosting our Camp 2030 Summit from September 11-16, 2023. Camp 2030 is a 6-day innovation lab to spark entrepreneurial solutions to the SDGs in New York City. Campers spend 5 days working in international teams to develop a solution to the world's biggest challenges - poverty, hunger, health, climate change, inequality etc. On the final day, we return to New York City, where Campers pitch their solution to a judging panel at the SDG Solutions Hub, part of Global Goals Week, an initiative from the UN Foundation. Currently accepting applications through February 20, 2023. Funding Source: National Science Foundation Grant # 2103574.

5) Social Media Specialist Internship with Charlotte's Uptown Farmer's Market (January 2023):

This opportunity is restricted to a JCSU student who has declared the Sustainability Minor. For more information about this opportunity, please click here.  Currently accepting inquires. 

6) Undergraduate Research Assistantship in Novel Nanomaterials for Energy Storage Applications. (CRES Funding, January 2023):  Under the guidance of Dr. Darkeyah Reuven, the selected candidate will perform synthesis and electrochemical characterization of Solid-State Electrolytes studies.

SUMMARY: Modern equipment power needs are quickly out pacing current battery power densities, which utilize potentially unsafe liquid fluorocarbon electrolyte material. Multiple STEM faculty and advised undergraduate researchers participate in the synthesis and electrochemically characterization the chemically modified phyllosilicate clay solid electrolyte nanomaterials. The proposed phyllosilicate clay lithium ion conducting electrolyte is expected to be highly stable in air and when in contact with typical anodes and cathodes, especially lithium metal. The selected student can earn a $2000 stipend (1 available, maximum) to carry out semester long research. Currently accepting inquires. Funding Source: National Science Foundation Grant # 2103574.

7) Undergraduate Research Assistantship focusing on the use of Environmental DNA (eDNA) to comparatively characterize the nectar and pollen sources for honeybee colonies across the landscape of Mecklenburg County, N.C. (CRES Funding (amount dependent on the level of commitment), February 2023):  This candidate will also assist with our ongoing environmental DNA project utilizing honey from local bee colonies in Charlotte. Under the academic guidance of Dr. Mark Dugo, the selected candidate will work in collaboration with Marcell Vielot of The Habitual Bee. This is an excellent opportunity for an enriched Senior Investigative Paper (SIP) research project. This opportunity is limited to a student that has declared the Sustainability Minor. Currently accepting inquires. Funding Source: National Science Foundation Grant # 2103574.

8) Undergraduate Research Assistantship in Water Quality Monitoring and Watershed Science. (CRES Funding (amount dependent on the level of commitment), February 2023):  Under the guidance of Dr. Mark Dugo, the selected candidate will work in collaboration with our CRES team including other students and staff. The candidate will also work with community stakeholders. This is an excellent opportunity for an enriched Senior Investigative Paper (SIP) research project. This opportunity is limited to a student that has declared the Sustainability Minor. For more information, please read the following abstract submitted by Ms. Rashawna Huntley for the 2023 ASB Meeting (Scheduled for March 2023): 

Implementation of a Water Monitoring Program in the Irwin Creek Watershed of West Charlotte, North Carolina:

Abstract Text:
The systematic monitoring and assessment of water quality in urban surface waters is important for maintaining public health and preserving ecological integrity of our watersheds.  Urban creeks are frequently burdened by a variety of environmental stressors that can be ameliorated through stewardship that implements best management practices. Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) is situated in the Irwin Creek subwatershed of the Catawba River Basin in West Charlotte. Irwin Creek is listed as impaired according to Section 303d of the Clean Water Act. Herein, we present on the early stages of a budding water monitoring program for Irwin Creek that is being initiated by JCSU’s Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainability. Our focal area in the Beatties Ford Road Corridor of West Charlotte is comprised predominately of African Americans. Our water program is largely intended to serve as a means to educate and engage the community in order to improve stakeholder engagement in local environmental issues. It is predicted that a localized water monitoring program will provide the necessary data and community participation to best inform decisions aimed at improving the overall water quality of Irwin Creek. Our water monitoring program includes a) citizen science-based monitoring for E. coli along greenway corridors, b) JCSU student research and training in the use of eDNA technology as a diagnostic tool, c) physicochemical water quality monitoring using handheld meters and the deployment of long-term data loggers at strategic locations throughout the subwatershed. We predict that this program will help increase agency among local stakeholders in a manner that is reflective of the population residing in the area and contribute to an improved understanding of the current state of water quality in Irwin Creek. Ultimately, we anticipate that these efforts will benefit the long-term goals of restoring and maintaining ecological integrity of Irwin Creek. Funding Source: National Science Foundation Grant # 2103574.

9) Principles of Sustainability (SUS 230) - Special topic this upcoming semester (Starting in the Spring 2023 semester):
In partnership with Strategic Energy Solutions (SEI) and Trane Technologies' Operation Possible University we will embark on a semester long project focusing on developing sustainable solutions to address plastics in the environment. Students can earn a $500 stipend (10 maximum available.) SUS 230 is an Integrated Studies. Global Studies, Emergent Fields Pillar course option open to JCSU students from all academic majors. For more information, please see https://www.jcsucres.com/sus230. Enrollment closed as of January 18, 2023. Funding Source: Trane Technologies

10) Research Assistantships in wildlife heath and parasitology (January 2023): CRES will support two JCSU biology students to conduct research in the area of wildlife health. Under the guidance of Dr. Alexa von Dohlen, the selected candidates will perform antibody studies to investigate the prevalence of zoonotic parasites (parasites that are transmissible from animals to humans) in various wild animal hosts. Students can earn a $2000 stipend (2 available, maximum) to carry out semester long projects focused on sustainability and wildlife conservation. This project is currently supporting two students. Funding Source: National Science Foundation Grant # 2103574.

11) Become a Beekeeper! Mecklenburg County Beekeepers Association (January 2023):

CRES will support a JCSU student who has declared the Sustainability Minor to become a certified beekeeper. The selected candidate will work assist with the management of our on-site bee colonies at Sustainability Village and have two bee colonies on site and receive mentorship from local beekeepers. For more information about the Mecklenburg County Beekeeping school, please see Bee School 2023 - Mecklenburg County Beekeepers Association (meckbees.org). This project is currently supporting three students. 

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