Undergraduate Research Opportunities

The Ecosystem Science & Management (ESM) Program houses faculty with interests in all aspects of ecosystem function, from the cellular and molecular scale to the organismal and landscape scale, and the role of humans in modifying these ecosystems. The interdisciplinary nature of this Program reflects the interwoven interests of faculty members (see individual faculty interests) and the necessity of incorporating diverse perspectives in ecosystem management that range from natural science to social science. 

Faculty in the Ecosystem Science and Management Program encourage Student participation In a broad suite of Research projects.

Students participate In field and lab research through summer jobs, undergraduate theses Independent studies projects and a myriad other ways.

By engaging students in research projects, students see linkages between course content and the kind of research that comprises and builds on those concepts covered in their textbooks and classroom discussions.  Research also allows students to self-direct a portion of their studies and possibly get their ideas out into the scientific community through publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Student Profiles

Justin Hooper

Justin Hooper
BSc Biology
Article on Biofoam as a Track Plate Medium in the Journal Wildlife Biology.

An undergraduate in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology, Justin completed an Independent Study with R. Rea on using Biofoam as a track plate medium for tracking and monitoring animal movements in the wild.

Justin’s project looked at an innovative way to use an orthotic casting foam as a way to track animal movements and determine animal use along trails, logs, and other areas used by woodland fauna.  

A photo of a domestic dog track showing the detailed impression captured by the biofoam track plate pioneered by Justin.  domestic dog trackJustin and Roy submitted this work to the Journal Wildlife Biology in February 2007.  The article was published In March 2009.

Art Fredeen and Allan Carson

Allan W. Carson
BSc Biology
Article on Aspen and Moose Browsing in the Journal Rangeland Ecology and Management.

Allan Carson – As an undergraduate in Biology, Allan completed an undergraduate thesis with Roy Rea and Art Fredeen on assessing the impacts of simulated moose browsing on shoot growth and development in aspen.  Allan looked at shoot dieback in aspen stems as an indicator of what time of the growing season shoots were browsed (by clipping) and how summer browsing affected the growth of plant materials below the bite mark in the year after browsing.  Allan published the results of his work in the journals Rangeland Ecology and Management (September 2007) and Alces.

Students enrolling in NRES 430-6, the Undergraduate Thesis, should familiarize themselves in detail with the Undergraduate Thesis Policy of the UNBC Faculty of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies.

To access the Undergraduate Thesis Policy, please click  here.

To refer to Past NRES 430 Research Topics, please click here.