Skip to main content

International Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Carbonshed Lab


The Carbonshed Lab at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill invites applications for International Research Experiences for Undergraduates (IREU) during the summer 2022 and through the academic year 2022-2023. Up to four paid positions are available to outstanding undergraduate students interested in gaining field and lab experience in hydrological and ecological processes. Selected students will participate in a research experience focused on data collection in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador. International travel for this experience is contingent upon the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and travel regulations at UNC.

Undergraduate students will work in collaboration with UNC Ph.D. students and Ecuadorian scientists at our strategic partner, the Universidad de San Francisco de Quito (USFQ). Students will also participate in outreach activities with the Museum of Life and Sciences in Durham, NC, and be supported through a research-intensive, year-long program focusing on increasing their chance to succeed in STEM fields. Participants will be required to attend professional development and research workshops offered by UNC’s Undergraduate Research Office. The year will culminate with a formal research presentation by each student at UNC’s Annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research in April, 2023.

Project Description: A rapidly growing body of work recognizes inland waters as fundamental players in the carbon cycle. In particular, headwater streams have been the focus of recent scientific investigations because they connect terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, having a higher proportion of stream water volume in direct contact with adjacent soils. While the importance of headwater streams in the global carbon cycle is clear today, COeffluxes from headwater catchments are poorly constrained. UNC-IREU students will help fill conceptual gaps related to carbon cycling at the interface of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Students will collect field measurements of COand CHfluxes from different landscape elements (uplands, wetlands, streams) and conduct hydrologic observations of these elements.

Field Sites: Our field site abroad is located above 3,600m in elevation, in the Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve and National Park, near Quito, Ecuador. Field work under strenuous conditions is expected.

Dates: This program starts on May 23, 2022 and extends through April, 2023 (i.e., the end of the academic year). Travel to Ecuador will take place for 4-8 weeks during summer 2022.

For full details, and to apply, please visit the Carbonshed Lab website: