URSA Engage Program 2013
Position Descriptions for Students to Apply For


Faculty Name & Department/School: Dr. Mark Novak, Dept. of Zoology


Research Project Title:

Complex networks of species interactions in kelp forest ecosystems – designing, building, and populating a unique online database.


Project Overview: 

Kelp forests are among the most productive and diverse ecosystems on the planet.  From sea otters at the top of the food web to the microbes at the bottom, kelp forests harbor species whose commercial and recreational importance also makes them among the best-studied ecosystems in the world.  Our project is building a repository for this knowledge, assembling the literature and developing online tools to collate, analyze, and visualize the complex network of interactions that connects each species within kelp forests to all others.  (More information may be found at kelpforest.ucsc.edu and people.oregonstate.edu/~novakm/).



What skills will students obtain in this project? 

Project participants will gain hands-on experience researching the primary literature of marine ecology, data entry, database management and error control, the design of webpages for data entry and export, or the design and implementation of novel methods for visually exploring complex networks.


Student research tasks: 

Project participants with interests or expertise in marine ecology, database management (MySQL), or programming (Java, D3.js) are sought to take this endeavor to new heights.


Period of work - Spring and Fall


Number of hours per week expected of student: flexible, but more than 5   


Preferred Faculty Contact Information: mark.novak@science.oregonstate.edu

(note - applications are NOT sent to mentors - see instructions)


q Yes    x No:   Human Subjects 

q Yes    xNo:   Live Vertebrate Animals

q Yes    x  No:   Recombinant DNA Molecules Transgenic Plants or Animal, and/or Infectious Agents of Plants, Animals, or Humans

q Yes    x  No:   Ionizing Radiation

q Yes    x  No:   Chemical Carcinogens

q Yes    x  No:   Scuba Diving, Free Diving

q Yes    x  No:   Small Boating Operations


If you are interested in applying for this position, you MUST complete the student application HERE and email it to Dr. Kevin Ahern at ahernk@onid.orst.edu

Do NOT email your application to the faculty mentor.