URSA Engage Program 2013
Position Descriptions for Students to Apply For


Faculty Name & Department/School: Dr. Rebecca Terry, Dept. of Zoology


Research Project Title: Raptors, rodents, and conservation paleoecology: recovering ecological baselines in the desert West.


Project Overview: 

Death-assemblages are natural accumulations of skeletal remains that provide valuable snapshots of ecological communities in the past.  Raptors are major predators of small mammals, regurgitating the undigestible hard parts of their prey in pellets.  The death assemblages that raptors produce can span 100s to 1000s of years in age.  This project combines modern, historical, and fossil death-assemblages of small mammals to reconstruct how species and their communities have changed over time in response to climate change and human impacts in the desert West.  (More information may be found at http://people.oregonstate.edu/~terryr).



What skills will students obtain in this project? 


Students will gain hands-on experience in the processing of modern and fossil raptor pellet samples, mammalian skeletal anatomy, specimen curation, and the identification of small mammal species from their bones.


Student research tasks: 

Disaggregating and dissecting modern raptor pellets, sorting modern and fossil bones by type and species, as well as data entry, processing, and analysis.



Period of work - Spring and Fall


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


Preferred Faculty Contact Information: rebecca.terry@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.