Published: Feb. 2, 2021

What do sustainable and resilient ecosystems look like after a long period of dramatic disturbance and deconstruction, and what are the best approaches to restoration for ensuring a highly functioning alternative state? During the summer program, students conduct research with faculty and professional mentors focussed on anthropogenic disturbance, while immersed in the landscape of Appalachia. Students live on campus at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, KY, and spend large parts of the summer at the Lilley Cornett Woods old-growth forest ecosystem, and at other field sites in the region.

Summer 2021 Program Dates: May 24th to July 30th

Deadline: Feb 19, 2021

Apply here.

Students participate in group activities and conduct research for 40 hours per week, but the actual hours will vary between weeks depending on the project needs. Students attend a weekly workshop and travel throughout Kentucky, sometimes staying in primitive conditions or camping.

The stipend is $6,000 for a 10-week session, a partial food stipend ($50/wk), housing, travel to the program (one round trip, up to $500), regional travel associated with research, and an allowance for research supplies.

The EKU Disturbance Ecology in Central Appalachia summer research program is open to current undergraduates from all institutions. Students must be currently enrolled in a 2-year or 4-year school. Students graduating before August 2019 will not be eligible. Participants must be US Citizens, US Nationals, or permanent residents. We strongly encourage applications from underrepresented groups in the sciences, first-generation college students, students that attend colleges with limited research opportunities (small liberal arts and community colleges), financially disadvantaged students, and students with physical disabilities, and US military veterans. Participants must be able to show proof of health insurance during the project period.

To Apply
After ensuring your eligibility, read the research project descriptions and select your top 3 project choices. Next, prepare your application materials. You will use the online application form that is specific to this program.  We encourage you to prepare application materials ahead of time using a word processor, especially for the extended responses. You can then copy and paste your responses into the application form. You must also have 2 references submit letters of recommendation directly to the email address below, these are an important component of the application so be sure they are submitted by the deadline. The deadline for applications is Feb 19, 2021, but we encourage earlier submissions. All questions and letters of reference should be directed to