Graduate students –
PIE offers a multifacieted community of scientists to help guide graduate students in developing, conducting and presenting their own research projects. Between 2010 and 2013, 31 masters and Ph.D. students carried out their research on the PIE-LTER project. Currently, many graduate students from a number of institutions are closely afflilated with PIE, including students from University of New Hampshire, University of South Carolina, University of Massachusetts, Clark University, Brown University, Yale University, and Boston University. Lindsay Brin, a 2013 graduate of the Brown-MBL Graduate Program, orchestrated her thesis on environmental controls in nitrogen cycling with the guidance and support of PIE Senior Scientist, Anne Giblin. Through the program's partnernship, she was able to study nitrogen cycling at Plum Island and have access to both field stations, laboratory equipment and nitrogen cycling experitise. When asked why she choose the Brown-MBL program, she said, "I have access to a wealth of scientific resources available at both Brown and MBL, and the opportunity to work with excellent scientists." There are many opportunities available to become a graduate student affiliated with PIE and we welcome relationships with all universities. Contact the PIE graduate student representative, Chris Whitney of University of New Hampshire, about his experience.
Integrated Graduate Education Research and Training (IGERT) -
The Brown-MBL IGERT program is focused on “reverse ecology”. The program is designed to train PhDs at the interface of computational biology, genomics and environmental science. It leverages new education and research collaborations between Brown University and the Marine Biological Laboratories. Reverse Ecology is the application of genomic approaches to living systems to uncover the genetic bases of functional variation in nature. Incoming graduate students receive an orientation to an LTER site and design a project. For the last two years the projects have been at PIE. For more information see IGERT in Reverse Ecology.
Post-Doctoral Scientists -
Since 2004, twelve post-doctoral scientists have been involved in PIE-LTER research. Current Research Associate (former post-doc) Inke Forbrich's (pictured left) research involves marsh-atmosphere gas exchange using eddy covariance flux towers (PIE LTER Eddy Flux Stations) placed strategically in the marsh. Her research directly examines many questions focused around the net carbon movement on an entire ecosystem scale. When asked about why she enjoys working at PIE, Inke states "The greatest opportunity PIE offers me is the possibility to use the entire area of a marsh as a playground: I'm able to independently develop a project, which included planning a new measurement system from scratch, than go through all the steps of completing the project, from deciding which instruments to use to running them and analyzing the data." Post-docs, like Inke, are given the opportunity to manage their own project and often oversee the work of research assistants and graduate, undergraduate and high school students.