Student and faculty research

No matter what your degree program or focus area, there are many opportunities available at NAU to study the earth sciences and the environment in a non-classroom setting. 

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Some classes even take field trips to off campus sites such as the Kaibab and there is even a program that allows you to study in the Grand Canyon for a whole semester.  

Faculty members are involved in cutting-edge research and work in the School and other NAU departments, spreading their knowledge and expertise across campus.  Some are even researchers from the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Geological Survey.  As a student, you can research with these agencies. 

Undergraduates can develop and create their own scientific studies and experience the labs while graduate students can dive deeper into their areas of interest. 

Research labs

On-campus labs are available for your use so take full advantage of them.


The Flagstaff campus has several research institutes that hire, provide internships, or sponsor research for recent graduates and students from the School.

These institutes include:

  • Ecological Restoration Institute: Focusing on research, education, and outreach, the ERI provides the best available knowledge about restoration in the Southwest.
  • Merriam Powell Center for Environmental Research: This Center promotes interdisciplinary research, education, and outreach with an emphasis on successful ecosystems and developing strategies to ensure ecosystem health for the future.
  • The Landsward Institute: This collaboration between students, faculty, staff, Babbitt Ranches, land managers, and scientists allows use-inspired research to sustain ecosystems and minimize human impact. 
  • Colorado Plateau Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CPCESU):  The CPCESU brings together scientists, resource managers, students, and other conservation professionals, drawing upon expertise from across the biological, physical, social, cultural, and engineering disciplines to conduct collaborative and interdisciplinary applied projects that address natural and cultural heritage resource issues at multiple scales and in an ecosystem context. NAU is the host university for the Colorado Plateau CESU (CPCESU), a consortium of 10 federal agencies and 25 institutions and nongovernmental organizations that support research, technical assistance, education and capacity building that is responsive to long-standing and contemporary science and resource management priorities.  We invite resource managers, educators and researchers interested in the Colorado Plateau to use our cooperative agreement for funding opportunities for faculty and students.

Find more job and research opportunities under Student Resources.