One of the benefits to being an Undergraduate Research Assistant is the tremendous opportunities for professional development. Through their senior projects, students can write a professional thesis, submit their research for publication, and give presentations on campus and at professional conferences. Training is another valuable component of working at the ERI. Workshops are offered in First Aid/CPR, passenger van driving, four wheel driving, forest measurement and botany skills, and lab practices.
The ERI seeks to develop effective managers and provide solid administrative experience to our students. We do so by encouraging them to: facilitate and lead student meetings, recruit new applicants, serve on student hiring committees, act as student representatives to Ecology staff meetings, coordinate new student orientations, and teach orienteering skills and ecological restoration workshops.
Many ERI students attend scientific conferences and may be accepted to present their senior project results in a poster format or as an oral presentation. Examples of professional conferences include the Society for Ecological Restoration, the Society of American Foresters or other conferences in their academic discipline. ERI students who are interested in financial sponsorship to attend such a conference should read the Student Travel and Training Policy and submit the Student Travel and Training Authorization Form. Approval must be obtained from the Student Services Team prior to attending the conference. For budgeting purposes, each student may apply for up to $125 per one professional development opportunity per academic year for professional development and training.