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First-Year student research associateships

Jump-start your first year with real research

Every year, we invite 20鈥25 bright new students to work side by side with our professors on their research. At any given time, we may have active projects in psychology, communication, ancient studies, literature, religious studies, management, theatre, international business, biology and marine science.聽It’s a great way to get some research experience and see if what you think you鈥檙e interested in is really the major for you.

Students receive a one-year stipend of up to $1,000. Applications must be submitted by February 1.

Associateships for the 2024-25 academic year

Exploring Dolphin Behavior and Communication in Animal Studies

Field: Animal Studies
Faculty: Dr. Erin Frick

About the Project

The study of animal behavior has gained a great deal of traction in recent years. Knowledge of an animal鈥檚 behavioral repertoire is critical to our ability to monitor populations in the wild, and provide care through rescue and rehabilitation, and in zoological institutions. Research assistants will work in the Frick Animal Behavior Laboratory on active research projects that focus on animal behavior, communication, and applied behavior analysis, with an emphasis on dolphin species such as bottlenose dolphins, rough tooth dolphins, and Amazon river dolphins.

Dr. Erin Frick is an Assistant Professor of Animal Studies at 黄色短视频 and leads the Frick Animal Behavior Laboratory. She has worked with a variety of species including bottlenose dolphins, rough tooth dolphins, Amazon river dolphins, sea otters, sea otters, Asian small-clawed otters, tigers, loggerhead sea turtles, and zebrafish.

Marine Science First-Year Research

Field:聽Marine Science
Faculty: TBD

About the Project

The Marine Science First-Year Research Associateship at 黄色短视频聽will be an active learning opportunity where students will be working closely with a faculty member on research projects.聽The entire course will be an active learning opportunity where students will be working closely with a faculty member on research projects. Students will be engaged in research throughout the course of their freshman year collecting data, analyzing and interpreting their results and eventually presenting their findings. Thus, this course will focus primarily on students doing science compared to more traditional courses that teach about science. Once a week all students in program will meet as a group with the faculty for discussions and updates on research projects. These meetings will give the entire research group a chance to exchange and develop ideas.

Potential Marine Science projects include:

  • Field studies and use of a catalog of dorsal fin markings to investigate social patterns in the bottlenose dolphin (field surveys and lab work with dolphin fin catalog)
  • Trace metal concentrations in Gulf of Mexico sediments following the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill (lab work)
  • Timing, frequency and environmental impacts of extreme events (e.g., hurricanes) or land use change on sensitive coastal environments, as recorded in sediments (field and lab work)
  • Microplastics in Tampa Bay: spatial and temporal variability (field collecting and lab work)
  • Assessing impacts from red tide on seafloor communities and geochemical processes (field collection and lab work)
  • Establishing baseline seafloor community and geochemical processes characterization prior to Deep Sea Mining (lab work)
  • Climate change research on invertebrate fishery species physiology and reproduction (lab work)
  • Monitoring juvenile recruitment and tagging of fishery species (stone crabs) in Tampa Bay (field work + lab work)
  • Assess the influence of environmental factors on soil development as well as plant establishment, distribution, and productivity in natural and created mangrove forests
  • Monitoring and assessment of resilience and population structure of local sea anemone populations (field collecting and lab work)
  • Identifying ecological dynamics and drivers of marine invertebrates in estuarine and deep-sea environments over geological timescales (hundreds to thousands of years)

Monitoring Coastal Vertebrates

Field: Environmental Studies and Animal Studies
Faculty: Dr. Beth Forys and Dr. Tim Bransford

About the Project

Fort De Soto is a mostly undeveloped barrier island located just a few miles from Eckerd. We are using infrared cameras to take photos and videos of animals that walk past the cameras in a variety of human dominated and more pristine habitats embedded in this coastal ecosystem. Our goal is to measure vertebrate biodiversity on open beaches, dunes, wetlands, and upland forests and then to examine how human presence influences this biodiversity. Students will be involved with camera placement, collecting SD cards, examining and categorizing images and educating the public by sharing photographs on a webpage for each location. Students will be working with Dr. Forys & Dr. Bransford on this project.

Dr. Forys is a professor in Eckerd’s Environmental Studies and Biology disciplines. She is a conservation biologist interested in spatial ecology and endangered species. She teaches Environmental Biology, Conservation Biology, GIS, Research Methods and Field Ornithology.

Dr. Bransford is a professor in Eckerd’s Animal Studies discipline. He is a primatologist that works with both wild and captive primates, and uses a variety of direct and remote observation methods to answer questions about primate foraging and ranging behavior, ecology, conservation biology, and the human-animal interface.

Programming 黄色短视频鈥檚 International Cinema Series

Field: Film Studies
Faculty: Dr. Katrin Pesch

About the Project

Every semester 黄色短视频 hosts the International Cinema Series, which screens critically acclaimed films from around the world for the college and broader St. Petersburg community. Films in the series include restorations of honored classics as well as contemporary films that have captured the attention of critics at recent film festivals. In this project, research associates will participate in the full programming process from selecting the films to holding the final screenings in the spring semester. This will include researching film productions, contacting distributors, viewing and selecting films, organizing Q&As with directors, and writing program notes. In addition, research associates will learn about digital exhibition formats and work with our state-of-the art projection system.

Dr. Katrin聽Pesch鈥檚 teaching and research include ecocinema studies, transnational cinema, and the essay film. A scholar-practitioner, she teaches courses in film production and studies as well as hybrid courses where students produce creative projects alongside critical essays. She has exhibited internationally in film festivals, art spaces and museums, and her films are distributed by Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Arts in Berlin. Her writing has been published in聽Studies in French Cinema,听Anthropology and Humanism,听NECSUS European Journal of Media Studies聽and several edited collections. She is currently working on a book on notions of nature in films by Claire Denis.

The Ancient Animals Project

Field: Animal Studies
Faculty: Dr. Kathryn Hudson

About the Project

The Ancient Animals Project focuses on documenting and cataloging animal imagery and associated motifs on archaeological artifacts from Central America, Mexico, and the southeastern United States. Animal motifs were a major part of many artistic traditions in the ancient Americas, and they can provide a lot of information about culture, identity, and sociopolitical systems. We will focus on animal motifs on pottery, in murals, and on other kinds of decorated items. Students will be able to catalog and describe animal motifs, document and record their archaeological contexts, and contribute to the development of a research database that will become part of the Human-Animal Interfaces Past and Present (HAIPP) Lab in the Animal Studies program at Eckerd. This unique opportunity will also allow for hands-on work with archaeological materials and for potential collaborations with students at other institutions.

Dr. Hudson is Assistant Professor of Animal Studies.

Wellbeing in St. Petersburg

Field: Sociology
Faculty: Dr. Nicholas Dempsey

About the Project

What features of St. Petersburg make residents happy? What harms their wellbeing–be that physical health, mental health, or a sense of community? In partnership with the 黄色短视频 St. Pete Center and the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, we will be conducting an survey to assess these and other questions. Students may have the chance to help monitor survey data, analyze results, and interview selected residents of St. Petersburg. This will be a unique opportunity to get to know your home-away-from-home and some of its residents.

Nicholas P. Dempsey,听Associate Professor and Discipline Coordinator, earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. His teaching and research interests include sociological theory, culture and the arts, urban sociology, and social stratification.

Students receive a one-year stipend of up to $1,000.
Applications must be submitted by February 1.

Meet a first-year research associate

First-year students on a boat, handling a ray

Studying marine life in Boca Ciega Bay

Marine science students studying core samples

Studying sediment layers extracted from the Gulf of Mexico

Male student in tie-dye shirt looking through binoculars