Discerning Parasitic Wasp Diversity in North American Forests Internship
Description: Seeking interns to participate in research on parasitic wasp diversity in North American forests, particularly Eastern Deciduous Forest. Goals of the project are (1) discover and describe new species, (2) discern spatiotemporal distributions, (3) assess patterns of dispersion, and (4) discover and report new host plant-host-parasitic wasp associations. The Intern will receive training to (1) sample insects using flight traps, pan traps, and/or a sweep net; (2) sort samples of field-collected insects for parasitic wasps; (3) dehydrate, mount, and label parasitic wasps; and (4) identify wasps at levels ranging from subfamily to species. The Intern will spend 3–4 days per week sorting samples and preparing specimens at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). S/he will also spend one day every 1–2 weeks sampling insects at field sites (spring–fall only). Fieldwork may also include rearing parasitic wasps from hosts collected at field sites.
Qualifications: A minimum 24 hours per week time commitment is required. A major or minor in biology or a related field is also required. The position requires attention to detail and a high level of dexterity. Preference will be given to applicants with experience in entomology or field biology.
Learning objectives: The Intern will learn to sample insects using a variety of techniques, identify superfamilies and families of wasps, prepare wasp specimens for research and deposition into the insect collection at the NMNH, and identify braconid wasp specimens to levels ranging from subfamily to species.
Award Package: None
Project Contact Name: Robert R. Kula
Phone: 202-633-4558, E-mail: Robert.Kula@ars.usda.gov