VIDEO: Follow in the footsteps of a 2016 undergraduate research fellow and learn more about the program at The Morton Arboretum.
There are many ways to get involved with the Center for Tree Science. Undergraduate Research Fellows engage in a formal 10-week summer course that trains students in the scientific process by completing an independent research project, including question development, study design, data collection and analysis, and final presentation to several audiences. Students work directly with individual mentors who will advise and guide them through the entire process. Learn how to apply
Meet the 2018 Undergraduate Research Fellows
Get more information about the 2018 Fellows, read the abstracts from their research projects and return later to view the 2018 Center for Tree Science Undergraduate Research Symposium. LEARN MORE
As human populations grow and landscapes become more urbanized, our reliance on trees and the ecosystem services they provide is rapidly increasing. Unfortunately, the incoming pool of young scientists is not keeping pace with the demand for new knowledge and innovation in this very important and growing field. Towards addressing this need, The Morton Arboretum's Center for Tree Science offers a research internship program focused on tree science. The Center for Tree Science Undergraduate Research Fellowship (CTS-URF) is one way the Center for Tree Science is helping advance the field of tree science and train the next generation of tree scientists.
Students in the CTS-URF program spend ten weeks at The Morton Arboretum under the mentorship of our Research Scientists and Research Associates. The CTS-URF is designed to engage undergraduate students in the scientific process through the completion of an independent research project, falling in one of our major research areas. Research at the Center for Tree Science is focused on trees, obviously, but there are many facets to tree science. Students will have the opportunity to indicate their preference among available mentors at the Morton Arboretum. Our scientists cover a broad range of topics: basic tree biology, forest ecology, arboriculture, biomechanics, root biology, soil science, genetics, phylogenetics, systematics, conservation biology, and restoration ecology.
Students participate in weekly activities, such as seminars, field trips, and social events. The program endeavors to promote critical thinking, independence, self-confidence, perseverance, and group working skills. Participation in the program will help prepare students for graduate studies and professional careers in science-related fields. At the end of the program, students will be required to prepare a scientific poster and give presentations of their work in a student research symposium at The Morton Arboretum. The students also interact with peers in similar programs based at the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Field Museum.
More information on research at the Arboretum can be found here and students are encouraged to contact lead scientists directly to discuss potential areas of study and projects. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any general questions.
Apply for an Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Undergraduate Research Fellows engage in a formal 10-week summer course that brings students through the steps of a scientific research project, including question development, data collection, analysis, and communication. Learn more
Goals & Activities
The CTS-URF is designed to develop the next generation of tree scientists and ecologists, while contributing to the body of ecological research on trees and on-going research at The Morton Arboretum. Students will work on a research project, prepare a scientific poster, and present their findings in a public symposium. They will also participate in weekly activities, such as seminars and fieldtrips. learn more
Communicating science to the public is an important skill for any researcher. Center for Tree Science Undergraduate Research Fellows describe their projects, as well as their personal experiences during the program. Highlights from the field trips are also featured. LEARN MORE
The CTS-URF accepts applications from January 1, 2018 - February 23, 2018. The program runs June 11 through August 17, 2018. learn more
Meet the 2017 Undergraduate Research Fellows, and view the 2017 Center for Tree Science Undergraduate Research Symposium. Research topics range from "Diversity mechanisms shape first year survivorship in a phylogenetic and functional diversity prairie restoration experiment" to "Examining the Effects of Bacterial Leaf Scorch on the Leaves of Quercus mongolica trees within The Morton Arboretum Collection". LEARN MORE
Meet the 2016 Undergraduate Research Fellows and view the 2016 Center for Tree Science Undergraduate Research Symposium. Research topics range from "A time and place for everything: The shifting predictors of genetic diversity in the oak chloroplast" to "Burn Forest Burn: Effects of Annual Burning of Forest Soils". LEARN MORE
Meet the 2015 Undergraduate Research Fellows and view the 2015 Center for Tree Science Undergraduate Research Symposium. Research topics range from "Testing the accuracy of imaging software to measure tree root volumes" to "The correlation between basal isoprene emissions and climate of the native range within oak species". learn more
Meet the 2014 Undergraduate Research Fellows, and view the 2014 Center for Tree Science Undergraduate Research Symposium. Research topics range from “Oak seedling survival and growth in relation to canopy structure and understory competition” to “Effects of urban trees and green infrastructure on water quality and runoff”. learn more
Undergraduate Research Fellows from 2014 and 2015 describe their experiences during the program. learn more