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Entomology Research Internship

The Environmental Laboratory (EL) is one of the seven laboratories of U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), which is the Army Corps of Engineers' integrated research and development (R&D) organization. EL provides solutions to environmental challenges for the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense and the Nation through environmental science and engineering research and development. Researchers in EL conduct research in ecosystem science and technology, environmental resiliency, environmental sensing, ecological modeling and forecasting, risk and decision science, environmentally sustainable material, systems biology, climate change, computational chemistry, environmental chemistry and environmental security.

What will I be doing?

Under the guidance of a mentor, you will gain experience in invasive species ecology and biological control of weed pests. Although there will be opportunities to participate in a number of research projects related to invasive species ecology and management, this internship will be focused on biological control of the invasive tree, Schinus terebinthifolia (Brazilian peppertree) in Texas. Specifically, you will experiment with, mass-rear, release, and monitor establishment/impact of the biocontrol agent, Pseudophilothrips ichini (Brazilian peppertree thrips). You will set-up, maintain, and break down greenhouse or outdoor experiments, set up and maintain plant and insect cultures, travel to field sites for biocontrol releases, and monitor establishment and impact of biocontrol agents in the field. There may also be opportunities to contribute to large-scale restoration plantings or field control demonstrations, plant community surveys and mapping, and assessment of plant community development. This opportunity will involve research in administrative/laboratory settings (data entry/instrument calibration) but will largely be field or greenhouse-based. Field research in Texas takes place year round in natural riparian and aquatic environments in varied weather conditions and typically involves physical exertion.    

Where will I be located?


Why should I apply?

This internship provides the opportunity to independently utilize your skills and engage with experts in innovative ideas to move the proposed research forward. There are multiple opportunities available to engage in your applied research and evaluation interests.

What is the anticipated start date?

March 1, 2022

What are the benefits?

You will receive a stipend to be determined by ERDC-EL. Stipends are typically based on the participant’s academic standing, discipline, experience, and research facility location. Other benefits may include the following:

  • Health Insurance Supplement. Participants are eligible to purchase health insurance through ORISE.
  • Relocation Allowance
  • Training and Travel Allowance

What is the length of this appointment?

This ORISE appointment is a full-time 12-month opportunity. Appointments may be extended depending on funding availability, project assignment, program rules, and availability of the participant.

Nature of the Appointment

You will not enter into an employee/employer relationship with ORISE, ORAU, DOD, or any other office or agency. Instead, you will be affiliated with ORISE for the administration of the appointment through the ORISE appointment letter and Terms of Appointment.


You should possess a B.S. or M.S. in Entomology or related field and related coursework. Research experience in entomology lab, preferably with focus on biological control of weeds in natural and agricultural systems. Demonstrated self-motivation and the ability to research on multi-disciplinary team is required. You should be familiar with basic data collection and management, and statistical analyses. Strong writing and/or publication record is a plus. 

Eligibility Requirements

  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree or Master's Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 12/31/2021 12:00:00 AM