UNDERC offers two 10 week summer field courses through the University of Notre Dame Department of Biological Sciences targeted at undergraduate students who are considering graduate school in ecology. As part of each course, students conduct an independent research project under the direction of a faculty or graduate student mentor.

Walt Carson and Bob Evans discuss forest ecology with UNDERC students

Tuition, transportation from Notre Dame to the field sites, and housing for the summer field courses are paid by UNDERC. Participants receive:

  • $5000-$5500 stipend
  • $500 research budget for supplies
  • Free tuition for 3 credits from the University of Notre Dame 
  • Unique research opportunity 

UNDERC-East: Practicum in Field Environmental Biology

The UNDERC-East practium takes place at the border of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Wisconsin. Students complete research modules covering aquatic, forest, invertebrate, and vertebrate ecology taught by faculty members from a variety of universities. Independent research projects cover a wide range of subjects, and can be perused in our archive.

Students must complete the UNDERC-East program before being considered for the UNDERC-West program.

UNDERC-West: Practicum in Field Environmental Biology

Students who have completed the UNDERC-East practicum can apply for the UNDERC-West practicum. The UNDERC-West class is held in the Mission Mountain Valley of Montana, and includes two one-week trips where the class visits several important conservation and historic sites. Studens participate in modules on cultural and environmental history, grassland and wildlife, montane forest, and Native American ecology. Student research primarily focuses on the National Bison Range, which is a palouse prairie. Previous student projects can be seen in our archive