CBFS Internship Program

The Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, in conjunction with the Cornell Biological Field Station (CBFS), will offer 10-week undergraduate research internships during the summer field season. This program offers exciting opportunities for students to collaborate on research with mentor scientists conducting ecological investigations in a wide variety of ecosystems.

A Setting for Excellence

You will live and work with other interns at CBFS. The CBFS is a highly interactive, research-oriented environment. Interns will exchange ideas with each other, staff scientists, and Cornell campus faculty. The Cornell Biological Field Station is a well-equipped facility located on the south shore of Oneida Lake, NY. The Station is located 12 miles northeast of Syracuse, and is only a 20-minute commute to shopping centers, Hancock International Airport, and the Amtrak train station. The Field Station is recognized both nationally and internationally for its research accomplishments in basic and applied ecology.

More Information

The objective of the program is to provide students with hands-on experience in research and/or extension, including hypothesis formation, experimental design, data collection, and interpretation and presentation of results. Weekly seminars will explore current topics in ecology and the environment, and interns will have the opportunity to interact with guest speakers.

Each intern will be selected in program areas matching their interests and will be expected to: 

  • work collaboratively with a selected mentor on an ongoing research project;
  • participate in discussions and weekly seminars; and
  • enroll for research credit in the fall semester to prepare an oral presentation for a formal intern symposium and a final paper for inclusion in a department publication. 

Creating an age-length key for sturgeon in Oneida Lake

Understanding tern talk:  characterization and identification of Common Tern calls

Copepods or cannibalism? Predation rates and preferences of Mysis diluviana

Mussel population dynamics

Developing a freshwater HABs citizen scientists monitoring program

Diet analysis of Round Goby and Lepomis in Oneida Lake  

Salty spawners: salinity effects on Round Goby reproduction      

Mysis and Mussels: benthic habitat preferences of Mysis diluviana

The Role of Quagga and Zebra Mussels in the phosphorus budget of Oneida Lake

The ecological rhythms of Oneida Lake as experienced by the angler community

Trends in abundance of the Burrowing Mayfly in Oneida Lake, NY


Food sovereignty and the sacred at Oneida Lake

Predation and selectivity for Bythotrephes in Oneida Lake

The population assessment of Round Gobies (N. Melanostomus) in Oneida Lake 

The interspecies behavioral  differences of Zebra and Quagga mussels

Investigation of the presence and role of poly-phosphate accumulating microorganism in phosphorus cycle and utilization in lake sediment

Oneida Lake nutrient limnology

Parasitic and benthic Copepods of Oneida Lake 

Common Tern management and sleep ecology

Walleye and yellow perch biology in Oneida Lake

Use of hydroacoustics in fisheries assessment

Effects of invasive species on aquatic ecosystems (plants, mussels, invertebrates, fish)

Fish-eating and colonial water birds

Hydrology of streams and groundwater

Invasive plants


The program is open to all undergraduate students regardless of institution, but preference will be given to Cornell students when project funding is limited. The internship requires a current valid driver's license. Cornell interns are expected to enroll in three credit hours of independent studies in the fall semester to complete their summer research/extension project and a final paper, and participate in the undergraduate research symposium.

To Apply

Email questions on the program to Dr. James Watkins (jmw237 [at] cornell.edu (jmw237[at]cornell[dot]edu)) or Dr. Zoe Almeida (lza3 [at] cornell.edu (lza3[at]cornell[dot]edu)). Questions on the colonial waterbirds project should be directed to Dr Jennifer Arnold (jma25 [at] psu.edu (jma25[at]psu[dot]edu)) or by phone at 610-396-6002.

An application for the program can be completed and submitted online, including resume and three references. Questions on the application can be directed to Michelle Holeck at (mlh55 [at] cornell.edu (mlh55[at]cornell[dot]edu)). Undergraduate freshman, sophomores, and juniors are eligible to apply.

The application for the 2024 summer internship program is now closed.  Thank you for your interest.