We encourage undergraduate students to participate in research at SAFS. Undergraduate students conduct research as Capstone students, paid research assistants, work study students, or volunteers. Research provides valuable learning opportunities, enabling students to explore different scientific disciplines, develop professional and technical skills, and build relationships with the scientific community. Don’t be shy about reaching out to graduate students and faculty about research opportunities in their labs!
Tell us about your independent study experience!
SAFS wants to know when students participate in learning outside of the classroom (including internships, research, community service, volunteering, study abroad, fieldwork, etc.) Share your experience with us by completing this brief survey.
Finding a project
Browse SAFS social media for news and updates on current research:
Browse SAFS Faculty Profiles to learn about our faculty and the broad range of research they are conducting.
Browse SAFS Research to learn about the broad range of research and partnerships at SAFS
Talk to graduate students in SAFS (i.e., the TA in the class you’re taking). Ask them about the projects they are working on—this is a great way to learn more about research opportunities (and can sometimes be a little less intimidating than approaching a professor you’ve never met). They are often looking for volunteers and assistants on their research projects.
Talk to the faculty teaching your classes! Ask them about their work and other related work going on in the department.
Attend the weekly SAFS Seminar (every Thursday when classes are in session, excluding Summer quarter). Meet faculty, grads, postdocs, research staff, and a wide range of other fisheries folks.
Keep an eye out for opportunities sent via the SAFS Undergraduate Email.
How to inquire about an opportunity
Introduce yourself – “Hello, I am [NAME]. I’m a major in SAFS.”
Explicitly reference their work – “I [heard you speak; read your webpage; took your class], and am really interested in the work you’re doing on [TOPIC].”
State your interest – “I am interested in learning more about [TOPIC]. I would love to meet with you to discuss possible research/internship opportunities.”
Use a formal greeting – “Hello Dr. [NAME]” or “Dear Prof. [NAME]” or “Dear [NAME]” (if it’s a grad student or if you don’t know their title)
Brief paragraph summarizing why you are emailing – e.g., “I [heard you speak; read your webpage; took your class], and am really interested in the work you’re doing on [TOPIC]. I am interested in learning more about [TOPIC]. I would love to meet with you to discuss possible research/internship opportunities.”
Formal closing – “I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, [NAME]”
After making the inquiry, it’s usually good form to wait 2–3 weeks before following up with a brief email.
Type of project - Internship or Research
Undergraduate students can receive academic credits for participating in research at SAFS. Depending on whether you are participating in an internship off-campus or conducting research on-campus, you can receive academic credit via these courses:
FISH 498 Internship – credit/no credit. Internships provide practical experience either on or off campus. Students may participate in projects at regulatory agencies (city, county, state, federal), nonprofit organizations, or industry.
FISH 499 Research – Graded or credit/no credit. Involves examining a hypothesis, collecting data, and summarizing the results in a research paper.
How to register for credits
If you would like to receive academic credits for conducting research at SAFS, discuss the scope of a proposed research project with your internship/research adviser and agree on the terms of work. Using the Independent Study Contract as a guide, come to an agreement on the following topics:
What are the goals and learning objectives for your research project?
What is the plan for documenting your research activities, progress, and results?
How many hours per week will you work?
What is the timeline for deadlines and milestones?
Will you be required to produce a written report summarizing the experience and results of your research?
Plan for receiving academic credit
Should you sign up for FISH 498 (Internship) or FISH 499 (Research)?
Will this course be graded on a numeric scale (GPA) or will it be graded for Credit/No Credit?
How many credits should you sign up for?
For reference, one credit = three hours of work per week. Thus, a 3-credit internship would mean you do ~ 9 hours of work each week throughout the quarter.
When you and your adviser have agreed upon a plan, complete and sign the Independent Study Contract, collect adviser/supervisor signatures, and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org by the first day of the quarter.