Project Description: 

This botanical-focused research project plays a critical role within a larger food system project focused on the Klamath Basin of Oregon and California. Below you will find the larger project description and after that, the specific role and tasks within the botanical project along with the necessary qualifications for the student researcher.

Enhancing Tribal Health and Food Security in the Klamath Basin of Oregon and California by Building a Sustainable Regional Food System” is an integrated research, extension and education program also known as the Klamath Basin Tribal Food Security Project. Its long-term goal is to achieve a sustainable food system in the Klamath Basin that results in healthy communities, healthy ecosystems and healthy economies among the Karuk, Yurok and Klamath Tribes and becomes a model for other tribal and rural communities.

Through partnerships with tribes, community based organizations, schools, universities, community colleges, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the United States Forest Service (USFS), and Cooperative Extension offices in both California and Oregon, this project aims to achieve the following:

  1. Assess the historical and existing food system within the Klamath basin including traditional, contemporary and commodity foods systems from production/land management through consumption, with particular emphasis on policy barriers and enablers of a healthy food system;
  2. Build capacity of local partners and community members through education and extension to improve productivity of local and regional food systems, combat obesity and diabetes, and reduce food insecurity;
  3. Implement and evaluate locally designed projects to increase access, availability and affordability of healthy foods, including: (a) increased production and processing of fresh fruits, vegetables and meats, (b) improved agro-forestry management to increase supply of traditional foods, (c) testing innovative local food distribution networks such as mobile farmers markets, farm/forest/fish to institution and traditional barter and trade, d) nutrition education and cooking classes;
  4. Measure the impact of the interventions on youth, elder and community health, attitude toward and consumption patterns of healthy foods; and
  5. Enhance collaborative and shared learning opportunities through the development of a Klamath basin food security network and library.
Undergraduate's Role: 
  • Conduct research in the herbarium archives and online on collectors of voucher specimens
  • Review botanical related publications and summarize pertinent information
  • Work on completing botanical guidebook using pictures and information pulled from botanical related readings
  •  Participate in short training on voucher specimen mounting at the Herbaria on campus
  •  Mount pressed voucher specimens collected in the field for the Karuk Herbarium
  • Enter collected data into herbarium spreadsheet
  • Create labels for each specimen based on compiled data
Undergraduate's Qualifications: 
  • Experience working with plants in some capacity
  • Experience reading academic literature and summarizing key information
  • Experience working in a herbarium and/or mounting voucher specimens (a plus but not mandatory)
  • Experience searching through references or archival sources for desired key words or names (a plus but not mandatory)
  • Attention to detail, precision, and patience when performing detail oriented and tedious tasks (e.g. data entry, archival readings)
  • Experience with data entry
  • Proficiency in Word, Excel, Google drive and online search engines
  • Ability to work independently and stay focused on deliverables
On Campus
9-12 hours
Project URL: