The new frontier of cannabis production represents a large, lucrative, and rapidly expanding industry in the Western US, and particularly in California. But what consequences does this agricultural boom have on the environment? This project sorts and analyzes data that was collected in field experiments on light and noise mimicking cannabis production, in order to study the effect of cannabis farming on surrounding wildlife, including insects, birds, and mammals. Labwork will be based on-campus.
This work builds off of multidisciplinary research on wildlife response to outdoor cannabis farms from the Cannabis Research Center at UC Berkeley (crc.berkeley.edu), including interviews with farmers on their relationship with the land, and discussions with regulators from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. This research aims to promote sustainable cannabis production that can support both human and animal communities.
We are seeking two students interested in biology, entomology, herpetology, or wildlife, to assist with identifying data collected from fieldwork. We are seeking to fill two separate roles. Please indicate in your application whether you are applying to 1) sort and identify insect samples, or 2) sort and identify wildlife photos (or both). This position requires both team and remote independent work. Students will train with project scientists and work independently, with regular check-ins with project leads.
For position 1) the student will identify and count insects collected from sticky traps and light traps to order or species. Lab space will be provided. For position 2) the student will sort “drift fence” wildlife camera photos and identify the reptiles and small mammals within them. The student has the option to work independently on their own computer from home if preferred, but lab space can be provided if needed. Depending on the expertise of the student, there may also be opportunities to assist in verifying sorted bird audio calls or large mammal wildlife camera photos.
For position 1) experience identifying California or West-Coast insects to order or species. For position 2) experience identifying California or West-Coast reptiles and small mammals (e.g. rodents, lizards, snakes) to species.
For both positions: Students should have an enthusiasm for biology, wildlife, entomology, or herpetology, a willingness to learn new skills, and ability to work safely and respectfully both as a team and independently. All students must have attention to detail and patience with repetitive tasks. Hours per week will be negotiated with the student but will be at least 6 per week.