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 to study the effect of cannabis farming on surrounding wildlife, including insects, birds, and mammals. Labwork will be based on-campus.
Although student tasks are focused on natural science labwork and data organizing, this project 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, or a related field, to sort and identify insect samples collected from fieldwork. This position requires both team and independent work on campus. Students will train with project scientists and work independently, with regular check-ins with project leads.
The student will photograph, organize, identify and count insects collected from sticky traps and light traps to order or species. Lab space will be provided. Depending on the expertise of the student, there may also be opportunities to assist in other project tasks, such as computer analyses, or verifying bird, bat, mammal, and reptile identifications.
Experience identifying California or West-Coast insects to order or species is preferred. Students should have an enthusiasm for biology, entomology, agriculture, or a related field, as well as 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.