Research Assistant – Bog Microbial Ecology

Employer: Prof. Katherine McMahon

Contact: Charles Olmsted ( (he/him/his)

Description and Responsibilities: In summer, after receiving training, you will be responsible for our Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) “Microbial Observatory” project which involves weekly sampling of 5 bog lakes near UW Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction, WI 54512 during which you will live in free student housing on station. You will also be responsible for curating the data you collect. Meanwhile to summer sampling, you will have a small agreed-upon personal research project to complete. This project will likely involve studying bog bacteria which perform EET (Extracellular Electron Transfer)—the generation/consumption of electricity.


  • Prior lab, field, or programming experience is not required.
  • We are most interested in an applicant who is enthusiastic about the work, self-motivated, and independent.
  • Training will be provided in the necessary sampling and laboratory techniques.
  • Meticulously organized records of data must be maintained.
  • Training will also be provided for boat operation, but the RA must be comfortable being on the water alone.
  • Freshman/Sophomore status preferred.


  • Number of positions: 1
  • Start date: late-May 2021
  • End date: late-August 2021
  • Pay:  $11.50-no experience; $11.75-some experience; $12.00-very experienced
    • May also be selected for undergrad fellow

Location and Housing:

This position is located at the Center for Limnology’s Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction, WI in northern Wisconsin. Dormitory style housing (not food) is provided free of charge. Enjoy swimming, hiking, fishing, biking and shoreline campfires while gaining valuable research experience!

How to apply: Please send a brief cover letter and resume/CV as a single PDF to Charles Olmsted ( Please include relevant field experience, course work, and research interests in your application package. For further details on these projects and positions, please contact Charles Olmsted. We will be accepting applications until all positions are filled.

The CFL is an equal opportunity employer and is dedicated to an inclusive and positive working environment for all.