Research Assistant – Bog Microbial Ecology

Employer: Prof. Katherine McMahon

Contact: Ella Schmidt (, she/her)

Description: After receiving training, the student will be responsible for regular sampling of microbial communities in five bog lakes surrounding UW Trout Lake Station in northern Wisconsin. These data contribute to the North Temperate Lakes Long Term Ecological Research (NTL LTER) dataset of lake profiles and will be used to understand how microbial diversity changes over time alongside environmental variables. In addition to collecting and recording samples, the student will also complete a personal research project to present at the end of the summer. Through this position, the student will learn to work both in field and laboratory settings, operate peristaltic pumps and filters, use a multimeter probe to measure environmental parameters, and conduct independent research. Prior lab or field experience is not required – we’re looking for someone who is enthusiastic, willing to learn, and self-motivated.

Having students with different life experiences and backgrounds is critical to ensure the exchange of diverse ideas that is called for in training tomorrow’s scientists. Because we are actively working to increase diversity and inclusivity in our discipline, underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.


  • 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.
  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds.
  • Meticulously organized records of data must be maintained.
  • Training will be provided in the necessary sampling and field techniques.
  • Training will be provided for boat operation, but the RA must be comfortable being on the water alone.
  • Must have some experience with wood working and power tools. Some training can be offered.
  • Valid driver’s license that meets  UW Risk Management standards  is required.


  • Number of positions: 1
  • Start date: mid/late May 2023
  • End date: mid/late August 2023
  • Pay: $14.50-no experience; $14.75-some experience; $15.00-very experienced


  • This position is located at the CFL’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:

  • Application link 
  • Priority consideration deadline:  February 15, 2023
  • We accept applications until all positions are filled.
  • Indicate preference for Research Assistant – Bog Microbial Ecology and Bog Path Restoration on your application and contact Ella Schmidt if  you have any questions.

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