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 constructing microbial fuel cells using the power of bog bacteria many of 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 2020
  • End date: late-August 2020
  • Pay:  $11.25-no experience; $11.50-some experience; $11.75-very experienced

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:


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