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Research Experiences for Undergraduates

collage o fowl tagging


The Research Experiences for Undergraduates Site in Raptor Research (REU-RR) is funded by the National Science Foundation and Boise State University. REU-RR is a 10-week summer research program with field and laboratory projects available for undergraduate students who are selected from a pool of applicants. The REU-RR program is located at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho.


Barn Owl and Burrowing Owl Research

REU-RR participants in the 2019 program and REU-RR Program Director Dr. Jim Belthoff describe their REU experiences while working with barn owls and burrowing owls in Idaho’s Treasure Valley.

Two burrowing owlsWhat is REU-RR at Boise State University?

The goal of the REU-RR site is to engage undergraduates from all over the United States in biological research using birds of prey (hawks, owls, falcons, and eagles) as model systems to understand biological phenomena and interactions and to provide participants opportunities for a cohort experience, mentored research, and professional development. Research on raptors uses modern tools to address questions ranging from molecular ecology to ecosystem processes, spanning both basic and applied science topics related to birds of prey.

Two REU students using binoculars to survey for raptors

Through partnerships among the Boise State University Raptor Research Center, the Boise State University Department of Biological Sciences, The Peregrine Fund, Inc., Intermountain Bird Observatory, College of Western Idaho, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, undergraduates will spend 10 weeks conducting field and/or laboratory research projects under the guidance of research mentors from academia, government agencies, and NGOs. Students participate in a core professional development program that includes a focus on endangered species restoration, responsible conduct of research, animal care, applying to graduate school, the publication process, and communication in science.

The summer research experience for REU-RR participants culminates with a statewide interdisciplinary summer undergraduate research conference (ICUR) that provides participants the opportunity to communicate their work to a multidisciplinary audience of students and scientists. REU participants also have the opportunity to attend the annual meeting of the Raptor Research Foundation during the fall semester to present their research, where several previous REU-Raptor Research students have been recognized with the William C. Andersen Memorial Award for best student posters.

Two students holding an owl

Program Dates:

Future REU-RR Program Dates: Currently, there is no call for applications for an REU-Raptor Research program in Summer 2022. Please check back in December 2022 for details about a possible Summer 2023 program.

Most Recent Program Dates: May 17 – July 23, 2021

REU-Raptor Research welcomes your application. We are especially interested in receiving applications from groups underrepresented in science (women and racial minorities), first-generation college students, persons with disabilities, veterans of military service, and students from institutions where research opportunities in STEM are limited.

Find out how to apply

Student holding an osprey for banding


Please see the FAQs or contact:
Dr. Jim Belthoff, REU-RR Program Director
Department of Biological Sciences
Raptor Research Center
Boise State University in Boise, Idaho

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