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Research Experiences for Undergraduates

collage of fowl tagging

What is the Research Experiences for Undergraduates Site in Raptor Research?

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 Program Director Dr. Jim Belthoff, and REU-RR participants in the 2019 program (James Jarrett, Paola Iglesias, Katie Care, and Austin Davis) describe their REU experiences while working with barn owls and burrowing owls in Idaho’s Treasure Valley.

Closed captions are available, or you can access a Video Transcript.

Two burrowing owls

REU-RR Site Goals

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.

The REU-RR Experience

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, 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.

Program Dates and Applications:

Future REU-RR Program Dates: If funded, we may be able to offer an REU program in Summer 2024.

Funding has been requested from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Final program dates will be established upon confirmation of renewal funding for REU-Raptor Research. Check back to this website in December 2023 for updates and application timeframes.

REU-Raptor Research welcomes your application. We are especially interested in receiving applications from individuals in groups underrepresented in science including 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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