Research Opportunities

Undergraduate students are welcomed to engage in Research with CURes through a variety of avenues.

Independent Research Projects

LMU undergraduates can join a team of fellow students to perform hands-on research in an area of urban ecology, guided by a CURes faculty or staff member. Some on-going and past projects include:

  • Ballona Wetlands mosquito vector control
  • Coyote behavioral assessment in Long Beach
  • Hummingbird torpor
  • Baldwin Hills park user survey
  • Rain garden pollutant runoff monitoring
  • Tern nest interactions

Students may apply for 1-3 research course credits with CURes. Students are expected to put in 60 hours of work per credit. Visit our Students page to meet our current research team and learn more about their projects.

Students are able to apply to work with CURes during the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP). Contact CURes@lmu.edu for more information.

Work Study

Students with work study funds from LMU are encouraged to inquire about positions available at CURes. Contact Dr. Romolini (Michele.Romolini@lmu.edu) for more information or look for CURes postings in Lion Jobs.

Courses Offered at LMU

CURes faculty, staff, and fellows teach a range of courses at LMU. Some past examples of courses include:

  • EVST 4998 - Environmental Scholars: Community-Based Research Across the Disciplines

    The Environmental Scholars course is intended to offer students in Environmental Studies, Environmental Science, and related disciplines direct, hands-on participation in an on-going environmental research project. Small, interdisciplinary student teams will have the opportunity to choose their research focus from a number of potential projects. Within the scope of these projects, students will be able to develop research questions around a particular topic.

    Instructor: Dr. Michele Romolini

  • EVST 1000 - Introduction to Environmental Studies

    The course is an overview of issues in environmental studies from the perspective of the humanities and social science. Topics may include philosophical, theological, historical, economic, and/or political analyses of environmental issues.

    Instructor: Dr. Michele Romolini

  • BIOL 114 - Biology for Engineers

    This course addresses fundamental concepts and language of biology. Topics include cell biology, organ systems, genetics, ecosystems, organisms, and engineering applications.

    Instructor: Dr. Eric Strauss

  • BIOL 321 and BIOL 322 - Urban Ecology and Lab

    Lecture Course: An analysis of the dynamic and integrated nature of urbanized landscapes. Using active inquiry and the original literature, the course will engage the current theories and practice of the research being conducted on the patterns and processes of urban ecosystems – ranging from biodiversity and trophic dynamics, to public health and environmental justice.

    Lab Course: An inquiry-based investigation into the biophysical and human social dimensions of a local urban ecosystem, with a focus on group project development.

    Instructors: Dr. Pete Auger, Dr. Eric Strauss, Dr. Isaac Brown, Dr. Michele Romolini

Study Abroad

Study Abroad student group in Costa Rica near a waterfall
LMU students in Costa Rica

Tropical Science & Culture in Costa Rica

The Costa Rica summer course titled Tropical Science & Culture in Costa Rica is operated by CURes. We teach this interdisciplinary overview of tropical science, policy, and culture (and the interactions between them) in conjunction with the Monteverde Institute. The course consists of lectures, as well as field visits and presentations. Students also develop specific areas of concentration for their studies by collaborating with course instructor, Dr. Peter Auger. Overall, CURes and the Monteverde Institute aim to provide students with a broad Costa Rican historical and social context in order to facilitate a better understanding of the tropical biology of the region. This course is intended to accommodate both science and non-science majors and no prerequisites or language requirements are necessary to enroll.

Bonn Science Program

The Bonn Science Program gives students the opportunity to take courses in Germany, a country that has a long history of significant scientific achievement and one that is at the cutting edge of creating sustainable communities. Through classes, program excursions and special presentations, students gain exposure to important scientific research being carried out in Germany and throughout the European Union in the fields of biology, chemistry, biochemistry, environmental science, and health and human science. The Akademie für Internationale Bildung (AIB), a nonprofit educational organization based in Bonn and a long-term LMU partner, hosts the program. CURes plans to establish several urban ecology projects that allow students to use the city as a living laboratory and bring their research back to Los Angeles.