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Research Experiences for Undergraduates

About the program

Why climate change?

The hazards and risks associated with climate change are a pressing concern in the Pacific Northwest. A robust and growing agricultural industry relies on a freshwater supply moderated by snowpack; salmon habitat is threatened by warming waters and increasing pollution; residents and forests are threatened by fires intensified by drought. Assessing risks associated with these hazards requires an interdisciplinary
approach that explores the nature of the hazard itself; the economic, social, and political vulnerabilities of the communities in the region; and communication strategies that reach a diverse audience.

You and your family are employed in the industries that rely on the forests, streams, and fields of the Pacific Northwest, and you live and recreate in these landscapes that are vulnerable to the effects of climate change. You will be the one managing these resources in the future, and you will be in positions that require you to adapt and develop strategies that are flexible and responsive. You will need to act based on your knowledge and understanding of the complex interdependencies of climate and civilization. Building those skills requires practice and experience solving interdisciplinary problems, and that's the primary goal of this REU program.

Why CWU?

Central Washington University lies at the heart of the inland Pacific Northwest, and our faculty have a long history of involving undergraduates in meaningful research into the region. Our faculty in geology, geography, biology, sociology, chemistry, recreation and tourism, and other areas are deeply interested in understanding more about the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and communities.

We specialize in mentoring undergraduates in research, and we want to give students early in their academic careers the opportunity to engage in building our understanding of climate change and its impacts.

This REU program will give you the opportunity to establish a strong mentoring relationship and begin to build your network of researchers interested in the hazards and risks of climate change in the Pacific Northwest. 

Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.