Office of Undergraduate Research & Studies
10th Floor | W.E.B. Du Bois Library | (413) 545-5334

What is OURS?

The Office of Undergraduate Research & Studies (OURS) is a branch of the Learning Resource Center and is a resource for all undergraduates in all majors and at all stages of experience. OURS helps students find research and scholarly opportunities on and off campus, throughout the year. Students are also supported in preparing for and navigating the application process.

For a one-on-one meeting: fill out our short form, email us at, or visit us on the 10th floor of the W. E. B. Du Bois Library.

Opportunity Spotlight

Undergraduate Research Assistant Position

1) Project description:

Maple syrup is produced from the sap of sugar maple collected in the late winter and early spring, and tapping maple trees is a cultural touchstone for many in New England. The tapping season is dependent on weather conditions, and climate change may impact the sustainability of maple sugaring. Our research with ACERnet (Acer Climate and Socio-Ecological Research Network; is funded by the Northeast Climate Science Center ( and addresses the impact of climate on the quality of maple sap used to make maple syrup. We collect data on sap flow, sugar content and chemical composition throughout sugar maples distribution, and relate this to variation in climate across the region. We are also engaging a range of stakeholders, from conservation and governmental organizations to Native American tribes and other individual producers to understand the concerns of those who manage maple. Ultimately this project will make projections of maple syrup quality under future climate conditions and under a variety of management strategies.

2) Activities include: assisting with sap collection at the Harvard Forest sampling site; finding, downloading, and processing publically available environmental data; assisting with outreach efforts including video editing and adding content to the ACERnet website; helping to organize a stakeholder workshop that will be held in the spring.

3) Qualifications: Field work is at the Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA (~45 minute drive from UMass). Student must have a vehicle to participate in field work; mileage reimbursement possible. Experience with video editing and website design helpful.

4) Number of hours worked each week: 5 - 10 (or more with work study)

5) Compensation available: Practicum credits (Pass/Fail), or paid hourly position (work study preferred)

6) In interested, Contact: Josh Rapp, PhD,

Student Spotlight

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