The Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program on Risk Analysis for Introduced Species and Genotypes (ISG-IGERT) is supported by the National Science Foundation.
Our undergraduate program prepares students for graduate work and careers that will improve Ecological Risk Analysis and contribute practical solutions to the many policy challenges surrounding the management of introduced species and genotypes.
We recruit a select group of undergraduates to conduct summer research with our faculty and graduate students on topics related to invasive species and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Check out Sakina's research findings (pdf), pictured at right with advisor Dr. Ray Newman, from summer, 2008. Research projects vary from very applied to basic science. Diana Cai (2008) published the results of her summer research in a recent issue of Neuron. Click here to read her paper.
Invasive species are second only to habitat loss as the most important contributor to loss of biodiversity. Society needs scientific leaders who excel at integrating fundamental science with consideration of societal factors to improve the scientific basis for risk analysis and the scientific basis for public policy.
The overarching goal of our IGERT program is to groom scientists to conduct research to improve Ecological Risk Analysis (ERA) and contribute workable solutions to policy questions and problems affecting management of introduced species and genotypes.
Our program prepares students to apply scientific expertise to improve ERA for biological introductions. The ecologists, economists, and social scientists of tomorrow need training experiences that apply science to address real-world problems.
Biology students typically are poorly prepared to consider the societal and policy implications of scientific discoveries, whereas economics and social science students often have poor understanding of ecological principles. The need to fill these training gaps is heightened by rapid developments in genetic engineering and biotechnology, concerns about invasive species and new genotypes, and increased levels of international commerce leading to increased rates of biological invasions.