A $390,000 National Science Foundation grant awarded to professors Travis Reynolds (environmental studies) and Cat Collins (biology) will fund a summer 2015 NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program based at Colby and in Ethiopia. Eight undergraduate students from U.S. colleges and universities will be chosen to conduct interdisciplinary research on ecological, economic, and cultural roles of church forests in the highlands of South Gondar, Ethiopia.

This is the first of three summer programs, 2015 through 2017, that will continue Reynolds’s and Collins’s research in church forests—fragments of indigenous forest protected for centuries by followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

More information and an online application to participate are at colby.edu/reu-in-ethiopia. Completed applications with two letters of recommendation are due Jan. 30. Travel costs are covered by NSF, and the summer program includes a stipend. Participants must be enrolled at a U.S. college or university at the time of the program (seniors graduating in spring 2015 are not eligible).