Aquatic Ecology & Fisheries Management Research Experience for Undergraduates


About the REU

The Aquatic Ecology & Fisheries Management Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program seeks to expand interest and enhance diversity in the fields of aquatic ecology and fisheries management.

Participants in this REU will work with a mentor to choose a topic and research question and then design a project, collect & analyze data, and communicate the results. We expect research topics to range from zooplankton ecology, to impacts of management decisions on fish behavior and growth, to impacts of human-driven environmental change on fish populations and food webs.

Participants will also take part in professional development sessions which will provide a robust view of careers in aquatic and fisheries science, as well as guidance on how to become more confident and qualified when applying for graduate school and jobs in this field.

The application for this REU is currently closed.



Exact start dates will be flexible depending on the needs of those selected to participate and the needs of the facility where they will be working. We expect selected participants will be present at their sites in late May or the first week of June 2023 and that they will stay for 10 weeks.


  • The Ohio State University’s Aquatic Ecology Laboratory, Columbus, Ohio
  • Ohio Division of Wildlife, Sandusky Fisheries Research Station, Sandusky, Ohio
  • Ohio Division of Wildlife, Inland Fisheries Research Unit, Hebron, Ohio


Participants will earn $6,000 over the course of the 10-week program. All other costs (including housing, meals, and travel) must be covered by participants.


Current undergraduates residing in the U.S. enrolled at a U.S. institution who will have completed 1+ year of college credit by June 2023; open to spring 2023 graduates. Applicants must have also completed at least one college-level course in ecology or related discipline. Applicants may be asked for a resume after they submit their application.

Applicants do not need extensive experience in research or aquatic science to apply for and receive a spot in the program. We are seeking diverse students from backgrounds that may not have historically had access to the aquatic or fisheries sciences communities, in addition to students who are more actively seeking opportunities in aquatic or fisheries science.


The application for this REU is currently closed. We are reviewing applications and hope to complete candidate selection by mid-March.

Sophia w Yellow Perch, Andrew and Glen dissecting fish, Devan processing water, Jenny driving boat

Below are the long form essay questions on the REU application. Use this list to help you prepare your answers so that you may more easily enter them into the online application form. Note that all questions have a 2000 character limit.

  • Why are you interested in (or what attracted you to apply to) this REU? Please discuss how this REU fits into your long-term career or educational goals. 
  • WORK/VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE: If you have been working or volunteering while in school, please tell us more about your experience. For example: Where do you work/volunteer? How many hours per week? What skills do you believe you have learned? Include any other information you find pertinent.
  • PERSERVERANCE: Describe a time when you faced a difficult academic challenge or personal hurdle that you successfully navigated. What was the challenge and how did you handle it?
  • RESEARCH: If you have had any experience(s) with research (in class, in a lab, or at work), please share them here. What was particularly interesting to you? What did you learn? If you have not had research experience, what excites you about research or this REU?
  • LEADERSHIP: Outside of your academic experiences, can you share any leadership roles or service experiences you have held in your community, workplace, or religious institution? Were there any accomplishments related to this experience that you are proud of?

We realize you are more than the sum of the information from the questions above, so you will also have a space to share anything else about yourself that you think will help us better understand the information you provide, better understand who you are, or better highlight your fit for this REU.  

You will also be asked to list all college-level math, science, statistics, and programming courses in which you earned a C or better (note that applicants must have completed at least one college-level course in ecology) and the name and contact information of at least one and not more than two references.