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Summer Research - Autonomous Systems for Environmental Characterization

The Environmental Laboratory (EL) is one of the seven laboratories of U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (USACE-ERDC), which is the Army Corps of Engineers' integrated research and development (R&D) organization. EL provides solutions to environmental challenges for the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense and the Nation through environmental science and engineering research and development. Researchers in EL conduct research in ecosystem science and technology, environmental resiliency, environmental sensing, ecological modeling and forecasting, risk and decision science, environmentally sustainable material, systems biology, climate change, computational chemistry, environmental chemistry and environmental security. For more information about the US Army Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC) Environmental Laboratory (EL), please visit

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Environmental Laboratory, Environmental Systems Branch is conducting research in unmanned autonomous robotics, software development, and sensor integration for environmental characterization.

The high school graduate/undergraduate level participant will gain experience in different autonomous, robotic, and senor systems for environmental remote sensing research activities.
Experiences may include design, construction, sensor integration, and software development of robotic systems for environmental characterization. The participant will receive mentoring from federal research scientists. Mentors will focus on providing the participants with guidance and understanding in the following areas: publications preparation, technical reports, robotic platforms, software development, and participation in laboratory demonstrations.

Appointment Length
This ORISE appointment period is full time for 3 months in the summer.  Appointments may be extended depending on funding availability, project assignment, program rules, and availability of the participant.

Participant Benefits
Participants will receive a stipend to be determined by ERDC-EL. Stipends are typically based on the participant’s academic standing, discipline, experience, and research facility location. Other benefits may include the following:
  • Health Insurance Supplement. Participants are eligible to purchase health insurance through ORISE.
  • Relocation Allowance
  • Training and Travel Allowance 

Nature of Appointment
The participant will not enter into an employee/employer relationship with ORISE, ORAU, DOD, or any other office or agency. Instead, the participant will be affiliated with ORISE for the administration of the appointment through the ORISE appointment letter and Terms of Appointment.
While participants will not enter into an employment relationship with DOD or any other agency, this opportunity may require a suitability investigation/background investigation. Any offer made is considered tentative pending favorable outcome of the investigation.
High school to undergraduate level with minimal experience in autonomous, robotic, and/or senor systems.