Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) Student Information

SURF provides students a summer of intensive paid research with faculty.

Application Steps

  1. Read the student eligibility and fellowship expectations to see if you are a good fit for SURF
  2. Read the available SURF projects
  3. Email the faculty leading the project you plan to apply for to determine if you are a good fit. Do this before you apply.  
  4. Complete the application by March 22, 2021


Student eligibility 

  • Admitted Evergreen undergraduates who will not have graduated before the summer of the fellowship.
  • In good academic standing with no registration holds at the time of award.
  • Eligible for student employment at Evergreen.


Fellowship expectations

  • Work on the project 20 or more hours per week
  • Work 12 weeks (mid-June through mid-September). Fellows may make flexible schedule plans with faculty. 
  • Participate in:
    • an opening reception for the program in June 
    • activities with other fellows during the summer
    • presentations of their work at a fall event
    • participate in other events throughout the year as requested
  • $3,000 stipend will be awarded after the successful completion of summer quarter. 


2021 SURF Projects (PDF with full descriptions)

Stream Ecology Research with Field Work at Area Volcanos

Faculty Name: Carri LeRoy

Faculty Email:

Description:  This research experience will be focused on learning techniques used to understand the structure and functioning of stream and river ecosystems.  Fellows involved in this summer research experience will have the opportunity to work with Faculty surveying streams that were newly formed after the 1980 eruption of Mt St Helens, doing research in the lab that is funded by a large grant from the National Science Foundation. In addition, there may be opportunities to do research at Mount Rainier and monitoring three watersheds on campus as part of the Evergreen Ecological Observation Network (EEON;

Successful research projects may be written and/or presented to diverse audiences at conferences and in scientific publications. Fellow will be expected to meet weekly with others doing field ecology research to discuss progress, challenges and present findings.


Understanding Community through Qualitative Research and Documentary Filmmaking

Faculty Name: Maria Isabel Morales and Suree Towfighnia

Faculty Email: ;

Description:  The student fellow will support the development of faculty research in Cultural Studies and Media Arts on a project centered around ideas of sustainable coffee production and children-centered knowledge in Southern Mexico (Nurturing Roots).  The student fellowship may include a variety of tasks related to the project, including primary source research, transcription and/or translation of interviews conducted in Oaxaca, thematic analysis, post-production assistance and possible editing.   This opportunity explores contemporary topics in social and environmental justice, indigenous sovereignty, migration studies, media representation, and women’s history.  The fellow will gain practical experience working under direction of both faculty members to accomplish a specific set of tasks that will be developed with the fellow.  The fellow will have an active role in creating a practical fellowship that not only supports our ongoing Nurturing Roots research project, but also the fellows desired learning goals to advance their practice and academic interests.


Evergreen in Context: An Archives Project

Faculty Name: Nancy Koppelman

Faculty Email:

Description:  Fellow will assist with working on a monograph about the first 50 years of The Evergreen State College.  The text is structured around key themes in the history of the college, including the historical and cultural context which informed the work of inventing the college; the ongoing work of promoting and growing the college, and how the college's educational program and public service work has responded to and contributed to society and culture in the U.S. and the world over its five decades. Fellow will be responsible for doing research both in Evergreen archives and in the library.  In order to prepare for the internship, students will be required to read some background material selected by the faculty. Fellow will assist with work-in-progress in ways that bring it closer to completion.  This work may include learning how to conduct oral history interviews; interviewing retired faculty and staff; and following up on contacts with alumni who will make written contributions to the book. Other work may emerge as the project moves forward.


Genomic Data Mining of Arrow Worm Biochemistry

Faculty Name: Erik Thuesen

Faculty Email:

Description: Arrow worms (phylum Chaetognatha) are often the second most abundant animal in pelagic ecosystems in marine environments.  These predatory worms use burst swimming actions in order to capture prey with their grasping spines and teeth.  Their abundance in the water column highlights their importance in marine pelagic food webs, and chaetognaths utilize burst swimming to avoid predators such as squids and fishes.  This project will look through published chaetognath genomes and transciptomic data sets (~10) in public databases to identify orthologs of enzymes involved in glycosis.  The Fellow will work with Faculty to choose data mining software, transcriptomic data sources and target orthologs.  The Fellow and Faculty will work together to design a search protocol using adequate controls.  The Fellow will need to keep meticulous notes about all specific procedures used to scour the data.  The fellow will become comfortable working with molecular data and associated software while improving their knowledge of molecular biology and biochemistry.


The EDURange project   

Faculty Name: Richard Weiss

Faculty Email:

Description:  The EDURange project was designed as a collection of hands-on cybersecurity exercises and a framework for creating them.  One of the challenges for both online and in-person instruction is to be able to give students meaningful feedback on their lab work while they are doing a lab assignment.   The Fellow will be expected to read background literature on the topic (provided by faculty), meet with faculty regularly to provide updates and seek guidance, design experiments and produce a written report by the end of the summer. The Fellow should also create a poster/video communicating their research and results to a general audience.  The Fellow will be expected to gain experience in computer science research, including machine learning and cybersecurity.  The goal of this project is to apply machine learning to analyze data from students engaged in a lab assignment and present the results visually to the instructor for prompt intervention. EDURange already has assignments (exercises) where students are interacting with a computer and can collect data from each student.


Being Human: Human Development Recommendations from Traditional Cultures 

Faculty Name: Hirsh Diamant

Faculty Email:

Description: Today we assign great importance to technological development and advancement.  Traditional cultures by comparison placed greater value on the development of good human beings.  Can these concepts be cultivated and practiced?  What are the recommendations of Chinese and other traditional cultures on human development?  Fellows will read from and translate Daodejing, Huangdi Neijing, and Confuscius classics to create artwork, films and animations that will illuminate and analyze cross-culturally the cultivation of human development.  Fellows will participate in Faculty’s research and together with Faculty will define research plan and research questions.


Study of Organic Farming Practices/Food and Agriculture

Faculty Name:  Martha Rosemeyer, Sarah Williams, Steve Scheuerell 

Faculty Email: ; ;  

Description:  In this project, student(s) will first participate in a field study according to specifications from the Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC) to address organic farmers seed and plant breeding needs. The student will gather data on tomato varieties (Lycopersicon spp.) and chicory (radicchio, Cichorium intybus) varieties concerning growth habits, disease and insect pest infestations, yield and flavor. NOVIC partners with more than 30 organic farmers throughout the country to breed and identify the best performing varieties for organic agriculture, and educate farmers on organic seed production and plant variety improvement. Varieties are also evaluated by the national Culinary Breeding Network for taste and flavorFellow will have different duties as the season progresses.  Fellow will be first expected to design and plant the field experiment at our campus Organic Farm. Early meetings will be necessary to lay out the research design, schedules, and proper use of lab and field equipment and communicate with the farm manager.  Fellows will be expected to spend up to 5h/week studying relevant reading material, writing and analyzing gathered data, and logging the activities online so that other members of the university and other NOVIC partners can access. 


Olympia Oyster Restoration at the Evergreen Beach Feasibility Study, Proposal Development and Shellfish Husbandry   

Faculty Name:  Pauline Yu 

Faculty Email:  

Description:  The Olympia oyster is the native oyster to the Pacific Coast of the US and was a staple food for Native Americans all throughout their habitat. The fellow will research and document the feasibility of restoring-reintroducing Olympia oysters at the Evergreen Beach, where there is a mix of native bivalves and introduced aquaculture species.  The fellow would be building on the research by past Shellfish Club members and providing documentation of habitat suitability and feasibility for Olympia oyster establishment.  The background research would incorporate a beach survey to look for evidence of current Olympia oyster presence, researching of historical evidence, and compiling documentation of current Olympia oyster aquaculture and restoration in the area toward the goal of writing a research report.  In this project, the fellow will work with faculty Pauline Yu on stewarding the Evergreen Shellfish Garden and will help develop a feasibility proposal for the introduction of Olympia oyster (Ostrea conchiphila) culture to the Evergreen Shellfish Garden.  The fellow will conduct research using both electronic library resources and through conducting some interviews with relevant experts. They will amass a bibliography of reference materials and also collect qualitative data from the interviews, and serve as data custodians for the summer.  The fellow will be expected to write up a report at the end of the summer summarizing the literature and the information necessary to develop a more detailed proposal for Olympia oyster restoration.


Oral Stereotypic Behavior in Dairy Cattle 

Faculty Name:  Mike Paros 

Faculty Email:  

Description:  Stereotypies are defined as repetitive, invariant behaviors without an obvious goal or function.  The appearance of such behaviors in a population can indicate a problem in the environment that has led to frustration or boredom.  To our knowledge, oral stereotypic behavior in dairy cattle on U.S. farms has not been studied.  Anecdotally, tongue rolling is common on many dairies across the U.S., with a significant higher rate observed in the Jersey Breed.  The Fellow will conduct an observational study at Three Mile Canyon Farms in Boardman Oregon.  Instantaneous scan sampling will be used to observe behaviors in recently weaned calves and older heifers.  The fellow(s) must be able to spend some time in Boardman Oregon.  Housing will be provided.  Fellow(s) will gain valuable experience in experimental design and data analysis while preparing for graduate work in the fields of Animal Behavior, Animal Welfare Science, Genomics, Dairy Science, and Veterinary Medicine.  The fellow will also be responsible for conducting field research on bivalves and animal husbandry.  


Digital / Haptic/ Domestic: Supporting Tactile Learning Online 

Faculty Name:  Julia Heineccius 

Faculty Email:  

Description:  Faculty and Fellow will develop a series of up to 3 modules that combine 3D “craft” techniques (such as metalsmithing/woodworking fiber arts/ ceramics with “new media” (film/digital/audio/virtual reality spaces).  This reasearch will work towards investigating the following: Information about tactile art making is flourishing online through free (You Tube) and paywall- based educational videos.  As we work within and towards a new educational norm that includes students establishing 3D art, craft, and design practices within a variety of domestic environments, how can we enhance student learning through a more customized and immersive multimedia experience? 

Intermediate knowledge of digital filming techniques and editing software for short form videos (such as Adobe Premiere).  Strong interest of beginning experience in audio recording.  Strong interest in combining 3D “craft” techniques (such as metalsmithing/woodworking/fiber arts/ceramics) with “new media” (film/digital/audio/virtual reality spaces).  Interest in developing hybrid educational experiences that enhance current online models.  Fellow will need to have requisite proficiencies in video and audio recording equipment, and be able to obtain Evergreen Media Services loan approval for equipment as needed.  Development of this project with the assistance of a Fellow could result in the development of flipped classroom possibilities that could allow the college experience of 3D art, craft, and design to be more flexible than what is currently offered in the marketplace.