Mentor & Lab: Elsie Carrillo – Mehta lab

Positions: 1 intern

Tentative dates: ~8-10 weeks between June and August

Project Location: Coastal Campus with some day trips to Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta for field work

Project Background: Snakes have strong ecological linkages to apex predators and primary consumers. The 14 species of snakes that inhabit the Sacramento- San Joaquin River Delta are dependent on aquatic food resources and habitat that act as critical thermal refugia from the hot dry climate of the Sacramento Valley. For this project, we will mentor an intern to assist with fieldwork where we will examine the functional diversity and predator-prey interactions of the 14 species of snakes that inhabit the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The results of this study will provide much needed mechanistic information on the distribution and resources (thermal habitat and prey) necessary for snakes to inhabit this dynamic and economically important area of California.

Intern duties: Our intern should be willing to read the primary literature, participate in fieldwork in Sacramento, analyze video and photographic data, learn how to conduct statistical analyses, and interpret and present their findings.

Intern qualifications: We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated intern who is excited to get out in the field for potentially early and long field days in the hot, dry climate of Sacramento. Our intern will be respectful and willing to work in a team environment, have good communication skills, and handle snakes with care.

Do you recommend the intern(s) volunteer in your lab during Spring quarter?
Yes, we recommend our intern to perform husbandry duties of the captive-bred juvenile snakes we have in the lab to prepare to handle wild, adult snakes in the field.