UF/IFAS undergraduate research internships leave lasting impressions

UF/IFAS undergraduate research internships provide students with hands-on research experiences and lasting positive impacts.  Debriana Love, a Wildlife Ecology and Conservation 2023 graduate, interned with Dr. Raelene Crandall’s Fire Ecology research lab in the summer of 2023.  During her internship, Debriana developed practical skills, technical ecology knowledge, and a  professional network that will support her continued success.

Girl in orange bandana and a lush green field measures plants with a yellow ruler.
Debriana measuring heights of plants. Photo courtesy of Debriana Love.

In the field, the lab, and beyond

Research can take many different forms and projects in the Fire Ecology Lab are no exception. Debriana gained experience in the field measuring heights and other characteristics of native plant species and conducting trials in a laboratory setting. She shared her research at a poster symposium and presented important findings to natural resource management stakeholders. Debriana also tried her hand at writing a scientific manuscript – her article was accepted for publication in PLOS One! 

New skills and network connections

Not only did Debriana develop technical skills such as plant sampling techniques, but she also honed practical life skills such as time management and organization.

Girl in neutral colored outfit poses in front of her research poster.
Debriana presents her research at a poster symposium. Photo courtesy of Debriana Love.

Debriana’s internship also showed her how friendly team members and a respectful atmosphere contribute to a successful research lab.  The other members of the Fire Ecology Lab are now a part of Debriana’s professional network, along with others she met throughout her internship. She feels connected within the lab, other UF researchers, and the community.

Impactful outcomes and continued success

Debriana’s internship resulted in a first-author publication as an undergraduate student, multiple research presentations, and research for an honors thesis. After graduation, Debriana is continuing her time with the lab as a research technician. Whatever her next step is, Debriana is well-equipped for continued success.



About UF/IFAS research internships

Any CALS undergraduate major or minor is eligible to apply for an internship. Find more information about the program here.

You can support a UF/IFAS research intern! Check out the Path to Pioneers Fund for how you can play a role in a student’s research journey.



The research mission of UF/IFAS is to discover new scientific knowledge, encourage innovative study, and create applications based on sound science that address challenges facing agriculture, natural resources, and interrelated human systems in Florida, our country, and around the world. The UF/IFAS Research enterprise represents the work of nearly 600 faculty members on the main campus in Gainesville, as well as 12 research and education centers and six demonstration sites across the state.

research.ifas.ufl.edu  | @UF_IFASResearch


Posted: February 6, 2024

Category: UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Research
Tags: CALS, Intern, Undergraduate Research

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