Undergraduate Research Opportunity for Students

Landscapes of Deep Time in the Red Earth of France

Apply to an International Research Experiences for Undergraduates program that prepares you for advanced work in geoscience. Study and conduct research alongside geology professors from OU and the University of Nantes (France), in both Oklahoma and France. The School of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Oklahoma is hosting a National Science Foundation-funded International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) project that involves summer field work in France. This opportunity supports undergraduates in geoscience or an allied field who wish to pursue research experience in sedimentary geology and deep-time paleoclimate.

The IRES program specifically targets U.S. science and engineering students from underrepresented populations, and this research program in particular seeks to foster increased representation of students of Native American heritage in geoscience. We also strongly encourage first-generation college students to apply. The program will involve travel to France for the field program (May-June), and follow-up work for preparation of results (more info TBD).

***COVID Note: Please note that this is the last run of the program (2022) and may be postponed or canceled due to frequently-evolving international COVID status/restrictions. Please anticipate that plans and travel arrangements may be booked in late spring (close to departure). Safety is our priority and we must plan according to university policy.

About The Research

This project will focus on study of “redbed” and associated strata in southern France that are analogous in many ways to the redbed strata of western-central Oklahoma, and regions of the mid-continent and Colorado Plateau. We will study these rocks to extract information about paleoclimate from this (paleo-tropical) region of the supercontinent Pangea dating from approximately 300 Million years ago. Students will conduct field work and lab analyses, mentored by OU faculty and graduate students, and have the option to be mentored to prepare data for presentation (e.g. in the form of a poster presentation suitable for a professional science conference or undergraduate research symposium).

Financial Support

• Full costs of travel, lodging, and meals covered for the duration of travel.
• Participating students will receive a stipend of $500/week (at the conclusion of the field season).


• Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
• Applicants must be undergraduates in geoscience (e.g. geology, geophysics): preference will be given to students specifically interested in sedimentary geology and/or paleoclimate.
• Owing to the focus of the IRES program, undergraduates from groups traditionally under-represented in STEM disciplines (e.g. students of Native American heritage or first-generation college students) are particularly encouraged to apply.

How to Apply