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 a series of meetings in preparation for summer field and lab work, followed by travel to France for the field program, and approximately one week of follow-up work at OU for preparation of results. For students who may be interested in this program, but cannot apply for the 2018 season, note that we expect to issue a call for applicants for a 2019 and a 2020 run of the program.

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, as well as faculty from the University of Nantes, and will be guided in preparing their results for presentation (e.g. in the form of a poster presentation suitable for a professional science conference).

Financial Support

• Full costs of travel, lodging, and meals covered for the (month of) international travel.

• Participating students will receive a stipend of $2500.


• Applicants must be undergraduates in geoscience (e.g. geology, geophysics, or an allied discipline– e.g. physical geography, meteorology, environmental science, other physical sciences).

• Owing to the focus of the IRES program, undergraduates from groups traditionally under-represented in STEM disciplines, especially students of Native American heritage, are particularly encouraged to apply, as well as those who may be first-generation college students. (Note that we expect this program to run in spring-summer 2018, 2019, and 2020).

How to Apply