Do-it-yourself environmental sensing

Although the application date for this project is past, the project is still ongoing. You may still wish to contact this professor about other ways of getting involved with this work. Please attend an info session or contact email for more information.

We have had an excellent year with many undergraduates working the lab on this project. We are now seeking students to start in fall 2022. We have several related activities. Students can work on assembling and programming raspberry pi based sensor platforms that host various sensors. It is basically a computer in a weatherproof box with attached sensors that record things like temperature and sound. We are especially interested in students that may have experience analyzing sound and video data as these can be used to monitor wildlife populations. There are opportunities to assist in building training datasets by downloading and curating recordings from global databases of bird vocalizations. Other activities involve assembling machine learning pipelines to process incoming data streams. Students have worked with deep learning libraries and voice activity detection. We are also developing devices that sample DNA from the air and students interested in learning molecular techniques should also apply. We have a variety of tasks that can fit different skill levels in computing and biology. We have had a good mix of computer scientists, engineers, and biologists. Consider joining the project next year. It has been really fun and productive. And you get to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and building understanding of climate change impacts on nature.

We have written a perspective on the topic, which you can find here:…

To apply, please visit:


Students will ideally have some experience with electronics and basic programming in python or similar languages. Some minimal knowledge of the Linux operating system will also help. Biology students with experience in PCR or related skills are also encouraged to join our eDNA study. We also train students, so motivation is the most important qualification.

Project Timeline

Students will be accepted on a rolling basis. Please get in touch if you are interested!

To apply, please visit:


Become an undergraduate collaborator in our research activities.

Typical Time Commitment
Desired Length of Commitment
Ideally multiple semesters


The Office of Undergraduate Research recommends that you attend an info session or advising before contacting faculty members or project contacts about research opportunities. We'll cover the steps to get involved, tips for contacting faculty, funding possibilities, and options for course credit. Once you have attended an Office of Undergraduate Research info session or spoken to an advisor, you can use the "Who to contact" details for this project to get in touch with the project leader and express your interest in getting involved.

Have you tried contacting professors and need more help? Schedule an appointment for additional support.