Plant Ecology

Lisa Giencke

Prospective Students

The Plant Ecology lab is not currently recruiting graduate students. However, the lab fills 3-4 seasonal technician positions each year, beginning as early as February. The majority of our fieldwork occurs from May through November and includes long-term vegetation monitoring and collecting seeds for our conservation seed bank.

The ecosystems of Ichauway

The Jones Center at Ichauway is a non-profit ecological research center located in Baker County, GA. The Ichauway property covers 29,000 acres of mostly longleaf pine savanna, but also mixed hardwood forests, riparian hardwood forests, wetlands, and agricultural fields. Fifteen miles of the Ichauwaynochaway Creek runs through the property and 13 miles of the Flint River form the eastern boundary. Longleaf pine used to cover over 90 million acres in North America, but as of 2010, only approximately 3.4 million acres (~3%) remain. The southeastern U.S. in general and Ichauway specifically boasts a tremendous amount of diversity. More than 1,100 vascular plant species and more than 370 vertebrate species have been documented on Ichauway.


You will have a private bathroom and bedroom with a queen bed, and will need to supply your own bed linens, towels, toiletries, and cleaning supplies.  Common areas, including kitchen/living room/dining room will be shared with other seasonal technicians or graduate students in one of our four-bedroom cabins or in the ten-room  Longleaf Lodge. Each kitchen is stocked with basic supplies, including pots/pans, dishes, and silverware, etc., as well as a dishwasher. A washer and dryer is also available in each cabin and in the lodge.

Proximity of amenities

Internet is provided in all lodging for students. Cell service can be somewhat patchy depending on your service provider and where you are on site. Verizon is the most reliable. Basic groceries and household items are available within a 20-minute drive, and major grocery stores are located within a 35-minute drive.


A kaleidoscopic cast of graduate students and research assistants adds sparkle to the Jones Center. The diverse research specialties at the center mean that birding, botanizing, herping, and other informal natural history excursions happen often.

Common social and recreational activities include soccer, river swimming, kayaking, roller skating and roller blading, volleyball, and basketball. Outstanding natural and cultural features within a 2.5-hour drive include Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla Springs, Apalachicola National Forest, the Suwannee River, Pine Mountain, Lake Seminole, and Kolomoki Mounds.