Plant Ecology

Lisa Giencke

Prospective Students

The Plant Ecology lab recruits 3-4 seasonal technicians 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 southeast of the U.S. in general and Ichauway specifically boasts a tremendous amount of diversity. Over 1,100 vascular plant species and over 370 vertebrate species have been documented on Ichauway.


Houses come equipped with basic kitchen supplies and are fully furnished, including a washer and dryer and a dishwasher. You supply your own bed linens and towels. You will have a private bedroom and bathroom, and share a kitchen/living room/dining room with up to three other people.

Proximity of amenities

The Internet is available in all housing units and the laboratory. Cell service can be a little patchy, depending on where you are on site. Verizon is the most reliable. You can post and receive letters and packages through your Jones Center address. There are two dumpster areas for use by the Jones Center and those who live on-site. Groceries and household items are available within a half-hour 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 bonfires, river swimming, kayaking, soccer, volleyball, and Frisbee. Outstanding natural and cultural features within a 2.5-hour drive include Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Apalachicola National Forest, the Suwannee River, Pine Mountain, and Kolomoki Mounds State Park.