LMU Student Research Opportunities at CURes

The Center for Urban Resilience, in its three-fold goal to enhance the public understanding of urban resilience as a tool for healthy neighborhoods, to forward a vigorous program of research and education, and to engage the public as critical stakeholders in urban policy and management, relies heavily on student interns and research assistants to help in developing and carrying out research and environmental stewardship projects. Two of our main initiatives which students are very encouraged to get involved are the animal behavior lab, and our social science group. We also organize a joint internship program with The Bay Foundation which connects interns and volunteers with various outside environmental stewardship organizations. Additionally, we are currently looking for a student social media intern for our restorative justice program.  Below are brief descriptions of how students may become involved with these programs:

Animal Behavior


Overseen by Dr. Pete Auger, the CURes animal behavior lab investigates topics related to how animals interact with the biotic and abiotic environment in the urban context. These projects focus on animal cognition and learning, how animals compete for different resources, and how animals operate and thrive in urban environments. Specifically, we currently have projects studying hummingbirds, crows and least terns, red-tailed hawks, mockingbirds, feral cats, coyotes, etc.

The animal behavior lab often utilizes innovative and creative methods. For example, for our Venice Beach study we use an electrical shock predator aversion technique which has otherwise never been developed for this purpose. In most of our projects we use remote monitoring technology, and catalog and analyze these data using metadata management software. Most of our projects are centered on the LMU campus, facilitating data collection and eliminating the need for transport to field sites.

Students interested in joining the CURes Animal Behavior Lab may contact Erich Eberts (erich.eberts@lmu.edu) and/or Peter Auger (augerp121@gmail.com).

Social Science


The CURes Social Science group is headed by Dr. Michele Romolini. In an increasingly urban world, investigation into how social, institutional, and cultural influence complex urban systems is increasingly important. Our social science group focuses on questions urban environmental stewardship, incorporating aspects of landscape use, urban planning, and urban governance. Our methods often involve public outreach through social surveys, and modeling to analyze physical factors of the city and relationships between social institutions.

Three of our main projects focus on park use in the Baldwin Hills park system (Baldwin Hills Park User Study), how environmental stewardship organizations in LA communicate and share information and resources (Stew-MAP LA), and an assessment of tree canopy in the Greater Los Angeles area (Los Angeles Tree Canopy Assessment and Prioritization Project). Many of our projects significantly overlap with our other research groups (Animal Behavior and Restorative Justice).

Students interested in joining our group may choose varying levels of involvement: 1) full research assistant funded by work study; 2) full research assistant for independent study credit; 3) volunteer research assistant. Specific project focuses will be discussed with project managers, and decided on based on student interest and experience. We encourage all students to submit their work as a poster to the LMU Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Spring semester as well as other external conferences.

Students interested in joining the CURes Social Science group may contact Erich Eberts (erich.eberts@lmu.edu).

Restorative Justice

At Venice Beach

The CURes Restorative Justice Project provides school communities with safe, inclusive, and effective tools to help develop relationships within a healthy environment. We invite all stakeholders—students, faculty, administrators, etc.—to participate in building relationships and then repairing relationships when conflict occurs. We partner with schools to offer program components including: Implementation Support and Coordination, Restorative Language Integration, Community Building Circles, Community Conferencing, and Professional Development.

We are currently looking for an interested and enthusiastic student social media intern to help us educate the general public about our work on social media.

Students interested in this opportunity may contact Erich Eberts (erich.eberts@lmu.edu).