This summer the Field Museum of Natural History here in the Chicago is offering several Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) fellowships for summer research in the biological sciences. This is a unique and valuable opportunity to do paid (!) summer research in one of the most important natural history research institutions in the world. Please see this website for more information, and note the upcoming deadline of March 15th for applications.
As an undergraduate biology major at Illinois Wesleyan University in the 1980s, I applied for and received two REU summer fellowships. Not only did I earn a generous 3-month stipend and learn a tremendous amount about how science is done in the lab and out in the field, but as I look back on those experiences I now realize how much they helped shape my future career direction and attitudes about science and nature.
For more information beyond the above, please contact Sustainability Studies Prof. Julian Kerbis Peterhans (email@example.com and 312-665-7758), who has taught SUST 330 Biodiversity and BIOL Museum Internship classes at the FMNH. Minority and non-traditional students are particularly encouraged to apply.