Dr. A’s #1 priority in funding is to secure monies that directly support student research (student stipends, equipment, etc.). That being said, the large numbers of folks working in our lab translates into only a subset of students getting paid/stipends in any given semester.
Generally, students who come into the lab with no experience should not expect to be paid right off the bat. Most stipends go to more senior students who have proven their reliability and grown their skill sets.
Dr. A offers Independent Study units for students that would like or need units for helping with research. ESRM 494: Independent Study is available to you for anywhere from 1 to 3 units per semester. Anyone signing up for 494 units needs to commit an average 3 hours per week for each unit (e.g. needs to average 6 hours per week for 2 units).
Note that students in our lab are a mix of Capstone Students, volunteers, Independent Study students (getting academic for their work), collaborators from environmental NGOs working with our lab, paid students/research assistants, and visiting students/collaborators from other campuses. These are mutually exclusive, e.g. an Independent Study student cannot get paid and a Capstone student cannot get Independent Study units.
While many folks follow their own path, one common arc of involvement in the Pirate Lab is to:
1) volunteer a few hours a week for a semester
2) sign-up for independent study units for a semester or two
3) get a stipend once you have built-up enough experience to start to run projects yourself