USGS Climate Change Adaptation Science Communications Fellowship

U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)

Hilo, Hawaii

Job Type Paid Internship
Salary Details Monthly Stipend TBD
Deadline Mar 08, 2024
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

USGS Office/Lab and LocationMultiple research opportunities are currently available with the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI), United States Geological Survey (USGS), within the Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center located in Hilo, Hawaii, with a geographic scope from the Hawaiian Island archipelago to the US-affiliated islands of the South Pacific (USAPI). The USAPI include the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI); the unincorporated territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the Pacific Remote Islands (PRI); and the Freely Associated States (FAS): The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), and the Republic of Palau.

Ideally the selected participants will be located in the region, though consideration for remote participation is possible. 

The USGS mission is to monitor, analyze, and predict current and evolving dynamics of complex human and natural Earth-system interactions and to deliver actionable intelligence at scales and timeframes relevant to decision makers. As the Nation's largest water, earth, and biological science and civilian mapping agency, USGS collects, monitors, analyzes, and provides science about natural resource conditions, issues, and problems.

Research Project: The candidates will become part of a rapidly growing climate change adaptation-oriented team, which allows many opportunities to collaborate internally and with external partners. They will learn from interacting directly with regional partners. Project activities will include supporting an assessment of the efficacy of ongoing climate adaptation research and engagement efforts in the region, fostering communication between local communities (e.g. science and research communities, local communities, special interest groups, governmental communities, communities of practice, traditional knowledge holding communities, etc.), developing a science communications/education portfolio to meet the quickly evolving needs of the center, and engaging in outreach. Activities may include development of printed materials, social media, webinars, engagement through outreach events, mass communications, and partnership development.

Learning Objectives: These project activities will broaden the reach of climate adaptation science information interpretation, dissemination, and exchange. The appointment will provide the candidate(s) with opportunities to learn more about Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science and learn more about current co-production models being actuated between communities, scientists, and stewards of natural and cultural resources. The individual(s) will also review and analyze research and co-create publications and outreach materials for a variety of audiences. Information created will broadly elevate literacy and education efforts to increase awareness and incorporation of climate change into decision making.  The candidate(s) will collaborate with the USGS Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center and many climate service partners in the region.

Mentor: The mentor for this opportunity is Mari-Vaughn Johnson (mvjohnson@usgs.gov). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: September 2023.  Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year but may be extended upon recommendation of USGS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of Participation: The appointment is part-time or full-time, and is negotiable.

Participant StipendThe participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. 

Citizenship RequirementsThis opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), and foreign nationals.

ORISE InformationThis program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and USGS. Participants do not become employees of USGS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

Questions: If you have questions about the application process please email USGS@orau.org and include the reference code for this opportunity.


The qualified candidate should be currently pursuing or have received an associate's, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields listed in the eligibility requirements section.

Multiple candidates may be selected for this opportunity based on the skills of the applicants.

Preferred Skills:

  • Relevant coursework and or experience in Climate Change Adaptation Science, including translation and communication of climate concepts to diverse audiences. 
  • Pacific Islander cultures, governance, heritage, and history 
  • Identifying barriers to communication, access to knowledge, and ability to build relationships and transfer knowledge across communities 
  • Experience developing communications products with a variety of formats, possibly including Web-based multimedia applications and social media, ESRI, Wordpress, Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Premiere, Audition, or Thinglink etc.  
  • Experience working with K-12 teachers in developing classes, lesson plans, field experiences, etc.
  • Superior writing skills 
  • Ability to thrive independently and enjoys operating in a team environment
  • Additionally helpful skills could include: Management and analysis of large data sets to determine correlations, trends, metrics of success, etc. 
  • An introductory knowledge of Drupal, HTML, CSS would be helpful.

The candidate(s) will be participating not only with the mentor but many scientists whose research endeavors are complex, as well as land and ocean stewards, traditional knowledge holders, and community members; the candidate should be a good listener willing to learn the art of science translation into understandable language and visual illustration for diverse audiences.


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Category Admin & Leadership, Ecology
Tags Outreach, Climate Change