Science Communications and Outreach Intern (Climate Change Impacts and Opportunities for Fruit and Vegetable Production)
Location of the internship
Flexible. The right candidate will be able to work remotely.
- Sonia A. Hall
Sustainable Systems Analyst, Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources
- Karen Hills
Research Associate, Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Duration of the internship, time commitment expectations and compensation details
Timeframe: Spring 2021, with possible extension into summer 2021
Weekly time requirements: up to 10 hrs/wk for 15 weeks, or combination thereof (e.g. less during spring semester, more hours during summer); flexible schedule.
Rate of pay: $17-19/hr
Estimated start date: January 19, 2021. Specific details concerning daily work hours, etc. negotiable.
Climate change has the potential to profoundly impact agricultural production across the United States, including the Pacific Northwest. In this region, warming temperatures are leading to longer growing seasons, reduced chilling accumulation, changes in the timing and amount of water for irrigation, changes in insect and disease patterns, among other impacts. Yet impacts may be greater in other production areas in the country, leading to additional changes in regional production systems, and potential opportunities. Farmers in the Pacific Northwest need a solid understanding of what changes to expect, so they can prepare for and mitigate negative impacts, and act on opportunities. Our Center’s work is focused on helping share climate change-related research results with those who can use them: agricultural professionals, agency staff, water managers, producers. The selected candidate will work with Drs. Hall and Hills to develop:
- Science briefs describing results of particular aspects of the research findings,
- Short blog articles to share key results and their implications through an existing collaborative Pacific Northwest blog effort, AgClimate.net, and other university outlets, and
- Other outreach products and online materials, as needed.
These science communications and outreach products will focus primarily on the results from the Climate Adaptation and Mitigation in Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chains project, a research collaboration with the Univ. of Florida, ILSI Research Foundation, International Food Policy Research Institute, University of Arkansas, University of Illinois, and World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Services. The goal of the project is “to identify and test adaptation and mitigation intervention strategies that can be applied to enhance sustainability and resilience of fruit and vegetable supply chains in the U.S., thereby providing actionable strategies to maintain a nutritious, reliable, affordable and environmentally-sound food supply.” The intern will join Drs. Hall and Hills as part of an outreach team working closely with crop modelers, economists, extension specialists and educators to share the results of this 4-year project with those who can use the results to improve their understanding of, response to, and opportunities posed by climate change-related changes in fruit and vegetable production systems in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
Desired skills and talents:
- Interest in outreach and science communications – The intern will develop written communications products intended to share key science and modeling results with an intelligent audience of agricultural professionals and producers. We are looking for candidates with a passion for communication of objective, unbiased, easy-to-digest information to help inform agricultural decisions.
- Interest in fruit and vegetable production and climate change impacts – The intent is to challenge the intern in both the realm of science and in the realm of communicating science results effectively. Interest in the topic and its broad-ranging implications for food production is necessary to fully take advantage of the experience.
- Self-starter, independent – The student will be expected to make independent progress, contribute ideas, and reach out to team members as needed to obtain the support they need. Frequent communications with Dr. Hall will support their progress.
- Creative – The intern will have the opportunity to develop creative ideas for sharing the results of the research team’s work through written products. We are particularly interested in candidates who are interested in different types of communications, and are eager to gain and apply science communications skills to the particular topic and research of this project.
- Responsible – We are willing to offer significant flexibility around work location, hours, and when those hours are completed. The intern’s performance will therefore be evaluated based on what they produce. This approach will be most effective with interns who are committed to collaborating with others, and willing and able to work within a schedule that coordinates everyone’s work.
- 5 to 10 hr/week through the spring 2021, with the option for extending and increasing hours through summer 2021.
- Computer will be provided if intern is in Wenatchee. If working remotely, intern will need access to a computer and reliable internet connection.
- Remote meetings with mentor and others on a regular basis will be required.
- Start date: January 19, 2021. Latest end date August 20, 2021.
- Hourly rate: $17-$19/hour, depending on experience and level of education.
To apply please send your resume, a cover letter describing how your background and experience matches the needs of the position, and the names and contact information of three references to Sonia Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org by January 3, 2021.
Washington State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Educator and Employer.