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NCBO/CRC Assessing Fish Habitat Risk from Climate Change Effects Internship

Project Description: The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office (NCBO) and Chesapeake Research Consortium (CRC) seek a summer intern for late May through mid-August 2023 (12 weeks) to assist with synthesizing scientific information and engaging with researchers and stakeholders to support the review of indices/metrics related to marine heat waves (extreme temperature events), other stressors (e.g., dissolved oxygen, salinity changes), and fish vulnerability thresholds for use in a habitat risk assessment of key fish species in Chesapeake Bay, such as striped bass and summer flounder.  

Information from the recent Rising Water Temperature Scientific Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) workshop, marine heat wave research, previous intern work on a Bay Water Temperature Change indicator, and findings from NOAA-funded research on fish habitat suitability will be used to inform the development of the habitat risk assessment. Marine heat waves are periods of prolonged higher water temperatures than what is typically observed. These extreme temperature events, in concert with other environmental stressors, and their effects on fisheries were identified by fisheries managers as an area where we need better information to inform adaptive management of vulnerable fisheries to climate change. Particularly, there is interest in the development of a warning system for when conditions are not optimal for the fish to trigger management measures, such as adjusting recreational and commercial fishing behavior, to reduce stress on highly sensitive species. Integrating data on climate change, environmental conditions, and fish vulnerability into a habitat risk assessment is the first step in exploring the information needed for a warning system. This position will also explore outreach strategies with potential users of this information to refine the indices being planned for the habitat risk assessment to ensure there is alignment with fisheries management needs. 

Interns will have the opportunity to be embedded in the day-to-day operations of the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office and experience firsthand the work involved to incorporate climate change considerations in habitat and natural resources management decisions. Direct engagement with NOAA will introduce the intern to various federal, state, academic, and nonprofit staff to build their professional network.

  • Summarized list of fish vulnerability thresholds to environmental change
  • Communication documents summarizing main findings from marine heat waves and NOAA-funded fish habitat suitability research
  • Report summarizing user feedback outlining any recommendations for an indicator and/or warning system
  • Recommendations on data visualization options for demonstrating fish habitat areas with high, medium, and low vulnerability based on climate change and environmental stressor trends. 
  • Presentation to NCBO staff and partners at the conclusion of the internship summarizing work conducted

  • Experience using Microsoft Excel and ArcGIS software
  • Experience with scripting (e.g., R, Python) preferred, but not required
  • Interest in exploring climate change effects and seeking adaptive solutions with stakeholders  
  • Ability to work and reason independently and work with a team to design data synthesis products
  • Comfortable with reaching out to stakeholders and leading a conversation on their informational needs
  • Must be a college-level student entering sophomore, junior, or senior year of undergraduate study
  • Must be a U.S. citizen and willing to undergo a security background check

Work Location and Duration
We envision that this position will be a hybrid format, 1-2 days in person in the office/week and virtual on the other days. The in-person aspects of this opportunity will be based out of the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office in Annapolis, Maryland. 
The position will begin in mid-May and conclude in mid-August and will be in place for 12 weeks. We plan on providing interns with access to a NOAA computer, email, and phone services (in the office). If the internship is virtual, interns will need to have access to a suitable internet, computer, and communication resources.

The intern will receive a stipend at the end of each month, for a total of up to $6,000 ($500/week) for the equivalent of 12 (in-person) weeks of full-time activities (400 –480 hours). Funds are available to compensate interns for occasional work-related travel. Candidates should expect to follow a normal weekday work schedule (roughly 9-5, Monday-Friday) with occasional variations for possible field work or other activities. No benefits are provided. We offer assistance in arranging local housing if the position is an in-person opportunity if desired.

Diversity and Inclusion
The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office is committed to supporting a diverse and inclusive science oriented workforce. Our internship program endeavors to recruit from a diverse, qualified group of potential applicants to secure a high-performing workforce drawn from all segments of American society. NOAA is strongly supportive of broadening the participation of historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, tribal colleges and universities, and institutions that work in underserved areas. We highly encourage applications from students at any of the above institutions as well as students that identify as a member of underrepresented and underserved groups in science, including students who identify as people of color, women, American Indian or Alaska Native, persons with disabilities, members of the LGBTQAI+ community, persons from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and first-generation college students.

Application Instructions: Applicants are instructed to register with the Chesapeake Jobs online application website: to apply. You will be instructed to submit a resume and cover letter, along with three references. The deadline for applications is February 20, 2023.