USGS Climate Science Program and Communications Scholar Research Opportunity

U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)
Reference Code
How to Apply

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A complete application package consists of:

  • An application
  • Transcript(s) – For this opportunity, an unofficial transcript or copy of the student academic records printed by the applicant or by academic advisors from internal institution systems may be submitted.  Click Here for detailed information about acceptable transcripts.
  • A current resume/CV
  • Two educational or professional recommendations. 

All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.

Application Deadline
2/23/2024 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

*Applications are reviewed on a rolling-basis.

Application Reviews start on Monday, January 8, 2024.

USGS Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is currently available with the USGS Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASC) network, specifically the regional Southeast Central CASC located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Regional CASCs support and produce science to inform on-the-ground climate adaptation planning by natural and cultural resource managers.

The U.S. Geological Survey (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 objective is to improve the effectiveness of the Southeast CASC’s science communication and outreach activities and programming. This project will research best practices surrounding science communication, science outreach, and evaluation of communication and outreach activities with the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (SE CASC) in applying those best practices to our program.

Learning Objectives: Under the guidance of a mentor, research activities include:

  • Conduct synthesis of research on best practices in science communication and translation that are relevant to our program.
  • Collaborate with Southeast CASC staff to identify science communication and translation opportunities and needs.
  • Collaborate with Southeast CASC staff to apply science communication and translation best practices to our research.
  • Research and develop guidance on options for the evaluation of science communication and translation efforts.
  • Research and implement evaluation strategies and metrics.
  • Participate in Southeast CASC science communication and translation planning activities and meetings.
  • Develop science communication and translation products that reach priority audiences.

Mentor: The mentor for this opportunity is Katherine Smith ( If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: February 2024. 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 renewed upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of Participation: The appointment is full time.

Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.

Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens.

ORISE Information: This 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 and include the reference code for this opportunity.


The qualified candidate should have received a master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields listed in the eligibility requirements section or be currently pursuing one of the degrees with completion before the appointment start date. Degree must have been received within the last two years.

Preferred Skills:

  • Experience in science communications and interest in science fields such as ecology, biology, climate science, conservation, or social science.
  • Demonstrated strong writing skills with experience communicating complex topics in clear language.
  • Demonstrate a history of timeliness in task completion, responsiveness, creativity, ability to work independently, effective communication within teams, and attention to detail.
  • Proficiency with communications tools such as social media (LinkedIn and X [Twitter]) and standard Microsoft Office Suite software.
  • Knowledge or aptitude with marketing software such as MailChimp, Loomly, and WordPress.
  • Experience in any of the following areas is a plus: graphics software, graphic design, videography, video editing, data visualization, or GIS. 
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Master's Degree or Doctoral Degree received within the last 24 months or currently pursuing.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Chemistry and Materials Sciences (12 )
    • Communications and Graphics Design (2 )
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences (17 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (21 )
    • Engineering (27 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (14 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (51 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (11 )
    • Physics (16 )
    • Science & Engineering-related (2 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (29 )
  • Veteran Status: Veterans Preference, degree received within the last 60 month(s).