USGS Arctic Rivers Project Research Internship

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
5/3/2024 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

USGS Office/Lab and Location: Two research opportunities are available with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) regional Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center. The selected research assistant can report remotely; however, preference will be given to participants located in Colorado and Alaska. 

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.  Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers support and produce science to inform on-the-ground climate adaptation planning by natural and cultural resource managers.  

Research Project: The Arctic Rivers Project is an NSF-Navigating the New Arctic funded project that is a collaboration between scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder, USGS, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council, and the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals.  This interdisciplinary project seeks to develop useful and useable climate information to assist Indigenous communities throughout Alaska in adapting to the impacts of climate change particularly as it relates to fish, rivers, and extreme events. (See: for more information).  To that end researchers will work directly with community members from at least three Alaska Native Villages to weave their knowledge of and experiences with climate change impacts together with climate projections from a newly developed regional climate model for the state of Alaska.   

Under the guidance of a mentor, specific activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Assisting in workshops to be held in Alaska Native Communities.
  • Developing interview questions and assisting with interviews of Alaska Native Knowledge Holders, Elders, and Decision makers.
  • Analyzing interview transcripts.
  • Assisting in the development of products to share the results of interviews such as manuscripts, storymaps, and community reports.
  • Attending project meetings (Depending on the participant’s location these may be held outside of regular participation hours).
  • Communicating regularly with community project partners.

Learning Objectives: The participant will receive training, coaching, and mentoring from the team leads and project managers to effectively accomplish appointment goals.  Selected participants will receive an hourly rate; rates are based on the candidate’s academic and professional background. Participants will receive a travel/research allowance to cover travel-related expenses to scientific and professional development activities. 

Mentor: The mentor for this opportunity is Nicole Herman-Mercer ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: May 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 DOI and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of Participation: The appointment is part time.

Participant Stipend: Stipend rates may vary based on numerous factors, including opportunity, location, education, and experience. If you are interviewed, you can inquire about the exact stipend rate at that time and if selected, your appointment offer will include the monthly stipend rate.

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

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 be currently pursuing a bachelor's or master's degree in the one of the relevant fields. The participants should be enrolled in upper-level course work as an undergraduate or be a first-year Master's student majoring in one of the relevant fields listed in the eligibility requirements section.

Preferred skills:

  • Ability to collaborate with a diverse and remote project team.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Experience collaborating across cultures.
  • Attention to detail and good organizational skills.
  • Experience conducting interviews and analyzing transcripts with qualitative analysis software (e.g., NVIVO) a plus.
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree or Master's Degree.
  • Academic Level(s): Graduate Students, Post-Bachelor's, or Undergraduate Students.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Communications and Graphics Design (3 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (3 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (7 )
    • Other Non-Science & Engineering (9 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (12 )
  • Age: Must be 18 years of age

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