Job Opportunity: Science Communications

Release Date:

The U.S. Geological Survey National Climate Adaptation Science Center (NCASC) is seeking to hire students or recent graduates to assist with science communications activities.  

About NCASC: NCASC is located at USGS headquarters in Reston, VA, and manages a network of nine regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) located across the U.S. Together, the National and Regional CASCs fund and conduct over 40 new science projects each year to understand how changing climate conditions affect fish, wildlife, ecosystems, and communities. Through this work, we aim to provide on-the-ground natural resource managers and other stakeholders with impartial scientific information and non-prescriptive decision-making tools to help them respond and adapt to these changes. NCASC conducts scientific research while also providing leadership and program support to the regional CASCs. 

Eligibility: This position is open to current part-time or full-time undergraduate or graduate students, as well as recent graduates (recent graduates must have graduated after Dec. 31, 2020). If an undergraduate, the student must be within two years of receiving their degree. The applicant should be available 20-40 hours per week, for at least one full year. Hours and schedules are flexible, within reason, to accommodate educational commitments. The anticipated start date is January 2022, but will depend on the speed of the hiring and onboarding process. 

Activities: 

  • Draft and post content for the NCASC website, including news announcements, summaries describing funded projects, and feature stories highlighting CASC science (see example). 
  • Draft communications materials such as fact sheets, postcards, PPT slides, graphics, and reports that are used to brief partners and stakeholders, senior leadership within USGS and DOI, and Congress.  
  • Read, interpret, and summarize the results of scientific projects for various outlets, including the NCASC website and handout materials.
  • Draft social media posts featuring USGS climate-related activities.
  • Support production of bi-monthly CASC newsletter 

Required Skills: 

  • Ability to translate technical scientific information into a concise, engaging, and public-friendly format 
  • Excellent writing skills 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work in a team setting  
  • Ability to organize, manage, and prioritize multiple tasks and projects at the same time 
  • Self-starter 
  • Attention to detail and strong organizational skills 
  • Comfortable learning new technologies and tools 
  • Familiarity with basic computer operations and “office” software 

Preferred Skills: 

  • Education or demonstrated experience in environmental science or an earth science field (e.g. biology, geography, meteorology, climatology).
  • Education or demonstrated experience in science communications 
  • Experience in drafting social media posts and tracking social media analytics 
  • Experience using web content management systems 
  • ​​​​​​​Experience in graphic design and familiarity with software such as Adobe Illustrator and InDesign 

Duty Station: NCASC is a unit within USGS Headquarters in Reston, VA. However, the position may be completed remotely from any location in the U.S. 

Compensation: The successful applicant will be paid $16-40 per hour, depending on level of education and geographic location. This is a student contract position, and as such, taxes are not automatically taken out of the student contractor’s paycheck (the student contractor will be responsible for paying quarterly taxes). Student contractors do not accrue paid leave, but will earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. This position may be used for course credit or to meet internship requirements, should the student receive approval from their academic advisor to do so. 

Apply: Please send the documents listed below to casc@usgs.gov. Applications will be accepted until Friday, October 1 or until 75 applications have been received.  

  • Resume 
  • ​​​​​​​Cover letter: Describe your education, work experience, and relevant skillsets. Please explain why you would be a good fit for this position.  
  • Writing samples: Two writing samples. These can be either technical (e.g. research paper) or non-technical (e.g. news story, press release) products. Ideally, they will display your ability to communicate and synthesize scientific information.