National CASC Student Interns & Fellows

Science Center Objects

The National CASC provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to participate in our program through paid internships and volunteer positions. Students work on everything from supporting NCASC research projects to communications and program operations. Read about some of our students and the work they're doing below!

Communications

 

Nicole Bayne: Actionable Science: Communication for Climate Adaptation Planning

The communications team at the National CASC strives to raise awareness of the important climaterelated research conducted by our scientists across the CASC network. The focus is actionable science, or aspects of climate research which can be used as decision-making tools for resource managers and stakeholders to respond to changes in climate and predict implications these may have on ecosystems and communities. In addition to informing the public about the projects undertaken by CACS-affiliated researchers, Nicole’s role includes informing stakeholders and managers across the country about products and results they can use to make informed climate adaptation decisions. Nicole’s roles range from reformatting public research project summaries to interviewing and writing about CASC scientists and their research. 

University: George Mason University

Department: Environmental Science and Policy

Degree: Masters student

Start Date: January 2018

End Date: Current

Project Products: Scientist Spotlight: Toni Lyn Morelli; Scientist Spotlight: Adrienne Wootten; Scientist Spotlight: Chas Jones

 

Anna Janetos: Actionable Science: Communication for Climate Adaptation Planning

The communications team at the National CASC strives to raise awareness of the important climaterelated research conducted by our scientists across the CASC network. The focus is actionable science, or aspects of climate research which can be used as decision-making tools for resource managers and stakeholders to respond to change in climate and predict implications these may have on ecosystems and communities. In addition to informing the public about the projects undertaken daily by CASC-affiliated researchers, Anna’s role includes informing stakeholders and managers across the country about products and results they can use to make informed climate adaptation decisions. Anna’s other roles include editing project summaries to make them plain language, performing analytical tasks for the website and newsletter, and drafting news announcements for the website. She also helps with any other organizational, analytical, or communicative task the NCASC team may need.

University: Boston University

Department: Earth and Environment

Degree: Undergraduate student

Start Date: January 2019

End Date: Current

Project ProductsEffects of Climate Change on Deer & Moose; Funding from CDI for Climate Scenarios Toolbox; Climate, Fire, and Forest Change in California's Sierra Nevada

 

Inland Fish

 

Ashley Robertson: Improving National Estimates of Inland Recreational Harvest Using State Angler Survey Data

Ashley is working with NCASC Research Fish Biologist Abby Lynch to compile freshwater (inland) recreational fishery harvest reported by state. In particular, they are looking for a summary of each state’s total inland (freshwater) recreational harvest. This data will be synthesized, analyzed, and reported up to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to inform their global catch statistics, presenting the inland recreational harvest of the U.S. as a case study for recreational fisheries harvest estimates. 

University: George Mason University

Department: Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, Department of Environmental Science

Degree: Undergraduate student

Start Date: January 2018

End Date: Current

 

Nicholas Sievert: The U.S. Inland Creel and Angler Survey Catalog (CreelCat)

Recreational fishing plays a major role in inland fisheries in the United States of America. In 2016, more than 30 million American freshwater anglers spent nearly $30 billion on more than 322 million freshwater fishing trips. Angler participation and resulting expenditures are used to support state natural resource agencies managing fisheries to provide high-quality fishing opportunities. These managers often use creel and other angler-survey data to help inform state- and waterbody-level management efforts. Regional and national coordination among these activities has been minimal, due in part to differences in survey methodology and reporting that limits the applicability to larger-scale research efforts and management practices. In an effort to assemble a first-of-its-kind national database of freshwater creel and other angler survey data, we are in communication with all fifty U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in our effort to assemble a database of creel and other angler-survey data for inland waterbodies. This database, the U.S. Inland Creel and Angler Survey Catalog (CreelCat), will be used to establish a baseline estimate of national inland recreational fish harvest and angling activity, and will give us the ability to develop a spatially explicit model of recreational freshwater fishing using remotely sensed and in-situ environmental data to project the response of angling to global change.

University: University of Missouri

Department: Natural Resources

Degree: PhD Candidate

Start Date: May 2020

End Date: Current 

 

Gretchen Stokes: Assessing the Risk and Resiliency of the World's Inland Fisheries

Small-scale fisheries are important contributors to global food security and poverty alleviation. However, unlike marine fisheries, there is no standardized method to monitor and assess the status of inland fisheries. Gretchen is working with NCASC Research Fish Biologist Abby Lynch and a team from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to create an assessment tool to evaluate the threats and adaptive capacity of all major inland fisheries globally. She will identify priority contributors of fisheries, including georeferenced physical and biological factors, as well as human and consumption data, and use these to build an assessment framework. Input in such an assessment by fisheries officials over time will contribute to a greater understanding of trends in global inland fisheries and priority hotspots. In addition, Gretchen is working on a collaborative project with NCASC and ReelSonar, Inc. to develop and test a mobile application for data collection by small-scale fishers where data are otherwise unavailable. 

University: University of Florida

Department: School of Natural Resources and Environment

Degree: PhD candidate

Start Date: August 2018

End Date: Current

 

Jesse Wong: Assessing the Vulnerabilities of the World's Inland Fisheries & Resilience of Hawaiian Ecosystems: Examining the Impacts of Waterfalls on Native and Non-Native Fauna Movement

Jesse is working with Gretchen Stokes and NCASC Research Fish Biologist Abby Lynch to create a portal that assesses the potential threats, such as mining, harvesting, and agricultural pressures, impacting fisheries in a certain region of a lake. This tool will allow fishery managers and other users to quickly assess the health of the lake and the potential factors that could impact the lake. Jesse is also working with Abby Lynch and University of Hawai’i - Monoa professor Yin-Phan Tsang in attempting to identify waterfalls geospatially and use a landscape approach to assess whether these sites have the potential to inhibit non-native species movement. This study utilizes spatial analysis to infer habitat usage by native and non-native species. These results with highlight the role of how the Hawaiian islands may have some inherent mechanisms to make aquatic systems more resilient to change. 

University: George Mason University

Department: Environmental Science and Policy

Degree: Undergraduate student

Start Date: February 2019

End Date: Current

 

Project Frameworks

 

Ciara Johnson: Climate Change Effects on Ecosystem Goods and Services

Climate change is already affecting and will continue to impact the supply and demand of ecosystem goods and services (EGS) that are important for human well-being. Therefore, it is important to monitor trends and identify gaps in how climate change is incorporated into the assessment and management of these services. This systematic review will provide an updated assessment of  climate change affects to ecosystem services, which may guide management actions and spur future research.

University: George Mason University

Department: Environmental Science and Policy

Degree: Undergraduate student

Start Date: February 2019

End Date: Current 

 

Daria Maslyukova: Species’ Range Shifts in Response to Climate Change: Systematic Literature Review

The volume of scientific evidence documenting climate-related impacts to biodiversity has grown tremendously over the past decade. However, the descriptions and implications of these impacts can vary widely among geographic regions and even within species, which makes defining adaptation solutions difficult. The scientific community needs a formal, testable framework for assembling evidence at multiple spatial scales if we are to construct meaningful hypotheses of biodiversity response to climate change across ecosystems, regions, and taxa. The National Climate Adaptation Science Center is in a unique position to coordinate regional scientific expertise from around the nation and to begin the construction of this ambitious activity. This project aims to establish such a framework, in conjunction with Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers, with the primary goals of assessing the “state of the science” in ways that will be useful to management communities (i.e., identifying mechanisms of species response to change), identifying areas of persistent uncertainties (i.e., research needs and data gaps), and providing adaptation strategies based on existing evidence. 

University: George Mason University

Department: College of Science

Degree: Undergraduate student

Start Date: January 2020

End Date: August 2020

 

Science to Action Fellows

 

Kyle Lunneberg: Developing a Fire-Risk Web Map and Monitoring Methodology for Southern California Chaparral using Multispectral Drone Imagery

The Science to Action Fellowship program supports graduate students in developing a product that puts science into action, directly applying scientific research related to climate change impacts on fish, wildlife, or ecosystems to decision making about natural resources. Increased fire in Southern California chaparral ecosystems is a projected detriment of changing climate. Planning for increased risk to wildlands and human interfaces requires policy-relevant, understandable representations of current chaparral fuel dynamics. Kyle’s project uses drone-based multispectral cameras to characterize sub-communities of chaparral. He focuses on relating these high-resolution measurements to larger state-wide databases and communicating projections to local land managers. Through a web map, this tool assists fire-enforcement staff in selecting monitoring areas or planning future studies. The cost-effective drone methodology will also become publicly available during his Fellowship year. This methodology is intended for small reserves or students who need high-resolution multispectral measurements but cannot access aerial platforms.

University: University of California, Davis

Degree: PhD candidate

Start Date: TBD

End Date: TBD

 

Lise Montefiore: Mapping Estuarine Vulnerability to Water Quality Change Under Future Climate and Land Use Conditions

The Science to Action Fellowship program supports graduate students in developing a product that puts science into action, directly applying scientific research related to climate change impacts on fish, wildlife, or ecosystems to decision making about natural resources. Estuaries are bodies of water located where rivers meet the sea. These unique ecosystems are among the most productive systems on Earth and provide ecological (e.g., species habitat), cultural (e.g., recreation), and economic (e.g., fisheries, tourism) benefits. However, these systems are facing many adverse impacts. In particular, land use and climate change can alter the quantity and quality of riverine discharges to estuaries, thereby contributing to shifts in estuarine ecosystem health. For example, climate-driven shifts in precipitation patterns in agricultural watersheds can result in an abundance of fertilizer runoff being delivered to downstream estuaries, leading to eutrophication. Lise will develop a national-scale, interactive, web-based data visualization application displaying the vulnerability of U.S. estuarine systems to projected water quality change. The vulnerability map will produce critical information to identify estuarine systems at higher risk of degradation in the future. The product generated from the project and underlying dataset will be made publicly available. The work will be performed over a two-month period at the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center.

University: North Carolina State University

Degree: PhD candidate

Start Date: TBD

End Date: TBD

 

Ecological Society of America Interns
 

Mari Angel Rodriguez: Species' Range Shifts in Response to Climate Change

The volume of scientific evidence documenting climate-related impacts to biodiversity has grown tremendously over the past decade. However, the descriptions and implications of these impacts can vary widely among geographic regions and even within species, which makes defining adaptation solutions difficult. The scientific community needs a formal, testable framework for assembling evidence at multiple spatial scales if we are to construct meaningful hypotheses of biodiversity response to climate change across ecosystems, regions, and taxa. The National Climate Adaptation Science Center is in a unique position to coordinate regional scientific expertise from around the nation and to begin the construction of this ambitious activity. This project aims to establish such a framework, in conjunction with Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers, with the primary goals of assessing the “state of the science” in ways that will be useful to management communities (i.e., identifying mechanisms of species response to change), identifying areas of persistent uncertainties (i.e., research needs and data gaps), and providing adaptation strategies based on existing evidence.

University: The College of New Jersey

Department: Biology

Degree: Undergraduate student

Start Date: June 2019

End Date: TBD