National Science Foundation/USGS Internship Opportunities

Assessing the world's inland fisheries

Inland fisheries are important contributors to global food security and poverty alleviation. However, there is no standardized method to monitor and assess the status of inland fisheries.  The goal of this project is to assess the vulnerability and resiliency of all major inland fisheries globally through the creation of an interactive assessment tool to be used by fisheries managers.

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Project Hypothesis or Objectives:

Inland 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 and thus far, global assessments of inland fisheries have not been feasible. Without assessments, it remains difficult track the effects of climate change, land use and human development on fisheries and prioritize conservation areas.
The goal of this project is to assess the vulnerability and resiliency of all major inland fisheries globally. This will be accomplished through the creation of an interactive assessment tool to be used by fisheries managers to input harvest data and receive output on the status of their fishery in terms of threats and adaptive capacity. Identification of major influences on fisheries, including georeferenced physical and biological factors, as well as human and consumption data, will be used to build a weighted, systematic 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. This project will be accomplished in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the USGS NCASC.

Duration: Up to 12 months

Internship Location: Reston, VA

Keywords: Biology/microbiology/biochemistry, Climate Change, Computer/Data Science, Ecology/Ecosystems, Modeling, Population Dynamics

Applicable NSF Division: BIO (Environmental Biology, Molecular & Cellular Biosciences, Biological Infrastructure, Integrative Organismal Systems)

Intern Type Preference: Any Type of Intern

Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Create a systematic approach for a decision-tree and weighted value assessment system
  • Develop an assessment tool to be used by fisheries managers globally to input data from their country’s fisheries and provide output information on the current state of their fisheries
  • Aid research in the area of fisheries management and conservation and impacts of climate change on inland fisheries resources
  • Work with USGS scientists and university partners to integrate outputs of research into science to actin projects ongoing within the DOI CASC network

Expected Outcome:

This innovative assessment tool will improve estimates of inland fisheries harvest globally to inform future management and conservation efforts. Better estimates of the contributions of small- scale fisheries are particularly important in the context of global change. Ultimately, how climate change, human population growth, or land use change will impact small-scale fisheries at a global scale has major implications for global food security, especially in food deficient countries, which commonly rely on small-scale fisheries for food and commercial uses.

Special skills/training Required:

  • Completion of masters in fisheries ecology or a related discipline
  • Knowledge of geospatial information systems (GIS) and geospatial analysis
  • Excellent technical, analytical, computer, organizational, and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work collaboratively and independently

Contacts

Abigail Lynch, Ph.D.

Research Fish Biologist
National Climate Adaptation Science Center
Phone: 703-648-4097