National Science Foundation/USGS Internship Opportunities

Invasive Species and Climate Change

The topic of how climate change will exacerbate the impacts of invasive species is at the cutting edge of conservation biology and
applied ecology. We are looking for someone to work with a group of researchers and natural resource managers under the paradigm of translational ecology, producing publications and designing research that will improve conservation outcomes on the ground.

Link to PDF Verison.

Project Hypothesis or Objectives:

A collaboration of researchers and managers are working to address the pressing concern of how climate change will affect invasive
species. There are two next steps in this work. One is to synthesize the effects in the northeast region from the literature and connect these results to management actions and climate adaptation. Another is to consider how the horticulture industry and nursery trade can adjust to these increasing risks from climate change. From either of these research areas there are opportunities for peer-reviewed journal articles with top ecologists, as well as management/public communication documents that could be commonly used and locally targeted.

Duration: Up to 12 months

Internship Location: Amherst, MA

Field(s) of Study: Geoscience, Life Science, Education

Applicable NSF Division: EAR Earth Sciences, IOS Integrative Organismal Systems, DEBEnvironmental Biology, SES Social and Economic Sciences

Intern Type Preference: Any Type of Intern

Keywords: climate change, invasive species, ecology, conservation, management

Expected Outcome:

Short-term ​outcomes ​from ​the ​project ​will ​include ​a ​peer-reviewed journal ​article ​and ​a ​presentation ​to ​management ​stakeholders ​as well ​as ​the ​regional ​research ​community. ​In ​the ​longer ​term ​this ​work will ​build ​on ​a ​network ​of ​research ​that ​is ​looking ​at ​the ​impacts ​of climate ​change ​on ​invasive species. ​Specifically for ​the ​intern, ​they ​will ​get ​an ​opportunity ​to ​develop ​not ​only quantitative, ​climate ​science, ​and ecology ​skills ​but ​also ​skills ​in knowledge ​coproduction, ​working ​with ​stakeholders, ​and ​building contacts ​in ​the ​research ​and ​management ​community.

Special skills/training Required:

The ​intern ​will ​be ​expected ​to ​be ​a ​team ​player ​and ​to ​work ​well ​with their ​supervisor ​and ​the ​rest ​of ​the ​research ​and ​management
community. ​They ​will ​need ​to ​be ​organized ​and ​self-motivated. ​Skills ​in ​ecological modeling and GIS ​are ​​desirable. However, the project could take a few different directions depending on the intern's expertise and skills - there will also be opportunities to work closely with stakeholders and conservation practitioners.


This internship will be based at the Northeast Climate Science Center (NE CSC), which is based on the campus of University of Massachusetts in Amherst. As ​an ​intern ​at ​the ​NE CSC, ​you ​would ​be part ​of ​a ​30+ ​graduate ​student/postdoctoral ​fellow ​interdisciplinary community ​that ​meets ​regularly ​and ​is ​provided ​a ​variety ​of ​capacity development ​opportunities. ​This ​includes ​being ​trained ​in ​techniques of ​knowledge ​coproduction ​and ​actionable ​science. ​You ​will ​be intellectually ​engaged ​in ​discussions ​of ​conservation, natural resource management, ​research ​design, ​and ​ecological modeling. Specific to this project, you will collaborate with scientists at the NE CSC and UMass that have worked together to build the Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change (RISCC) Management partnership ( You will also develop communication ​skills ​through ​daily ​rapport ​with ​direct ​supervisors, local ​natural ​resource ​personnel, ​and ​the ​general ​public; ​and ​likely co- author ​a ​peer-reviewed ​journal ​publication.


Toni Lyn Morelli, Ph.D.

Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center
Phone: 413-545-2515