Student Interns Made Important Contributions to CSCs Last Academic Year

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Providing education and training opportunities for the next generation of scientists and managers is a priority at the Climate Science Centers (CSCs). These opportunities include internships, research fellowships, retreats, and networking events. CSC interns also provide crucial support for CSC initiatives. Interns and fellows help the CSCs achieve their mission of providing and communicating high-quality science related to the climate change impacts on natural and cultural resources. The following highlights show a glimpse of the wonderful work being done by interns across the country and the wide range of training opportunities at the CSCs. 

At the Northeast Climate Science Center (NE CSC), Carter Tiernan, a Computer Science major, assisted the Northeast Climate Science Center Communications and Outreach Manager from January 2013 until May 2014.  His tasks included updating the NE CSC website, maintaining the mailing list, generating content for the newsletter, and digesting quarterly reports for newsworthy nuggets. Carter also created a web-based map tool to display the location and websites of tribes in the NE CSC region!

Kayla Marchetti, a Communications and Journalism major, also assisted the NE CSC Communications and Outreach Manager from September 2013 until May 2014.  Her tasks included photography for NE CSC events and research activities, interviewing NE CSC Fellows and natural resource managers, and drafting feature stories promoting the research of NE CSC Fellows and how their research serves a natural resource management need.

The South Central Climate Science Center (SC CSC) hosted Grant Williams (left in photo), a student from Oklahoma State University participating in a Research Experience for Undergraduates program, and John Robertson (right in photo), a high school student from the Casady School, this summer. Grant worked on modeling wind turbine wake interactions in order to optimize the production of wind energy on tribal lands, and John wrote a paper on climate change impacts on ecosystems in the south central region for course credit.


The SC CSC also hosted a 3-week summer undergraduate internship opportunity for ten students of underrepresented minorities interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields (for example, anthropology, civil engineering, computer science, meteorology). Interns were involved in hands-on activities related to climate research that allowed them to see the direct impacts of climate variability and change on forest ecosystems in Oklahoma, coastal areas in Louisiana, and the Texas Hill Country. Internship participants traveled across the South Central United States to visit university campuses and field locations and worked side-by-side with researchers. The interns spent one week with the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, one week with Louisiana State University, and one week with Texas Tech University. In addition, the interns learned basic videography skills and captured still and video footage to contribute to a short 3-5 minute teaser that will encapsulate the internship experience.

The Southeast Climate Science Center (SE CSC) also had the privilege of hosting a student intern this summer. Paige Breen (photo at right), a rising junior at Yale University, spent a good part of the summer working on a number of important projects for the SE CSC. She also exemplifies the terrific talent and energy of a young person interested and committed to the challenges of global change. She is studying the intersections of climate change and energy systems from the scientific, political and legal angles. She had an important hand at fine-tuning the new Global Change Monitoring Portal, drafting text for factsheets, and interviewing some of our scientists on their recently completed projects. She says her experience this summer made her want to hone in on more physical science for her undergraduate work as well as giving her a glimpse of the broad array of possible careers in the field of climate change! Be sure and read the interview with Paige and her experience working at the SE CSC this summer.

The CSCs are very fortunate to work with such great students and early career researchers and we look forward to continuing these opportunities in the future!