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Terms and Dates:

  • Summer 2021
One Time Opportunity


Carrie Young

Cornell Affiliations:

Atkinson Center

Off-campus partner:

Environmental Defense Fund


Opportunity Description

Job Title: Climate and Fisheries Intern
Program/Department: Global Initiatives
Reports toJeff Young

Are you interested in exploring a career at an internationally-recognized environmental organization? By joining EDF as an Intern, you too can be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and a focus on results are a way of life. EDF’s Internship Program welcomes intellectually hungry leaders to join us, advance our work, and cultivate the skills and relationships needed for a successful career working for the environment. Alumni of our Internship Program have gone on to important leadership positions, most notably our own President, Fred Krupp. Could you be the next Fred Krupp? 

EDF offers internships and fellowships for students and recent graduates in a variety of programs and departments throughout the organization. The ultimate goal of our internship and fellowship program is to provide high-quality experiences (including relevant projects and opportunities for networking) that form the foundation for any individual who is serious about pursuing an environmental career.

Program/Department Overview

Healthy oceans are the lifeblood of our planet. But they’re in peril – from climate change, overfishing, habitat destruction and other threats. That’s why EDF’s Oceans program is working to safeguard the oceans and protect nature, while feeding the planet, creating more secure livelihoods and bolstering more equitable societies for human well-being. One of the greatest threats to the oceans is overfishing, which is why our dedicated team of scientists, economists and fishery management experts are collaborating with partners around the globe to make sustainable fishing the norm. Through our programs in the U.S., Latin America and Asia Pacific, we draw on strong science and economic principles to advance sustainable fishing practices, forward-looking policies and innovative tools that support the health of our oceans and the people who depend on them for food and their livelihoods.

The Global Initiatives team works to develop and apply tools and approaches that will help spur broader change to improve ocean biodiversity, fisheries and human well-being. The team’s initiatives include developing new tools and methodologies that increase the scale and speed of fishery reforms, such as expanding learning networks and promoting stronger global principles and practices to accelerate sustainable fishing, through the Fishery Solutions Center (FSC). By sharing these resources, leading training efforts and collaborating with partners to pilot our tools and approaches in the field, the team is helping to empower fishing communities worldwide with the knowledge and skills needed to ensure their fisheries can thrive, now and for the future.

Overall Function

Ensuring marine ecosystems and the people who depend on them are resilient to climate threats is critical for securing livelihoods and prosperity for coastal communities. But how are community members, environmental managers, and decision makers to manage for a better future in the face of climate change? What types of information need to be collected, what questions need to be answered, and how might decisions be made to balance and address the increasingly complex set of biological, economic, and social needs that come with a changing climate?

The Climate and Fisheries Intern will work with the FSC and Oceans Climate Strategies team to update EDF’s Fisheries Toolkit – a comprehensive set of resources for improving fisheries management – to more effectively incorporate key issues facing fisheries today, including climate change, equity and justice considerations, and food and nutrition security. The intern will support development of new tools and update existing tools in the Toolkit. Key functions include gathering input from FSC, Oceans Climate Strategies, regional teams, and external partners to help assess and identify needs, develop tool prototypes, test tools, solicit feedback and input, and finalize products. The intern will be a fully infused member of the team, supporting broader team projects and participating in weekly team meetings. The Intern’s work will support a critical effort to ensure EDF’s tools and resources account for the challenges facing fisheries and fishing communities around the world.

Key Responsibilities

Tasks will include but are not limited to:

  • Following intake discussions with supervisor to assess skills, interests, and career path, select focal project(s) and develop work plan with milestones and desired outputs.
  • Advance development of revamped FSC toolkit, supporting the integration of topics such as food security and nutrition, alternative livelihoods, and equity and justice.
  • Coordinate and consult with Oceans Climate Strategies team, Oceans regional teams and local partners to solicit input on tool needs and design.
  • Modify and adapt existing tools or develop new tools and frameworks to integrate new topics focused on human well-being, such as equity and justice, food security and nutrition, and alternative livelihoods on human well-being, or develop new tools and frameworks to address such issues.
  • Participate in other research projects to support FSC program priorities, as identified and of professional interest.
  • Develop and share resources for the Oceans Program team, including through trainings, presentations, fact sheets and other methods.
  • Participate in team meetings and check-ins to solicit input and gauge progress.


All EDF Internships are currently remote. The Supervisor for this position is based out of San Francisco, CA office.


10 weeks


Full-time, 35 hours per week


This internship is supported by the Atkinson Internship Program at Cornell University. 

Application Materials

Interested applicants should attach their cover letter and resume to the EDF application.