Pandemic Message

COVID-19 Update: For updates on the current status of each opportunity, please contact the Advisor listed, or for courses, check the linked Class Roster page.


Terms and Dates:

  • Summer 2022
One Time Opportunity


Kurt Fritjofson

Cornell Affiliations:

Atkinson Center

Off-campus partner:

Environmental Defense Fund


Opportunity Description

(Important: please see the Requirements tab of this posting to ensure that you submit all necessary application materials.)

Job Title:
Atkinson Intern, Integrated Aquaculture

Program/Department: Oceans Science Team

Job Description: 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: The Oceans Science Team develops new, cutting-edge research that shows strong fisheries management that reduces overfishing and rebuilds depleted populations will support healthier ocean ecosystems and coastal communities, even under climate change. The Science Team identifies and addresses key knowledge gaps, and then develops the capacity to fill those gaps including new science partnerships and internal EDF capacity. The team delivers leading scientific thought on sustainable fisheries, advancing a science robust agenda that addresses gaps pertaining to climate-resilient fisheries and other priority topics including food security, integrated ecosystem management and blue carbon. Working hand-in-hand with the other teams within the People and Nature Program, the Science Team helps to convert science into innovative, practical management solutions.

Overall Function: Many people around the ocean world are looking to kelp and other macroalgal culture as a powerful opportunity not only to enhance local marine resource production portfolios, but to leverage rapid macroalgal growth as a new and potentially large-scale pathway to carbon storage. This could take the form of restoring depleted macroalgal habitats (e.g., China), expansion of algal farms, or both. There are few practical limits other than economics to how much kelp could be grown. The Integrated Aquaculture intern would fill gaps in our knowledge of how to grow and sell seaweed and shellfish products to be grown in an integrated aquaculture demonstration farm in the Philippines to complete a business and implementation plan. The concept is to grow seaweed and shellfish together on Fish Aggregating Devices to multiply benefits without increasing production costs. Some of the shellfish could be sold as value added products with shells removed, and the shells could be added back to the water to serve as habitat and/or to increase buffering capacity to reduce local ocean acidification. Some of the seaweed could be sold into local food markets or export markets for hydrocolloids, while some could be applied to soil as biochar or in other forms to stimulate crop growth, store carbon in soils, and potentially reduce emissions of N2O, a powerful greenhouse gas. The intern would also begin scoping other sites for similar integrated aquaculture ventures.

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 research on integrated aquaculture through literature reviews, database development, expert interviews or other research methods.
  • Support ongoing efforts in key regions working on integrated aquaculture pilots
  • With guidance from supervisor, develop a final report summarizing the results of the research and other key findings
  • Present results to Fisheries and Oceans Program staff
  • Respond to short-term requests for information or research to support other Fisheries and Oceans projects
  • Collaborate to provide resources and education to the Oceans Program team on these topics through trainings, presentations, fact sheets and other methods.
  • Participate in advancing EDF DEI goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values
  • Participate in team meetings and check-ins to solicit input and gauge progress.