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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,
NY-NJ Resilience
Program/Department: Climate Resilient Coasts and Watersheds

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: EDF’s Climate Resilient Coasts and Watersheds program works in a bold and collaborative manner to ensure resilient ecosystems and communities along coasts and rivers thrive with water and are safe, equitable and prosperous places to live, work and play. This multi-faceted program deals with the many complex challenges associated with restoring natural systems to create sustainable and equitable communities with improved infrastructure and robust economies. New York and New Jersey’s coastal communities, home to 80% of residents and over 10 million jobs, are vital to the states’ economies. However, they face increasing threats from sea level rise, extreme weather and chronic flooding. EDF has worked for over half a century in this region, since our founding in 1967. As the region confronts deepening climate risks, we seek to advance a resilient future for the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area and build capacity to safeguard the region’s ecology, economy and communities.

Overall Function: The NY-NJ Resilience Intern will provide outreach,organizational, and research support to help advance the program’s near-term strategic goals in the region. In particular, the intern will support policy analysis and development related to land use and infrastructure strategies for flood risk reduction and tracking progress toward a resilient New York and New Jersey, with an emphasis on equitable and natural approaches. This may involve desktop research, interviews with community members and technical experts. The intern will develop a specific project suited to their skill set in collaboration with the supervisor. Students with ArcGIS and/or other visualization experience may have the opportunity to use these skills sets during the internship. The NY-NJ Resilience Intern will gain experience in multiple aspects of policy and best practice development and implementation, from research to policy and engagement.

Key Responsibilities: The New York
-New Jersey Resilience Intern will support research, convening, and outreach to inform research and policy development areas. Specific activities include:

  • Conduct research and outreach to impacted stakeholders to drive input into public comment and policy development, working in particular to support EDF’s participation in Rise to Resilience, a coordinated campaign and coalition of more than 100 organizations representing residents, business, labor, environmental justice, scientists, and design professionals collectively calling on federal, state, and local governments to make building climate resilience an urgent priority.
  • Support a broader initiative to 1) improve the understanding of the near, mid, and long-term trade-offs of different adaptation approaches from an economic, ecological, and equity perspective; and 2) develop a visual and content-rich guide of best practices for infrastructure investment and land use decision-making in flood-prone areas.Students with planning, landscape architecture, architecture, or other design software visualization experience may have the opportunity to focus more on the visualization aspects of this project.
  • Support the development of a “Resilience Report Card” indicators of regional progress towards resilience, with an emphasis on equitable, just, and environmentally sound adaptation. Students with ArcGIS experience may have the opportunity to focus more exclusively on this or a similar project related to mapping social and environmental vulnerability to climate change.
  • Writing and communications support (blogs, reports, fact sheets)
  • Participates 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.