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Terms and Dates:

  • Summer 2023
One Time Opportunity


Beth Fox

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.)

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.

Job Title: Atkinson Intern, Agricultural Diversification
Program/Department: Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) Team

Program/Department Overview
EDF’s Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) team aims to lay the foundation for a future in which farms, ranches and forests support thriving communities, help stabilize the climate and increase the resilience of people and nature to the stressors of global change. Guided by science and economics, we strategically focus on pulling levers for systemic change (e.g., policy, finance and environmental markets, collaborative and adaptive processes) to support more resilient agricultural production that generates significant environmental improvements (such as reduced water pollution, increased flood protection, reduced GHG emissions, and land conservation). Within the Climate Smart Agriculture program, the intern will sit in the Future-Proofing Agriculture team, which seeks to help farmers and farming communities thrive in the face of a changing climate by considering climate-adaptive strategies and future climate scenarios.

Overall Function
The intern will work with the CSA team’s crop diversification project, investigating opportunities and barriers in cropping system diversification in the U.S. This work will be done in collaboration with economists, policy staff and social scientists on EDF’s CSA team. We foresee a number of potential pathways to drive implementation of more diverse and resilient cropping systems in the U.S., including developing markets for alternative cropping systems, working with lending institutions to create loan products that support transitions to more diversified cropping systems, removing policy barriers to crop diversification and crop-shifting, and working with USDA’s Climate Hubs and Extension personnel to provide technical assistance to farmers. With the intern’s assistance, this project will seek to identify key pathways to diversification, and barriers to such behavior change.