Terms and Dates:

  • Summer 2018

Cornell Affiliations:

Atkinson Center


Opportunity Description

Integrated Land Management: Workshop and Internship Program for Graduate Students

  1. Intensive Week-long Workshop: Land Management in Theory and Practice (May 21-25, 2018, Cornell campus)

  2. Optional: Paid Summer 2018 Research Internships with Partner Organizations

Do you work on a topic related to the land – such as agriculture, colonial plant science, biodiversity conservation, water resource management, agroecology, infrastructure, urban planning, property relations, energy or natural resource extraction? Land is fundamentally multi-faceted and multi-functional, and so management draws on a variety of disciplines, skills and knowledges – and yet, as researchers, we often approach our work through the narrow lens of a single chosen discipline, scale or socioecological problem. Cornell’s initiative in Integrated Land Management is offering a weeklong workshop and an internship program to help Cornell graduate students build these skills.

Weeklong Workshop: 

In this integrative workshop, we dedicate one week to developing an integrated perspective and toolkit. We bring together a diverse group of faculty, development practitioners and community members to provide students working on any topic an overview of the latest methods, theories and approaches. This hands-on immersive workshop will feature demonstrations and discussions of Property Law, Geo-Hydrology, History, Plant Breeding, Rural Sociology, Horticulture, Climate Change and Land Use Modeling and Agricultural Economics applied to cutting-edge questions of sustainability, justice, science and economic development. In addition to contributions from a broad range of Cornell faculty, there will also be presentations and discussions with community members and researchers from Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania and India. Participants in the week-long workshop will be organized into small groups to facilitate the application of lectures. This small group method will emphasize active learning as a principle of the workshop, and the small groups will be a key source of feedback on participants’ written work. Time will be budgeted in the schedule for writing and discussion, and each participant will produce a short essay during the week that advances integrative thinking as applied to their research.

Internship Program: 

Our internship program includes the May weeklong workshop, a paid summer 2018 research experience, and a one-day workshop in the fall (date TBD). We plan to fund up to 11 interns to conduct research with our partner community organizations (abroad or domestically) under the guidance of a Cornell faculty member. Students will work in interdisciplinary teams with local community members and organizations on themes related to the May workshop. Project assignments will be assigned based on student interests and qualifications (see description of internship opportunities). We seek applicants with cross-cultural competencies and the capacity to work independently and in teams in unfamiliar contexts.

  1. Land Management to Mitigate Harmful Algal Blooms (New York State Water Resources Institute)

  2. Land Governance in the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve (Keystone Foundation, Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu, India)

  3. Understanding the past and future of forest use, norms and rights in Jharkhand, India (Oxfam India, Jharkhand, India)

  4. Soils, Food and Healthy Communities in Malawi (Malawi and/or Ithaca)

  5. Tentative: Land Use, Distribution and Politics in Mozambique and Brazil (Northern Mozambique or Northeastern Brazil)

Please click on "Apply" to view the full call for applications in Handshake for details of the specific internships.

Workshop and Internship Program Goals: 

The workshop will allow participants to deepen and broaden their engagement with an integrated approach to land management. The experience is designed to provide new insights on the specific questions that structure participants’ academic and professional work and to allow them to contextualize their work in an integrated appreciation of the larger dynamics that characterize land management.


These opportunities are open to Cornell MS or MPS students and early Ph.D. students (1st-3rd year) from any related Cornell program (including but not limited to natural resources, development sociology, earth sciences, engineering, applied economics, law, history, atmospheric and earth sciences, hydrology, soil and crop sciences, ecology, etc.)

  • The May workshop is open to Cornell students of any nationality, including students graduating in May 2018. (Non-Cornell students will be considered as well; please contact us.)

  • The internship program is open to Cornell graduate students who are U.S. citizens/nationals or permanent residents who will not graduate before August 2018. Students graduating in May 2018 are not eligible for ILM internships.

Application Instructions: Applications will be accepted until March 15, 2018. Decisions will be announced by late March.

To apply for the workshop or internship program, please complete these two steps:

  1. Fill out this online application form:

  2. Submit the following documents in one email to program manager Nina Chaopricha at

  • A 1-2 page application letter (M.S. Word or PDF document) with the following information: an explanation of your reasons for applying, relevant prior experience, and career goals

  • A graduate transcript or list of graduate courses taken

  • Your CV or resume

  • For students applying for paid summer internships, please also include:

    • 1-2 writing samples of any length

    • Description of international experience, discussion of cross-cultural competencies, and evidence of capacity to work independently and in teams in less-than-familiar contexts.

    • Contact information (phone number and email, and their relationship to you) for a Cornell professor who knows you and can speak to your ability to successfully complete this research internship program.

Please address questions to Nina Chaopricha at Participants will be selected by a team of Cornell faculty and partners. Selection criteria emphasize correspondence with the call for applications, evidence that the workshop will add value to the students’ academic/professional program, and diversity considerations including student discipline, background and gender. We are committed to diversity and encourage applications from American students from ethnic backgrounds that are underrepresented in agricultural majors in the U.S. (African American, Alaskan Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, etc.)


The 2018 workshop and internship program are led by Cornell professors Wendy Wolford (DSOC), Steven Wolf (DNR), and Todd Walter (ENG). This workshop and internship program were funded in part by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Higher Education Challenge (USDA HEC) Grant (PIs: Wendy Wolford, Rachel Bezner Kerr, Ray Craib, Steven Wolf, Tammo Steenhuis), with support from Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.