Gladys Brangman

Terms and Dates:

  • Summer 2018

Cornell Affiliations:

Atkinson Center

Off-campus partner:

Environmental Defense Fund


Opportunity Description
Reform global fisheries practices to produce more food while improving livelihoods and conservation of fish stocks and marine ecosystems as an Atkinson Center-Environmental Defense Fund intern in San Francisco, CA.
EDF's Fisheries Solutions Center provides strategic and technical support to 80+ staff of the Ocean Program working in 12 geographies around the world. The Research and Development Team, part of the Fisheries Solutions Center, is responsible for conducting research to solve problems, developing tools for reforming and managing fisheries, and developing new projects in response to emerging issues.
The Research and Development Intern would support two main projects: (1) an evaluation of the performance of data rich and data limited stock assessment methods with respect to fishery ecological and socioeconomic goals; and (2) testing the hypothesis that aquaculture rights are stronger than fishery rights in nearshore waters and developing a concept for integrating aquaculture operations with fisheries to strengthen stewardship incentives for the integrated seafood production system in order to improve food security and livelihoods while reducing environmental impacts.
Both projects lie at the nexus between science and policy, and both involve the gathering and analysis of data. For the first project, the intern would focus on gathering data on fishery ecological and socioeconomic outcomes (e.g., biomass and yield) and characterizing the stock assessment methods and harvest control rules to manage those fisheries, sampling across regions expected to include both data rich (i.e., collecting sufficient data to drive conventional stock assessment modelling) and data limited fisheries (i.e., not collecting sufficient data to conduct conventional stock assessments).
The intern would then work with EDF scientists to develop a statistical approach to evaluate how well fisheries managed with these different types of analytical methods and control rules achieved their stated biomass and yield objectives. The intern may also be called upon to assist with gathering data on stock - recruit relationships for tropical fisheries as part of a related project to develop better targets and limits for fisheries management for tropical fisheries, as most of the existing targets and limits are derived for temperate species.
The research will help guide the efforts of fishery practitioners working to improve the performance of data limited fisheries around the world; fisheries that are particularly important for food security and livelihoods in the developing tropics. For the second project, the intern would gather examples of cases in which aquaculture and small scale fisheries co-occur and work with EDF scientists to develop an analytical approach for understanding the role of the rights-bundles (i.e., access, management, alienation, extraction, etc) in the displacement of fisheries by aquaculture in nearshore waters which are disproportionately important for food security and livelihoods in some of the poorest communities in the world.
In addition to these projects, the intern will be a part of our research team and as such may participate in shorter-term projects in response to queries or problems encountered by EDF staff working around the world, including the US, the EU, the Caribbean, central and South America, and Asia. These will consist mainly of rapid literature reviews in support of problem-solving at the regional level.

Key Responsibilities:

The intern would be responsible for working with the advisor to clarify research goals and
develop a work plan to achieve them. The work plan may include data capture, data cleaning, data analysis, quantitative analyses of case studies, developing concept papers, and developing manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals. The intern would also be responsible for carrying out literature reviews, applying tools, and preparing memos to answer questions and otherwise support EDF's regional fishery reform teams.

Additional Information:

The Science Intern will work with the Ocean Program’s Research and Development Team, which is
tasked with supporting EDF staff working to reform fisheries around the world by responding to their scientific and technical needs. We also develop tools for our regional staff to use to solve problems encountered in fishery reform, such as the scientific assessment of fisheries that have
limited data. The Internship is an opportunity to engage with a wide variety of scientific, technical, and policy challenges in many different geographical and cultural contexts. Often, intern research contributes to peer-reviewed publications which interns co-author resulting in valuable experience and resume-building. Interns contribute to bridging the gap between academic science and solving important real-world problems.


10 weeks during the summer


Full-time (35 hours/week)


Compensation is $5,000 for the summer.


Rod Fujita, Director of Research and Development
Please make certain to review the Requirements page prior to applying.