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Forest Growth and Climate Change Internship

This internship has closed. To see open and upcoming opportunities, visit the internships page.

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO) are seeking an intern to participate in a collaborative project addressing how productivity of forests worldwide is likely to respond climate change.

The project team will analyze patterns of tree growth and climate sensitivity from 10 ForestGEO sites distributed around the globe using tree-ring, dendrometer band, and forest census data. The internship will be based in the ForestGEO Ecosystems & Climate Lab (led by Kristina J. Anderson-Teixeira), which conducts a range of research with the overall goal of understanding the dynamics of forest ecosystems worldwide in an era of global change.

Learning Objectives: 

The intern will learn about tree growth dynamics and will build experience in the following areas:

  • Characterizing tree growth and its climate sensitivity using tree-ring and dendrometer band data
  • Building skills in data analysis in R and scientific workflow management in GitHub
  • Learning about tree diversity and carbon sequestration of forests worldwide
  • Contributing as co-author or potentially leading a scientific publication
  • Collaborating with a large, diverse team of forest researchers worldwide
  • Gaining exposure to international science and conservation programs through the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and ForestGEO

Candidates should be recent university graduates (earned a bachelor's or master's degree within the past three years) and have coursework and research experience in ecology, forestry, dendrochronology, botany, conservation biology or a closely related field. Competence analyzing data in R and experience analyzing tree growth data are essential for this position.

Experience with dendrochronology, including cross-dating cores, is strongly preferred. Enthusiasm for scientific research, a strong work ethic, attention to detail, and the ability to follow established protocols, work independently and to collaborate effectively as part of an international research team are essential for all applicants.

This position will be compensated with a stipend sufficient to cover living expenses and commensurate with experience. The intern will be responsible for all transportation costs and personal health insurance.
Front Royal
Housing at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute campus in Front Royal, Virginia, will be available at no cost.
Parking at the SCBI campus in Front Royal, Virginia, will be provided.
Term of appointment: 
This is a six-month position, extendable contingent upon satisfactory performance and availability of funds, with a start date between February and June 2020 (earlier preferred).
Application deadline(s): 
Monday, January 6, 2020
Internship Category: 
How to Apply: 

To apply, please email a one-page cover letter describing your qualifications, a resume or CV, and contact information for three references to Erika Gonzalez-Akre at gonzalezeb@si.edu.