The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) and Virginia Working Landscapes (VWL) seek an Outreach and Communications Intern for a funded project examining how global change drivers have impacted local biodiversity and ecosystem function/services in Chesapeake Bay land and seascapes. The intern would work to foster relationships with stakeholders in the region, including conservation practitioners, land and business owners, and scientists at government, non-profit, and academic institutions. We seek someone who is enthusiastic about engaging diverse communities to promote conservation and sustainable land/sea use. Internship activities would include discussions with stakeholders and scientists studying the ecology of the Rappahannock River watershed, organization and facilitation of group meetings, plus blog and twitter posts, website design and management.

The Chesapeake Bay is America’s largest estuary. It connects a watershed containing iconic landscapes from Virginia to New York with seascapes at the heart of the Atlantic coast. Anthropogenic drivers of change threaten the biodiversity and ecosystem processes underpinning the key ecosystem services the Chesapeake provides. We are (1) examining how habitat patch size and connectivity influence biodiversity and ecosystem function, and (2) quantifying the consequences of restoration efforts on ecosystem processes and services. These two questions are being addressed across the ecosystem types that make up the Chesapeake working land and seascape: forests, agricultural land, wetlands, oyster reefs, shorelines, urban lands and ports.

Location, Timing and Compensation:

The Outreach and Communications Intern would be based at SERC in Edgewater, Maryland, with the opportunity for fully in-person or hybrid (part-time virtual, part-time in-person) work. Opportunities for travel to the Rappahannock River watershed to personally engage with local stakeholders will be encouraged.

The internship will be funded for 6 months at $600/week, with the opportunity to extend up to a total of 33 weeks ($20,000 total) based on satisfactory progress. The successful candidate will be primarily advised by Drs. Kim Komatsu, Matt Ogburn, and Amy Johnson. The intern will have the opportunity to interact with the entire SERC and VWL staff, including a dynamic group of PIs, postdocs, and technicians, as well as the broader Smithsonian community through the existing Working Land and Seascapes Initiative.

To apply:

Please send (1) a cover letter describing your previous experience and interests in the project, (2) a CV, and (3) contact information for three references to Dr. Komatsu ( Deadline for application is September 10, 2021. We anticipate an approximate start date of October 15.

Information about the Chesapeake Working Land and Seascapes project:
Information about SERC:
Information about VWL:
Information about the Smithsonian Working Land and Seascapes Initiative:

The SERC community recognizes the value of diversity in promoting innovative science and creative solutions, and we strongly encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply, including non-U.S. citizens. We recognize that each applicant for this role will bring unique skills, knowledge, experiences and background to this position. The Smithsonian Institution is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity, national origin, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital/parental/caregiver status and disability.