Internships and Fellowships

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Geoscience Policy Internship | Congressional Geoscience Fellowship | The Fisher Endowment | Other Fellowship Opportunities

Geoscience Policy Internship

Level: BA/BS or MA/MS

Join the American Geosciences Institute as a Geoscience Policy Intern! The Geoscience Policy program represents the shared interests of the geoscience community in Washington, DC, and actively works with Congress and federal agencies to foster better communication and public policy for the geosciences in areas including water, energy and mineral resources, natural hazards, environmental protection, and federal funding for geoscience research and education. 

AGI seeks outstanding geoscience or geo-related engineering students or entry level graduates (Bachelor's or Master's level) with a strong interest in federal science policy for the Geoscience Policy Internship. Interns will have the opportunity to hone their writing and web publishing skills, while gaining first-hand policy experience and improving their understanding of the legislative and government operational process. Please see the position description below for more details.

AGI accepts one Geoscience Policy Intern for the fall term (September through December), the spring term (January through April), and the summer term (May through August). The start date is flexible and will be determined based on the schedule of the successful applicant. Applicants must be currently enrolled in or recent graduates of a geoscience-related undergraduate or graduate degree program. For spring and fall internships, BA/BS or MA/MS students with an interest in energy and natural resource issues are particularly encouraged to apply, and may obtain credit for the internship from their university where possible. 

Title:  Geoscience Policy Intern

Classification: Full-time, Non-Exempt

Salary Grade/Level: $5,000 for 12 weeks (Summer) / $5,500 for 14 weeks (Spring, Fall)

Location:  AGI Headquarters, Alexandria, VA

Reports to: Program Supervisor, Policy and Critical Issues

Position Objective:  

Learn about federal policy as it relates to the geosciences while producing information products for AGI’s Geoscience Policy program

Essential Functions:

  • Attend in person and/or remotely watch hearings and briefings on Capitol Hill and Federal Agencies
  • Write analyses of policy developments and support strategic policy efforts
  • Attend meetings and events related to policy coalitions that AGI is involved with
  • Provide logistical and administrative support for AGI’s policy efforts, including:
    • Monitoring social media outlets 
    • Taking minutes at coalition meetings
    • Interfacing with congressional, agency, and campaign offices

Other Duties:

  • Write articles for publication in the geosciences on a policy-relevant geoscience topic of your choice
  • Other duties as assigned

Work Environment & Physical Demands:

Work is largely in an office setting with long periods sitting/standing at a desk. Travel into DC for meetings, briefings, hearings, or other events 1-2 times per week.

Required Education & Experience:

  • Current undergraduate or graduate student, or entry level graduate, in the geosciences or geo-related engineering
  • Demonstrable interest in public policy – no prior policy experience required
  • Strong writing and communication skills
  • Ability to work collaboratively and respectfully with others
  • Ability to complete assignments in a fast-paced work environment

Preferred Education & Experience:

  • Some familiarity with Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop), html and web editing, and social media (Twitter).

Employee must be legally eligible to work in the United States.

AGI provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or protected Veteran status.

Spring Geoscience Policy Internship - Applications Open: August 1 / Application Deadline: October 25

Summer Geoscience Policy Internship - Applications Open: October 16 / Application Deadline: March 1

Fall Geoscience Policy Internship - Applications Open: February 1 / Application Deadline: April 15

Application Instructions:

  1. Send a PDF of your cover letter, most recent college transcript (unofficial is OK), and any references or other pertinent documents to: internships@americangeosciences.org.
  2. Make sure the subject line contains: Your name, the type and term you are applying for. For instance: Smith - Policy Fall 2020

If you have questions, please send them to Christopher Keane (keane@americangeosciences.org).

View past intern profiles here.


William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellowship

Level: Ph.D. 

This fellowship represents a unique opportunity to gain first-hand experience with the legislative process on Capitol Hill. The successful candidate will spend 12 months (starting September 1, 2019) in Washington, D.C., working as a staff member in the office of a member of Congress or congressional committee. Fellows make practical contributions to the effective and timely use of geoscientific knowledge on issues relating to the environment, resources, natural hazards, and federal science policy.

Funding for the fellowship is provided through an endowment established by the AGI Foundation to honor William L. Fisher, the Leonidas T. Barrow Centennial Chair in Mineral Resources and Professor at the John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas, Austin. For more information please see The Fisher Endowment

This one-year fellowship carries an annual salary of $68,000, relocation and travel funds, plus a full benefits package including health, dental, and vision insurance, and a 403(b) plan.

Qualifications:

Prospective applicants should have a broad geoscience background and excellent written and oral communication skills. Although prior experience in public policy is not necessary, a demonstrable interest in applying science to solving public problems is desirable. A Ph.D. in geosciences, or a master's degree in geo-related engineering plus three years of professional engineering experience, is required by the time of appointment. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or already eligible to work in the United States. Individuals who are federal employees, active duty military, or foreign service personnel at the time of the application deadline are not eligible to apply. Applicants must also be a member of one of AGI's member societies, a list of which is available here.

To apply, interested candidates must submit the following materials as a single document - Word (.doc or .docx) or PDF (.pdf) - using the instructions below by the deadline on February 2, 2020.

  • A cover letter - The candidate's cover letter should include an addendum listing the society memberships with membership numbers, and the names and contact information of your three references. 
  • A statement of purpose - The statement of purpose should include your reasons for applying for this Fellowship, what you would bring to the Fellowship, and what you hope to gain from the Fellowship. It should be brief, no more than 1000 words in length.
  • A curriculum vitae

Applicants must also provide three letters of reference. Letters of reference should be submitted by the application deadline using the instructions below or by regular mail to the address below.

American Geosciences Institute
ATTN: Fisher Fellowship
4220 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22302

William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellowship - Applications Open: October 16 / Application Deadline: February 2

Application Instructions:

  1. Send a PDF of your cover letter, statement of purpose, and curriculum vitae to: fellowships@americangeosciences.org.
  2. Make sure the subject line contains: Your name, the type and term you are applying for. For instance: Smith - Fisher 2020
  3. For letters of reference, please have them emailed directly to fellowships@americangeosciences.org with a subject line indicating a letter of reference and your name.  For instance: Smith - Letter of Reference

If you have questions, please send them to Christopher Keane (keane@americangeosciences.org).

View past fellow profiles here

The Fisher Endowment:

Funding for the fellowship is provided through an endowment established by the AGI Foundation to honor William L. Fisher, the Leonidas T. Barrow Centennial Chair in Mineral Resources and Professor at the John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas, Austin. Fisher served as the inaugural Dean and previously as the Director of the Jackson School. For three decades before that Fisher served as the Director of the Bureau of Economic Geology and the state geologist of Texas. At the national level, Fisher served as the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Energy and Minerals under President Ford. Over several administrations, he has been advisor to the President and Secretaries of Energy and the Interior, and he has chaired numerous National Research Council committees and boards. For more information on Fisher and the endowment, please see the column "Endowing the AGI Congressional Fellowship" that appeared in the October 2003 issue of Geotimes Magazine. 


Other Fellowship Opportunities:

Several of AGI's member societies also sponsor congressional science fellowships. For more information please contact:

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Institute of Physics, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and other related societies offer similar Congressional Fellowships, and AAAS also offers Executive Branch Fellowships. It is acceptable to apply for a position with more than one society in a given year.