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USFS Tribal Climate Equity Fellowship with the USDA Northeast Climate Hub


The ORISE Fellow will engage in research and collaboration on climate equity specifically for Tribes and Tribal communities. 

Research Project: The ORISE Fellow will engage in research and collaboration on climate equity specifically for Tribes and Tribal communities. The first project will focus on identifying climate equity issues in the region using literature reviews and other research methods. Climate equity ensures the just distribution of benefits from climate resilience efforts and alleviates unequal burdens created by climate change. We will define the scope and scale of these issues, communicate these results to our stakeholders, and collaborate with other scientists, other ORISE fellows, Hub leadership, and partners to determine potential solutions and pathways for achieving climate equity.

This fellow will also engage on our project: “Climate Smart Tools for the Tribal Soil Climate and Analysis Network (TSCAN)”. In 2017, the USDA Northeast Climate Hub worked with USDA-NRCS and the USDI Bureau of Indian Affairs to fund extensions of the automated meteorological stations in the SCAN network onto Tribal lands.  Presently, there are 22 TSCAN (Tribal-SCAN) sites with strong interest for additional sites among the 574 Federally recognized Tribes. The goal of this work is to 1) determine needs for additional climate-smart tools that use data from the SCAN and TSCAN networks, 2) to create tools that address these needs, and 3) to provide education and outreach about the use and value of the existing and new tools.  Two audiences will be targeted in the needs assessment, tool development, and outreach.  The first audience is Tribal members and Tribal staff of the 22 Tribes presently operating TSCAN sites. The secondary audience is current and potential SCAN users such as producers and conservation planners. This ORISE fellow will help engage these key partners through listening sessions and meetings to identify interests and community needs for climate and weather data.

The fellow will engage with Tribes to integrate indigenous knowledge for application to climate adaptation and mitigation related to working lands (including agricultural lands, soil health, forest resources and carbon management). In particular, the fellow’s research and engagement with Tribes will address concerns about the balance and trade-offs of managing Tribal lands for multiple objectives such as forest and farm production, biodiversity, old growth management, and climate mitigation strategies.  The fellow will join an established portfolio of climate equity projects in Northern Research Station providing a focus on Tribal equity.

The ORISE Fellow will conduct research, contribute to the TSCAN project, and engage in coproduction of Hub programming. They will gain feedback from project partners on their research methods, program design, and meeting project objectives. The Fellow will support outreach activities that promote Hub-related projects, research results, and collaborations. The Fellow will also have an opportunity to engage with project collaborators to develop and enhance their network of climate equity subject matter experts. Listening sessions and outreach may include travel.

Learning Objectives: The USDA Northeast Climate Hub is a joint effort among USDA agencies. The fellowship offers daily interaction with leadership, policies and staff of the US Forest Service, Agricultural Research Service, and Natural Resources Conversation Service. The fellow will also have the opportunity to collaborate with Land Grant University partners in our region and other natural resource professionals. Professional development activities as part of this fellowship include delivering presentations, participating in meetings, and engaging in research and outreach projects.

The ORISE Fellow will learn collaboration methods, partner and stakeholder engagement, and project design. Additionally, the Fellow will learn and experiment with various approaches for engaging Tribal partners, Tribal cultural competency and humility, and communicating science to a specific audience.

Mentor: The mentor(s) for this opportunity is Erin Lane ( If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor(s).

Application deadline: 6/7/2024 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: April 2024; start date is flexible (earlier or later).

Appointment Length: The appointment will be for one to two years, but may be renewed upon recommendation of USFS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time.

Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. The current annual stipend ranges for this opportunity are $59,000-$67,000 for Masters and $72,000-$82,000 for PhD.

Location: While this opportunity is remote, there is strong preference for residence in the Northeast region.

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