A State-Federal Partnership Program

NERRS WATCH (Watershed Actions To Climate Health)

“A New England Climate Change Internship Program

from the National Estuarine Research Reserve System”



The National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) is a network of protected areas established for long-term research, education and stewardship. This partnership program between NOAA and the coastal states protects more than one million acres of estuarine land and water that provides essential wildlife habitat; offers educational opportunities for students, teachers and the public; and serves as a living laboratory for scientists.

The objective of the NERRS WATCH ( Watershed Actions To Climate Health) intern program is to provide a framework through which undergraduate students from diverse academic backgrounds may enhance their educational experience through practical assignments related to climate change.

Program participants will have an opportunity to work at the National Estuarine Research Reserve located in Rhode Island (Narragansett Bay; www.nbnerr.org). Interns may also elect to extend their project design to include study sites at one or more additional New England reserves located in Massachusetts (Waquoit Bay; www.waquoitbayreserve.org ), Maine (Wells; www.wellsreserve.org ), and New Hampshire (Great Bay; www.greatbay.org).




Appropriate fields of study may include (but are not limited to): climate science, marine science, wildlife ecology, forestry, botany, conservation biology, environmental engineering, hydrology, geology, science education, environmental education, planning, natural resource science, journalism, public health, political science, environmental policy, economics, communications, marketing, and atmospheric science.

Program applicants are encouraged to design projects taylored to their specific interests and qualifications. Alternatively, applicants may link to specific reserve projects designed to address NERRS strategic plan goals associated with climate change. All interns will be required to generate a science translation product appropriate for distribution to a broad audience (e.g., podcasts, posters, interpretive materials or signage, multimedia tools, models of climate processes, press releases, website/newsletter contents, brochures, etc.) as part of the program requirements.

A broad suite of projects would be considered appropriate for addressing the NERRS climate change strategic goals, such as those designed to:

  • Investigate the impacts of climate change on water supplies, vegetation, wildlife, coastal processes, etc.;
  • Monitor impacts of climate change on coastal habitats (grassland, salt marshes, freshwater wetlands, and forests);
  • Build awareness and improve communication of climate change in New England ;
  • Build alliances to advocate for climate change solutions;
  • Create and disseminate media material on the issue.

Although the intern position is unpaid, a modest stipend and housing is available. Students may wish to conduct this project within the framework of an independent study program to earn college credit. Interns should be able to work a minimum of 30 hours a week for 10 weeks. College students and recent graduates are encouraged to apply.



For general questions regarding the program and application process, please contact Donna Bains via email at Dbains (at) beld.net .

For further information on specific NERRS WATCH internship project opportunities, applicants are encouraged to review the complete application guidelines, visit individual reserve websites, and speak with the NERRS WATCH contact person listed below.

Site: Narragansett Bay NERR, Rhode Island

Contact: Kenny Raposa, Research Coordinator (kenny (at) nbnerr.org; 401.683.7849)



Click here to download the NERRS WATCH application guidelines

Click here to download a NERRS WATCH printable program flyer