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Wintersession Internships for Harvard Students

November 17, 2021
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4 Harvard students stand on top of a Harvard Forest research tower in winter

Applications for the 2022 program are now closed. Applications for the January 2023 program will open in late October 2023.

Three, paid winter internship opportunities for Harvard students (graduate and undergraduate) will bring a group of interns to the Forest in January 2022 to 1) explore data results and create data visualizations of U.S. forest cover, 2) advance regional land goals led by Indigenous community partners, and 3) contribute to a variety of Harvard Forest science communiation projects. 

Room and board will be provided for selected interns who are interested in living on-site at Harvard Forest, but a remote/virtual internship option is also available. 

Applications are due by December 1. Full project descriptions and application information can be found on Crimson Careers.

Project 1: Undergraduate Internship - Mapping U.S. Forest Cover

Mentored by Jonathan Thompson & Valerie Pasquarella

Where is forest cover increasing and declining in the U.S.? This is an important question for climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, and many other goals, yet it is surprisingly difficult to answer. This winter internship will support an ongoing effort to compare every major national and global land cover and forest inventory-based estimate of forest area, via an automated workflow using Google Earth Engine. The intern will be responsible for interpreting results, exploring creative ways to present/visualize dataset summaries, and conducting a literature review on existing data products.

Project 2: Undergraduate Internship - Decolonization and Indigenous Land Partnership

Mentored by Nia Holley, Danielle Ignace, Clarisse Hart, Meghan Graham MacLean, Marissa Weiss, with TAs Rafael Viana Furer and Lehua Blalock

What does it mean to be a land steward? What do meaningful and respectful collaborations with Indigenous communities look like, especially here at Harvard? For over a century, the Harvard Forest has pursued its mission of research & education on 4,000 acres of unceded Nipmuc homeland. Today we are working to build a long-term relationship with the Nipmuc People that that ensures that this land and its life-giving benefits are accessible, affirming, and sustaining, and remain so for generations to come. The intern will bring their own knowledge of the cultural histories that compel Indigenous land rematriation efforts, and will contribute directly to 1) an ongoing, decolonization-focused interview series led by Indigenous students, 2) Nipmuc Nation-led land projects in the region, and 3) a set of local resources on decolonization.

Project 3: Graduate Student Internship - Science Communications

Mentored by Clarisse Hart

This 3-week internship will bring a graduate student into the core work of communications at the Harvard Forest. Full-time graduate students (master's or doctoral) from throughout Harvard University are eligible to apply.
With supervision by Clarisse Hart, Director of Outreach & Education, the SciComm Fellow will contribute to high-priority projects including:

  • writing and archival curation to create new website and Fisher Museum content
  • development of a template for a new email newsletter
  • message creation for the popular Witness Tree social media project

Rather than simply contributing to a larger workflow, a major goal of the internship will be for the student to create stand-alone written and multimedia pieces, credited to them, that they can add to their own portfolios.


(Photo of 2019 interns Alexa Rice, Angelique Torres, Julian Rauter, and Amy Li by Clarisse Hart)

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