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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Gain hands-on experience communicating the value of science for solutions to some of today’s most pressing environmental challenges.

Within the realm of ecological and environmental issues, there is a growing need for effective science communicators who can convey discoveries in compelling ways that both increase the public understanding of science and contribute to dialogue and decision-making around science-informed solutions. This fellowship is an opportunity for someone who is excited to make scientific research a more accessible and influential tool in addressing environmental challenges.

Through our Science Communication Fellowship, you can build professional skills and a portfolio while communicating research in ecology and the environmental sciences to scientific and non-technical audiences. You’ll support a team of science communicators from NCEAS and two of its flagship initiatives, the US Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Office and the Science for Nature and People Partnership.

This paid opportunity is open to all currently enrolled UCSB graduate students, with a preference for those enrolled in the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management and especially those in Bren’s Strategic Environmental Communications focus.

Through the fellowship, you will:

  • Gain practical experience in communicating science, primarily through storytelling and web-based platforms (e.g. program websites), to a variety of audiences, especially nontechnical audiences;

  • Build a base of skills in multiple communications techniques, such as journalistic writing, web writing, digital storytelling, and graphic design and communications;

  • Create original communications products;

  • Have the opportunity to lead your own larger communications project;

  • Receive mentorship from science communication professionals.


Tasks could include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Write articles for websites/newsletters

  • Lead at least one significant, self-designed communications project

  • Update and create website content

  • Create outreach materials, such as case studies or flyers

  • Create digital media products, such as infographics and Story Maps

  • Support efforts to track NCEAS’ impact

Desired Qualifications

  • Passion for communications and environmental science

  • The ambition to pursue a career that would benefit from training in science and environmental communications

  • Excellent writing skills, especially an ability to write in an engaging and accessible style. Experience or training in writing for nontechnical audiences and/or journalism is highly desirable.

  • Creative, proactive, and team-oriented

  • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and an ability to meet deadlines

  • Knowledge of, or confidence to learn, digital communications tools as needed for specific projects, including web editing in Drupal and/or WordPress, basic HTML, graphic design (especially Adobe Creative Suite), and video editing.

Time Commitment

This is a year-long fellowship. We expect fellows to commit to the entire year. There could be the option to continue if not graduating when the year is over, with a preference for another one-year commitment.

During the school year (September through June), fellows must work 10 hours per week. During the summer, the fellowship will be full time (40 hours/week).

NCEAS is located on State Street in downtown Santa Barbara. We will expect fellows to work most of their hours in our office. However, there will be some flexibility for remote working, especially during the school year, to be discussed if hired.