Farmer Land Water Use and Salt Water Intrusion Summer Internship

Washington, DC, United States 🇺🇸


Resources for the Future (RFF), an independent, non-profit research institution in Washington, DC whose mission is to improve environmental, energy, and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement (see, is offering 2018 summer internships for outstanding undergraduate and graduate students. Priority consideration is given to graduate students. The program is open to both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens, provided the latter have proper work and residency documentation at the time of their internship start date. Internships are available beginning in mid-May and ending in late August for a 10-week assignment. To meet individual needs, some flexibility in the beginning and ending dates is possible. Students will earn a stipend ($375 per week for graduate students; $350 per week for undergraduates). Housing assistance is not provided.

Each intern can expect to work with one or more RFF researchers on a variety of ongoing projects or assist in the development of entirely new areas of research and policy analysis. Highly motivated candidates in the social and natural sciences with training in economics and quantitative methods, or with a keen interest in public policy, are encouraged to apply. Candidates should display strong writing skills and a desire to analyze complex environmental policy problems amenable to interdisciplinary methods. The ability to work without supervision in a careful and conscientious manner is essential.

Before applying for internships, students should consult the internship description below to determine if they have the suitable background for the targeted area of research.

All 2018 Summer Intern applicants must use RFF’s online application process: to submit their application. Students are welcome to apply for multiple internships, but must submit a separate application for each internship in which they are interested. The following information is required for each internship application:

  1. a cover letter detailing project(s) of interest: please be as specific as possible when describing why you chose the project(s), as well as any related class work or experience;
  2. a resume/curriculum vitae;
  3. a recent transcript (unofficial copies are acceptable);
  4. a writing sample of three to five pages from a recent paper (excerpts are acceptable); and
  5. the name, address, phone number, and email information for two references.

Additional materials (i.e., transcript, writing samples, and references) may be uploaded using the online Resume and Cover Letter options. If you have trouble with the online application system, please try using a different browser. 

The application deadline is Friday, March 16, 2018. Candidates selected for a position will be notified starting in mid-April 2018.

If you have questions about the internships, please email RFF at [email protected]Due to anticipated volume of interest, we will be unable to respond to telephone calls or emails other than the address listed above.

RFF is an equal opportunity employer. Women and minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

We are unable to sponsor visas for internships.


Description: As global sea levels rise, low-lying coastal lands are subject to shallow coastal flooding and saltwater intrusion (SWI) affecting the productivity of farmlands worldwide. SWI also affects nutrient release into adjacent water bodies. This project will research farmer land use response to SWI and economic and policy factors affecting adaptation decisions, with particular focus on modeling crop and land use change in response to increasing salinity and flood risk. The intern will be responsible for co-developing and implementing empirical approaches to modeling crop and land use change along the mid-Atlantic coastal region, using compiled spatial data on land use and factors that affect crop productivity.

Skills desired: Current enrollment in a graduate program; experience with econometric analysis; familiarity with spatial statistics, time series analysis, and/or empirical land use modeling preferred.

Project leader: Rebecca Epanchin-Niell