USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station

justineh

PICS Organization Name
USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station

City/State
Asheville, North Carolina

Organization Description

The USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station is part of the nation’s largest forestry research organization. Our 100 scientists, and around 300 employees total, focus on environmental and social research that provides landowners, managers, and policy makers with the knowledge and tools they need to sustainably manage our county’s forests and natural resources.

Our work stretches across a region of 13 states, from Virginia south to Florida and west to Kentucky and Texas. We are dedicated to scientific discovery, developing and applying new techniques and technologies, and meeting the needs of our customers and stakeholders.

Our Communication Resources group publishes, promotes, and shares southern forest research in a variety of compelling formats to connect essential audiences with relevant information for the future. Interns help us pilot new approaches, keep our science communications content timely and relevant, and add an innovative perspective on how we promote our science and how to reach university audiences.

Internship Description 

Interns with our Station’s Communication Resources group will gain a deeper understanding of federal science programs in general and the research priorities and forest management practices within the Forest Service specifically. They will expand their knowledge of forestry science, including ecology, forest health, silviculture, wildlife biology, and more. The interns will interview scientists and join them in the field to observe and assist with field experiments. They will then summarize this research in articles for the online science magazine, CompassLive. Recent interns have published several articles during their ten-week experience, adding valuable accomplishments to their resumes.

Over the summer, the interns will develop and hone their science writing, editing, and communication skills. They will contribute social media content and learn how our staff develop messages across different platforms to reach diverse audiences. They will become familiar with our Station’s public and legislative affairs programs and may have an opportunity to contribute to briefing papers or other synthesis documents. Their internship culminates with an independent project. Past interns have synthesized current research on a topic of interest, developed factsheets for a research project, or assisted scientists with preparing a manuscript.

In 2021, we will celebrate 100 years of Forest Service research in the South. This Centennial will offer unique opportunities to learn about the history of southern forest research and contribute to a number of programs to recognize and commemorate the people, places, and projects that have helped to shape this legacy.

Weekly Stipend # of Weeks Required Dates Start Time End Time Housing Provided? Public Transportation? Certificate Requirement? Can be Remote?
$450 10 5/28/21 - 8/28/21 8:00 am 4:30 pm No Yes No Yes

Internship Qualifications

Interns with our Station’s Communication Resources group will gain a deeper understanding of federal science programs in general and the research priorities and forest management practices within the Forest Service specifically. They will expand their knowledge of forestry science, including ecology, forest health, silviculture, wildlife biology, and more. The interns will interview scientists and join them in the field to observe and assist with field experiments. They will then summarize this research in articles for the online science magazine, CompassLive. Recent interns have published several articles during their ten-week experience, adding valuable accomplishments to their resumes.

Over the summer, the interns will develop and hone their science writing, editing, and communication skills. They will contribute social media content and learn how our staff develop messages across different platforms to reach diverse audiences. They will become familiar with our Station’s public and legislative affairs programs and may have an opportunity to contribute to briefing papers or other synthesis documents. Their internship culminates with an independent project. Past interns have synthesized current research on a topic of interest, developed factsheets for a research project, or assisted scientists with preparing a manuscript.

In 2021, we will celebrate 100 years of Forest Service research in the South. This Centennial will offer unique opportunities to learn about the history of southern forest research and contribute to a number of programs to recognize and commemorate the people, places, and projects that have helped to shape this legacy.

Former Interns
Ivan Garcia '23, Casey Conrad '21, Megan Bequette '22, Naomi Cohen-Shields '20, Kiley Coates '20

Evaluation Excerpt

Not only did we learn a staggering amount scientifically (by researching and discussing science with the actual scientists that did the work), but the Forest Service is also affecting positive social change by providing science and natural space for American citizens, without discrimination. In addition, the interns were able to listen to a few calls dealing with racial obstacles within the organization, which shows that they are actively trying to remediate any social problems that exist within the organization.-- Casey Conrad '21

My PICS internship this summer allowed me an opportunity to explore my interest in environmental science despite not having had much training or experience in the field. As a result, I now feel more empowered to pursue avenues like environmental law and activism. 
—Mim Ra Aslaoui '18

Being an intern here really opened my eyes to environmental issues and the Communications team showed the importance of how scientific information is disseminated to communities.
—Kiley Coates '20

I connected a lot with its mission of providing the best science possible to preserve our country's forest for future generations. That's what it's all about. It strengthens my goal of being a science communicator, in some shape or form. —Remi Shaull-Thompson '19