Summer 2014 Cornell Iscol Intern: Agriculture Greenhouse Gas Markets, LWW
EDF’s Land Water and Wildlife (LWW) Program
EDF’s LWW Program works to show how we can meet human needs for food, water, and shelter from extreme events in ways that simultaneously increase ecosystem resilience. To accomplish this goal we work with agriculture producers, ranchers, and forest owners to improve management practices on private lands. We seek to provide economic incentives for these producers to adopt environmentally-beneficial practices, particularly for mitigation of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from their lands.
When it comes to natural resources in this country, we don’t have a scarcity problem. We have an inefficiency problem. Current policies and market failures encourage waste and fail to reward environmental innovation. The result: scarcity and conflict. EDF is uniquely equipped to help fix this problem by accelerating the development of systems that make conservation and efficient land and water management profitable. We believe that such will be critical to helping the nation meet one of its greatest challenges: how to support a growing population without continuing to overspend our precious natural capital.
One of our areas of focus is around fertilizer optimization. Over the past 50 years, farmers have dramatically improved yields — but at a high environmental cost. Nowhere is this more true than with fertilizer. Global fertilizer use has grown by 500%, but as much as half is not absorbed by plants; instead it pollutes water and emits powerful greenhouse gases. As global population climbs to 9 billion, we are counting on farmers worldwide to increase food production — but 20th century agricultural practices are not sustainable.
In addition, EDF has led ground-breaking greenhouse gas protocol development and pilot projects for rice production, rangeland grazing, and fertilizer management to test these incentive opportunities by working with agriculture stakeholders, scientists, and policymakers across the nation. Our goal is to achieve 100 MMT of offset credits from the agriculture and forestry sectors by 2020, worth at least $1 billion in revenue for producers. Our three-pronged strategy is: 1) development of sound science and rigorous accounting for agriculture carbon offsets; 2) promotion of policies to stimulate agricultural carbon offsets, particularly in California; and 3) strategic communications targeting the agriculture sector, the environmental community, the offset buyer community, regulated companies, regulatory agencies and other key decision makers.
The successful candidate shall manage and/or support the Director of Agriculture Greenhouse Gas Markets with the suite of agriculture GHG projects. This person will help set the goals, objectives and strategies and develop and track work plans and manage relationships and collaborating activities with partners, including consultants.
- Under the overall supervision of the Working Lands Director, support the day-to-day operations of 1 to 3 projects, monitor the progress of the projects, assist with liaising to stakeholders, providing materials for workshops and EDF communications, and keeping interested EDF staff updated on relevant work.
- Consult with EDF staff and partners regarding progress and obstacles in achieving program milestones and deliverables; report and make recommendations to Director regarding progress, obstacles, and resource needs.
- Track work plan and grant deliverables, draft reports, and work with EDF staff to produce reports for relevant projects he/she coordinates.
- Maintain ongoing partner coordination meeting agendas, schedule and lead meetings as appropriate
- Under direction of Director, manage consultant contracts, including monitoring contract deliverables for timeliness and quality and ensuring that invoices are processed in a timely way.
- Assist Director in responding to requests from the Executive Team, Development, Finance or other EDF departments for information or assistance. Become sufficiently knowledgeable about the scope and breadth of the Working Land program’s activities to participate effectively in science, policy, and communications discussions.
- Eligible students must have completed two to three years towards an undergraduate Cornell degree, and have an academic or career related interest in sustainability
- Previous academic or work experience focused on agriculture, public policy, environmental economics or environmental markets
- Experience translating social and natural science information into public policy/recommendations. Understanding of technical issues in agriculture and climate science and ability to translate technical topics to lay audiences in ways that transfer understanding and public policy implications.
- Highly proficient in MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
- Excellent interpersonal skills and professional manner
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Must be well organized, motivated, detail-oriented, and able to multi-task in a high-pressure, dynamic environment
- Ability to work in a team setting or independently
- Demonstrated initiative and problem solving skills
- Interest and/or experience in environmental advocacy and/or policy preferred
10 weeks during the summer
Full-time (35 hours/week)
Due to the volume of employment applications and queries received, EDF is unable to respond to each application individually. Applicants will be contacted directly if selected as a candidate.
Environmental Defense Fund is an Equal Opportunity Employer