Lokey Fellow - Oceans Program

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 630 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and results are a way of life.

Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.


Are you interested in exploring a career at an internationally-recognized environmental organization? By joining EDF as a Lokey Fellow, you too can be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and a focus on results are a way of life. The Lokey Fellowship welcomes intellectually hungry leaders to join us, advance our work, and cultivate the skills and relationships needed for a successful career working for the environment. Lokey Alumni have gone on to important leadership positions, both within and outside of EDF.


The Lokey Fellowship program started in 1992 as an internship opportunity. Since then, the Lokey endowment has allowed over 22 interns and 18 fellows to work at the Environmental Defense Fund. Their accomplishments have been far-reaching and some of the fellows continue their work on our staff, including our Asia-Pacific Liaison, a Senior Scientist in EDF’s Office of the Chief Scientist, and EDF’s Vice President for Oceans.


EDF’s Oceans Program is one of the largest, most effective groups in the world working to conserve ocean ecosystems while improving ocean-based livelihoods, with programs in the US, EU, Belize, Cuba, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Japan, and China. Our mission is to alleviate hunger, create good livelihoods, and improve the welfare of hundreds of millions of people by catalyzing better management of the fisheries and aquaculture systems they depend on at the global scale. Our solutions focus on assessment and management of data-limited and governance-poor fisheries, new approaches to coral reef conservation, empowerment of marginalized fishermen, the creation of new demand for sustainable seafood, and the development of financing mechanisms.


The Research and Development Team is charged with supporting Oceans Program staff and partners around the world with the best available science and tools, and with providing strategic and tactical advice. The Team is also charged with conducting research to identify new issues and solutions that will help ensure that the Oceans Program continues to work on the most important ocean conservation problems using the best possible approaches. Current research topics include: approaches for identifying and avoiding coral reef tipping points; management for multispecies fisheries including how to optimize yield, protect supporting ecosystems, and avoid weak stock depletion; the application of behavioral science to ocean conservation; the development of approaches for increasing resilience and appropriate management responses in the face of climate change; the use of technology and data science to solve fishery management problems; and the development of integrated fishery-aquaculture systems capable of producing more food, more equitable economic opportunity, and more profit with lower environmental impact than conventional systems.


The Lokey Fellow will work with the Director of Research and Development to identify a research topic of mutual interest to advance understanding of how fisheries and aquaculture systems interact and how their sectoral attributes and interactions can be improved so as to result in more food production, more social justice, and higher profits with reduced environmental impact, and to identify the enabling conditions necessary for putting such integrated systems in place and maintaining them over time. A case study in a real-world fishery-aquaculture system will be developed based on the principles of integration discovered in the research phase. The Lokey Fellow will be responsible for developing and implementing a research approach in consultation with the Director and subject experts, for contributing to other Research and Development Team initiatives, and for tracking progress and maintaining good communications with the Director and colleagues. Expectations include one or more peer-reviewed publications, internal white papers, reports and presentations, and an implementation plan for the case study with some international field work possible.


This Lokey Fellowship would allow EDF to address the relatively new challenge of integrating aquaculture operations with fisheries systems, which we could not do otherwise due to lack of capacity. The Fellow would conduct original research that will have a positive impact on the global dialogue, which currently casts these two sectors as being locked in a zero-sum game. Changing the dialogue with solid research findings and solutions will be necessary to prepare the ground for changes in policy, business plans, and financing necessary to implement the solutions and realize the benefits in food production, livelihoods, and conservation outcomes. The Fellow would benefit from the experience of conducting original applied research, writing a publications-grade manuscript, and becoming grounded in the practical challenges and experiences of managing ocean uses to optimize benefits by working with experienced scientists and practitioners at EDF.


Reports to: Rod Fujita, Ph.D - Director, Research and Development Team


Overall Function

- Craft and carry out the chosen research project

- Prepare internal white papers and manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals

- Respond to queries from regional and international staff and partners

- Problem-solving with other RAD Team members and Ocean Program staff

- Help develop educational and training materials

- Participation in professional development activities such as language training, training in programming and other technical skills, mentoring, and staff and team work retreats.


Key Responsibilities

- Intake interview to identify career goals, skill development goals, objectives for Fellowship year

- Crystallize research question

- Develop research approach

- Implement research

- Prepare internal white papers, blog posts, and manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals

- Periodic check ins and review of interim work products

- Develop and populate a resource base on the research, findings and products

- Year-end performance evaluation

- Potential travel to participate in training activities and/or for research activities



- Master’s or PhD in marine science, resource economics, social science, or related field (from Stanford University)

- Coursework relevant to aquaculture and/or fisheries

- Independent research experience

- Critical thinking and creativity

- Good time management skills

- Excellent communication skills

- Ability to produce excellent products in high stakes, high pressure environment (at times)

- Field work experience in developing countries desirable



EDF San Francisco office



1-year term



Full-time (35 hours/week)


Application Materials

Interested applicants should attach their cover letter and resume to the EDF application, together with a writing sample.

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.