Master’s Graduate Assistantship in Climate and Coastal Hazards, Spent Nuclear Fuel, and Public Trust; Cal Poly Humboldt

Cal Poly Humboldt
Humboldt CA
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
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Project Title 44 Feet: Building Public Trust in Responsible Long-Term Spent Nuclear Fuel Management on Humboldt Bay in a Climate-Changing World Project Dates: 08/21/2023 – 05/15/2025 PI: Jennifer Marlow, JD Affiliation: Cal Poly Humboldt, Department of Environmental Science and Management and Natural Resources Graduate Program E-mail: Project Description Jennifer Marlow is seeking applications for one funded Master's Graduate Research Assistantship in the Environmental Science and Management Graduate Program at Cal Poly Humboldt. The project aims to build public trust in the responsible long-term management of spent nuclear fuel on Humboldt Bay in light of increasing climate and coastal hazards through community-engaged approaches. The selected student would conduct research connected to the Cascadia Coastlines and Peoples Hazards Research Hub (or, “the Hub”), a large, multi-state team dedicated to helping Pacific Northwest coastal communities and Tribes prepare and adapt to coastal hazards through research and community engagement. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the Hub brings together groups interested in coastal resilience from Oregon State University, the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, and Cal Poly Humboldt. With the participation of researchers from across the region, the Hub aims to advance interdisciplinary understanding of coastal processes, including subduction megaquake frequency, how tsunamis move debris, best management practices to keep coastal communities connected and protected from hazards, and how and for whom risk governance processes may be exclusionary, while learning from and incorporating traditional and local ecological knowledges. The project will further Hub research by supporting ongoing efforts to strengthen the adaptive capacity of Humboldt Bay communities and Tribes to understand and respond to climate and coastal hazards that may impact Humboldt Bay’s spent nuclear fuel site. The research will examine and respond to potential risks by incorporating best available science (engaging with Hub physical and social science team members) along with information about the diverse identities, worldviews, and values of spent nuclear fuel host communities; anticipating community needs and utilizing local, state, and federal resources; supporting work to build state-wide coalitions of host communities in California; and creating opportunities for participatory and inclusive decision-making. To further these goals, the selected student will work on a team that also includes members of the Humboldt Sea Level Rise Institute and community and tribal partners collaborating with the 44 Feet Project. Benefits ● Student in-state tuition* paid for four semesters while working on the project ● Monthly stipend for time spent working on the project ● Project-related expenses (e.g., travel, equipment) covered ● Skills and training in legal and policy analysis, qualitative research methods, document review, facilitation, conflict resolution, community engagement, coalition building, writing and presenting, and equity-centered coastal resilience policy and planning. ● Ability to connect with an interdisciplinary and diverse network of collaborators through involvement in the Cascadia CoPes Hub, the Humboldt Sea Level Rise Institute, and the 44 Feet Project ● Ability to live and work in the Humboldt region of the California North Coast, home to numerous Tribal nations, stunning natural resources, and recreational opportunities (redwood forests, rocky coastlines, salmon supporting waterways). *Residents of CA, AK, AZ, CO, CNMI, Guam, HI, ID, MT, NM, ND, OR, UT, WA, WY all pay in-state tuition as part of the Western Regional Graduate Program Cal Poly Humboldt is committed to a culture in which all people are welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. We welcome and encourage applications from diverse applicants, and consider multiple aspects of diversity. Cal Poly Humboldt is an Equal Opportunity Employer. To Apply: Please join the following documents requested into a single PDF: ● Cover Letter detailing your interest in the position and your relevant experience ● Resume ● Unofficial Academic transcript(s) ● One writing sample (no longer than 10-pages; with a preference for independently authored student papers, articles, briefs, memoranda, blog posts, public comments, reports, or other job-relevant writings) ● Names and contact information for three references E-mail all application materials as a single PDF to Jennifer Marlow ( with “2023 Graduate Student Assistantship at Cal Poly Humboldt” in the subject line. The Priority Application Deadline is July 10, 2023, at 5pm Pacific Standard Time. I will start reviewing applications on this date. I encourage all interested applicants to apply by the priority application deadline. However, I will continue to accept applications after July 10 on a rolling basis until the position is filled. After initial screening, the student will be asked to submit a formal application through CalState apply ( Cal Poly Humboldt is a comprehensive public university with world-class graduate programs in natural resource management, located on the North Coast of California; with access to mountains, beaches, and the largest old growth redwood forests in the world all nearby. Visit for more information.
Minimum Qualifications ● Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Arts (Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Policy/Planning, Economics, Political Science, Pre-law, Anthropology, Geography, Sociology, Engineering, Design, or related fields) ● Qualified applicants must meet all Cal Poly Humboldt Natural Resources Graduate Student Eligibility Requirements (see prerequisites) ● GRE not required ● Experience with qualitative, legal, policy, and/or social science research methods and/or coursework, or a demonstrated interest in building these skills ● Interest in applied climate and coastal hazards research—particularly at the intersection of physical and social sciences and the science-policy nexus ● Experience or demonstrated interest in collaborative research with multiple community, tribal, state, federal, NGO, private, and academic partners ● Strong interpersonal, communication, organizational, analytical, and writing skills ● Attention to detail ● Commitment to principles of equity, inclusion, diversity, and justice Preferred Qualifications ● Experience conducting community-engaged research ● Experience with document review, interviewing, and/or legal and policy analysis ● Experience working for or with federal, state, or Tribal governments ● Experience interfacing with cross-cultural conflict resolution ● Interest in publishing research findings in academic journals and presenting at community and academic events
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