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Research Project Description

Greenhouse Gas Data System Development and Dissemination
Internship Program Opportunity
Office of Air and Radiation
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Washington, DC

EPA-OAR 2013-02

Project Description:

A postgraduate internship project is available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Air and Radiation in Washington, D.C.

The Climate Change Division (CCD) is one of four divisions in EPA’s Office of Atmospheric Programs. CCD works to assess and address global climate change and the associated risks to human health and the environment. The internship will be served with CCD’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Branch (GGRB). In 2011, EPA collected comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data across the U.S. economy through EPA’s GHG Reporting Program for the first time. This program collects data that accounts for about 85 percent of total U.S. emissions. EPA is working with facilities to verify the data submitted and has developed an easy-to-use online data publication tool that allows users to view GHG data from thousands of facilities in a number of ways. GGRB is responsible for:

  • Developing regulations and interpreting rulemaking,
  • Collecting GHG data to inform policy decisions,
  • Developing and maintaining a GHG data system,
  • Conducting training and outreach to stakeholders,
  • Implementing data through web-based publication tools.

The intern will be mentored by GGRB staff and learn about GGRB’s climate change efforts, with particular attention to the following activities:

Regulatory Support – Utilizing analytical reasoning skills and attention to detail, the intern will be guided through the process of crafting regulation language and interpreting existing rule language. The intern will learn about the team’s analysis efforts and written responses to regulatory language queries. Also, the intern will learn about and have hands on experience with help desk support that provides guidance to users of the data system with technical issues related to reporting GHG emissions.

Systems –The intern will learn how the data management and integration team develops and improves features of the electronic GHG data system to assist EPA in the collection, verification, and publication of GHG data. These features will enhance the existing system and build additional features that provide ease-of-use for reporters. Through creative solutions that work within the existing framework of the GHG data system, the intern will be involved in the team’s efforts to provide intelligent information technology solutions to address reporting requirements.

Implementation – Following the implementation team, the intern will learn how to organize and disseminate data collected by the GHG data system. Drawing upon communications skills, the intern will learn to implement web-based publication tools and ensure these tools represent accurate data. The intern will observe the team verify the data collected and provide feedback on verification checks, while helping conduct outreach and communication with stakeholders. Also, the intern will participate in the development of a website that presents information in an easily accessible and understandable format.

This internship will expose the intern to an exciting program that focuses on collecting GHG data and disseminating the data in a meaningful manner. The intern will be involved with GGRB staff on maintaining a top-notch data system, analyzing complex GHG data, and communicating with stakeholders.

Qualifications:

The applicant should have received a bachelor’s or master’s degree in environmental science, climate change science/policy, science communications, or a related field within five years of the desired starting date. A solid understanding and knowledge of climate change science is desired.

The appointment will be full-time for six months. The monthly stipend will range from $3,792 to $4,117 depending on level of education and experience. 

The program is open to all qualified individuals without regard to race, sex, religion, color, age, physical or mental disability, national origin, or status as a Vietnam era or disabled veteran. U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status is preferred (but can also hold an appropriate visa status, however, an H1B visa is not appropriate). The participant does not an EPA employee.

Technical Questions:

The EPA contact person for this project is Jamie Palmer. Her e-mail address is palmer.jamie@epa.gov. Comprehensive information on climate change science and policy can be found at http://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/index.html.

How to Apply:

The Internship Program for EPA OAR is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). Please reference Project # EPA-OAR 2013-02 when calling or writing for information. For additional information and application material contact: Internship/Research Participation Program - EPA OAR, Attn: Betty Bowling - MS 36, ORISE, P.O. Box 117, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831 Phone: (865) 576-8503 Fax: (865) 241-5219 email: betty.bowling@orau.org.

An application can be found at http://orise.orau.gov/epa/applicants/application.htm.