A 75-hour summer research assistantship is available for a Tufts undergraduate student interested in contributing to a climate change adaptation plan currently being developed for a coastal community (Exeter, New Hampshire). This project, conducted in collaboration with the University of New Hampshire and the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, aims to demonstrate a process for identifying long-term planning options for coastal communities facing the uncertainty of climate change. The town is seeking assistance with making decisions about long-term infrastructure projects that take into account the uncertain impacts of climate change. For example, how do increased flooding hazards from climate change affect their decision regarding where to locate a new wastewater treatment plant? What is the economic value of the riverfront land where a popular commercial street lies? This work will involve accounting for direct and indirect costs of flood hazards from rivers, urban drainage networks and coastal storm surge. It will also take environmental impacts, namely water quality, into account. In addition to practicing standard cost-benefit analysis methods, the student will gain some experience with modified methods that take future uncertainty into account. This work will also contribute to the dissertation research of Jory Hecht, a Ph.D. student in both the Water Diplomacy program and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tufts University. Students are encouraged to use this internship as an opportunity for launching a senior project or another independent study.
Compensation and Logistics:
The compensation for this small internship based at the Medford campus of Tufts University is $10/hour ($750 total). This research is funded from part of a Tufts Institute of the Environment Ph.D. fellowship grant awarded for the 2014-15 academic year. Work schedule is flexible, but would generally be completed at a rate of 5-15 hours per week and can be distributed over a period from May through August. There may be occasional opportunities to travel to New Hampshire and meet with other project team members as well as community stakeholders, who are a central part of this project.
Students should be comfortable with quantitative analysis, Microsoft Excel® and Internet-based research. Coursework or experiences with economics (especially cost-benefit analysis, engineering economics and environmental economics), probability and statistics, hydrology and land use planning are desired. Students who are not majoring in economics but have coursework or other experiences with economic analysis are strongly encouraged to apply. Past research experiences are also a plus.
If interested, please contact Jory Hecht at Jory.Hecht@tufts.edu and send a short cover letter and résumé. Promising candidates will be contacted to schedule on-campus interviews as soon as possible.