Organization Cooperation to Further Biodiversity Objectives

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Sponsoring College, Department, School or Center: 
School of Sustainability
Faculty Name: 
Kailin Kroetz
Preferred Skills or Majors: 

Students with an interest in reserach specific to sustainability and the environment.

Closing Date: 
April 15, 2021
Location or Campus: 
Phoenix, Arizona
Hours Per Week: 

Desired Academic Year: 
Project Description: 

Conservation funding falls short of the amount needed to achieve conservation goals. In the United States (U.S.) many governmental and non-governmental organizations conduct activities that result in protection of land of conservation value. These organizations have a variety of goals and operate over spatial scales ranging from local to global and currently often do not coordinate or cooperate when making decisions about what actions to take. Increased coordination and cooperation offers a potential pathway to improving conservation outcomes.

The goal of this project is to explore heterogeneity in types of stakeholders involved in conservation across the U.S. and identify opportunities to improve conservation outcomes through coordination or cooperation. As part of this project we are collecting and examining organizational mission statements and goals. Research questions that could be explored by interns include understanding heterogeneity of organizational missions within areas or between areas or the potential for increased cooperation among organizations to improve conservation outcomes. Specific geographies and research areas of interest to the current team include fire management in Colorado, protected area management planning and administration in Florida, and engaging agricultural stakeholders to support migratory species corridors in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. However, students are also encouraged to explore geographic areas they are interested in or have specific knowledge of.

Students should expect to gain general research experience and specific skills such as policy review, academic literature review, data collection and analysis, data visualization, and mapping. Depending on student interests and skills, tasks may include:
• Policy review: reviewing local, state, and national policies that can influence conservation outcomes.
• Academic literature review: reviewing academic articles related to conservation.
• Data collection: collecting data on conservation organization mission statements and goals.
• Data analysis: qualitative and/or quantitative analysis of data collected using programs like excel or R.
• Design of communications products: maps and visual summaries or data using programs such as GIS or R.

There is also the potential for interested students to continue working with project team after the internship with the goal of advancing leading or contributing to an academic paper.

Application Instructions and Contact Info: 

To apply email a resume and a cover letter to The cover letter should explicitly address student interest in the project and relevant skills. Up to 3 interns will be chosen to join the project team and decisions are rolling.