Scientist on a Sphere: Climate Change Science Communication and Education Internship

Start and End Date: 
June 1, 2012 - August 30, 2012

NPS Unit:

Point Reyes National Seashore (PORE)

Project Title:

Scientist on a Sphere: Climate Change Science Communication and Education Internship


Point Reyes Station, Marin County, California

Position Description:

Scientist on a Sphere - During this three month internship, an intern will develop a state of art multimedia climate change communication program for students and the public that utilizes the Science on a Sphere (SOS) ( at Point Reyes National Seashore. The SOS is a “room sized, global display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a six foot diameter sphere, analogous to a giant animated globe. Animated images of atmospheric storms, climate change, and ocean temperature can be shown on the sphere, which is used to explain what are sometimes complex environmental processes, in a way that is simultaneously intuitive and captivating.” Point Reyes National Seashore is one of only two national parks with an SOS, and with over 2 million visitors annually, there is a huge potential to teach visitors and students the concepts and specifics of climate change science using this tool. Climate change related information, data, images and  from park staff, scientists, and other sources will be used to produce a climate change themed presentation that shows global, and especially local, examples of climate change processes, science, and effects. This will likely include examples and predictions of sea level rise, vegetation and habitat changes, storms, temperature, fog, and precipitation changes that may be seen both at the park and in the nearby environs of the San Francisco Bay Area. Scientists and NPS resource managers working on these issues in the park will be highlighted in the Sphere program (hence the project title). The program level will be targeted towards 5-8th grade (while addressing California Science Standards) which is a level that provides significant information to adult and high school visitors as well.

      Near the end of the internship, the intern will work with the interpretation division give pilot presentations using the Science on a Sphere to the general public for later adoption as a long-term park program offered to school groups and the public. Information will also be presented in the program on how teachers, students and the public, can to get involved and volunteer in park conservation activities that may help mitigate global climate change (e.g., re-vegetation projects).

     The overall goals of the program are scientific understanding of earth systems processes, illustration how these processes manifest themselves at global and local (park level) scales, and ultimately how park visitors and students can get involved in climate change mitigation activities at the park.

      According to the intern’s interest, there will be opportunities for occasional field trips to experience a variety of ecosystems and species that may be affected by climate change (e.g., Spotted Owls, Snowy Plovers, seals, and forest and rocky intertidal systems).

Learning goals:

The intern will: (1) learn the science of global climate change; (2) learn global and local effects and predictions of climate change; (3) learn educational communication techniques; (4) learn interpretive program development tools and techniques; (5) gain experience communicating with scientists about selecting and presenting climate change information for students; and (6) learn programming and development skills on NOAA’s Science on a Sphere computer system.


15 – 20 minute Science on a Sphere program for delivery to students and the public.


At least 3 years of college education in science, communication, or related field. Some experience with either InDesign or Photoshop, and either FinalCut or iMovie is desirable. Applicant should have the desire to develop new science materials on state of the art technologies and work with an expert staff to develop a climate change communication program.

Position Dates:

June 1 – August 30, 2012 (flexible)

Housing Available:

Shared bunk style housing is available at no cost.

Vehicle Required:

Vehicle required for travel from bunk housing to park headquarters each day (about 8 miles).

Work Environment:

Work will be in the office and visitor centers at park headquarters. Occasional hiking. Lift up to 20 lbs.

Contact Info: 
Paul F. Dion, SPHR, CPC Director, Strategic Human Resources Program Director, Campus to Careers Internship & Fellowship Programs National Council for Science & the Environment 1101 17th Street, NW – Suite 250 Washington, DC 20036-4277 202-207-0010 direct dial 202-530-5810 headquarters main 866-302-4978 e/Fax 401-556-0054 mobile [email protected]


Point Reyes National Seashore (PORE) - Point Reyes Station, Marin County, California
United States