The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is undergoing an agency-wide transformation to solve complex water resources challenges while providing the public with flood risk, restoration, and navigation benefits, using less time and funding than in the past, under a risk management paradigm. Part and parcel to “revolutionizing civil works” is rapidly changing policies and procedures, delegation of decision making and a more concerted effort to integrate the vertical team (from the field through the Headquarters in Washington, D.C.). The South Pacific Division provides leadership through this change by facilitating the sharing of information and lessons learned; training staff; and working with our Headquarters office to interpret policy and provide guidance to the field. Much of this work entails research (finding information, speaking with experts, compiling data), analyzing and distilling information, developing courses of action and communicating direction. The intern would assist the Planning and Policy Division in any, or all, of these facets.
Anticipated tasks include:
Assisting the Planning and Policy Division with delivering a regional Planning Community of Practice workshop. Primary responsibilities include: preparation and review of materials; coordinating with speakers; observing the workshop; delivering a presentation, as appropriate; assisting with on-site logistical requirements; and participating in a post-workshop summary, gathering the input into a report and presentation identifying agreed upon actions and suggestions for improvement. The workshop will be held in the Albuquerque District area of responsibility (specific location TBD) from June 24 – 28.
Assisting Ms. Cindy Tejeda with a revamp of course materials, including an update of the site visit and case study for the Planning Associates Integrated Water Resources Management course in a location TBD. The vision of the Planning Associates Program is to develop and sustain a national network of agile and informed planning leaders who are capable of solving the nation's most complex water resource issues. For the past two years, this course has been held in Los Angeles, California. Recent changes to the program, however, have changed this one year program to a two-year delivery cycle with overlapping cohorts. (The next course will be offered in 2020.) Along with the timing change is an expectation for this course to be co-located with the Ecosystem Restoration course, which has traditionally been held in the Mississippi Valley Division. The challenge is to identify a suitable, single location for both courses and then adjust accordingly. Thus, if the course is moved out of Los Angeles, the intern will assist with identifying a worthwhile watershed planning effort (or efforts) in other locations; coordinating with sponsors, stakeholders, NGOs and interest groups for that watershed; and updating the site visit logistics and case study materials.
Assisting Dr. Deanie Kennedy in working with senior environmental leadership at each of the four Districts within SPD to develop a communication plan directed at environmental resource agencies with which the Corps works closely (e.g., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, California Coastal Commission). Risk-informed decision-making sometimes means that the Corps is characterizing the risk and uncertainty of its analyses with a level of technical detail that is not preferable to resource agencies. Primary responsibilities include: gathering information from past environmental documentation, assessing the level of detail used to draw conclusions on environmental impacts, and preparing recommendations related to communicating risk and how it relates to environmental compliance, especially in regard to the different needs of resource agencies.
Assist Ms. Cindy Tejeda in a review of the Tribal Partnership Program (TPP). SPD has a large tribal program, and while significant progress has been made on two studies, several others have stalled for various reasons. Primary responsibilities for this project include: interviews with study team members and tribal members, as appropriate, to understand past study decisions related to scoping, application of relevant policies and communications with tribal sponsors; review of draft reports; participation in milestone conferences; and preparation of a 3-5 page white paper outlining best practices (successes) and areas of risk (challenges) in the TPP program, with suggestions for managing those risks in the future.
- Prepare and review materials for a regional Planning Community of Practice workshop.
- Revamp course materials
- Develop communication plan for environmental resource agencies
- Review the Tribal Partnership Program.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Research skills
- Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
- Enthusiam for learning new things and ask for help when appropriate
- Interest in water resources
Desired skills: Specialized areas of emphasis or study that will add value and help meet SPD’s goals. For example, the 2018 intern had training in desktop publishing which helped our team in numerous ways and exceeded our expectations. Other areas of knowledge, skills and abilities are welcome!
All undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for this opportunity. Motivated students from any major or background are welcome to apply but specifically engineering majors, environmental policy, physical sciences, social sciences, life sciences, economics, archeology, or anthropology.
Due to restrictions with federal government clearance, applicants must be U.S. citizens.