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Superstorm Research Laboratory Social and Environmental Justice Internships

The Superstorm Research Laboratory (SRL) at NYU is looking for interns during the spring and summer semesters for hands-on social and environmental justice research. Our goal is to explore narratives about three substantive topics of contemporary concern—inequality, climate change, and urban governance—and their relationships to one another within the context of Hurricane Sandy. Our principal method will be to interview stakeholders from across the city—policy actors in different state agencies, engaged business people, members of relevant NGOs and other civil society institutions, professional and volunteer first responders, and residents in Zone A, especially in the Coney Island Area.

As a mutual-aid research collective bound by a community agreement, SRL is a unique group whose interactions with fellow researchers, interns, and interviewees reflect a commitment to social justice. Depending on the scope of interns’ involvement, they will gain valuable experience within SRL’s unique research collective environment, including research methods, how to collaborate with other researchers using social justice values, interpretation of data, events planning, web design, curriculum design, the preparation of public reports, and other forms of outreach to the NYU community. We strongly encourage you to apply before January 25, though we will also accept applications on a rolling basis.

Interns will be trained in various research roles, depending on the semester hired, including:

  • interviewing stakeholders
  • methods for taking research notes at public meetings and other events
  • coding interview transcripts and public documents
  • interpretation of interview data
  • ethics of research for environmental and social stakes
  • facilitating research meetings using social justice protocols

In addition to research, interns may participate in other key aspects of the project, such as the following:

  • the design and construction of an online archive of the data and public reports that we produce
  • planning public events for stakeholders from around New York City
  • consultation and planning of mini-curricula on Sandy’s aftermath for use in classroom settings
  • assisting in the production of a public report featuring our group’s data, as well as data gathered and analyzed by other research projects around New York City
  • making and tracking contacts with key stakeholders in New York City
  • cowriting research articles

Desired skills (please specifically address these in your cover letter (note, we do not require one applicant to possess them all!):

  • experience coding data
  • experience interviewing
  • excellent interpersonal and communications skills (written and verbal)
  • established interest and experience with environmental and/or social justice work and/or Hurricane Sandy
  • experience with event planning
  • experience with curriculum
  • experience with website creation and maintenance, whether via platforms like WordPress or via code

Dates and Time commitments:
January 26, 2013 – May 2013, and summer of 2013 if desired.

We welcome interns at any point during this time frame. Note that interviews will occur mainly in January and early February, and coding and other tasks will occur afterwards.

Interns will work 1-10 hours a week, with some weeks having much heavier work loads than others. We will attempt to accommodate your schedule. Note that heaviest workloads will be at the beginning and end of the spring semester.

Please send us your application by Jan 25th (though we will also accept interns during the semester if we have space and work available). In your cover letter, specifically detail which of the above skills you have, what your main area of interest or research is in relation to Hurricane Sandy, and your earliest available start date.

Please send a CV and cover letter to both Daniel Aldana Cohen at and Max Liboiron at

This is an unpaid position, though travel and other needed resources will be covered. Pending future grants, interns may potentially to become part of the paid research team.

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One Comment
  1. Reblogged this on Geography 430 @ Texas A&M University.

    January 26, 2013

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