Sustainability Fellowship: Climate Adaptation Information for Fishing Communities

Website UNH Sustainability Institute

The following position is one of 21 Fellowships offered by the Sustainability Fellows program at UNH, and hosted by organizations throughout New England.  See our website for more information on all 21 fellowships:

Sustainability Fellowship

Climate Adaptation Information for Fishing Communities

Gulf of Maine Research Institute

Portland, ME

via UNH Sustainability Fellows Program



The Gulf of Maine Research Institute is leading a Northeast-wide assessment of climate vulnerability (based on temperature-driven shifts in species of importance to fisheries) and adaptation options for fishing communities.  In four communities (Stonington, ME; Portland, ME; New Bedford, MA; Point Judith, RI), we are working closely with fishing industry and municipal leaders to understand how fisheries have been affected by and adapted to past changes, identify potential climate adaptation strategies, evaluate the relative benefits of different adaptation options using economic models, and deliver results back to the community.  This information will provide a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities that will influence the sustainability of fishing communities as they are affected by climate change.


For the four focus ports, we will develop community-specific reports to synthesize and convey project results and contextual information in a form that will be useful for future discussions and adaptation planning efforts.  The fellow will be responsible for working with the mentors to design and develop these reports, including writing, graphics and layout.  The fellow will produce a full prototype for one community (Portland, ME) and draft parts of reports for the other three communities.  In addition, the fellow will be involved in vetting a report draft with fishermen and municipal officials and incorporating their input into revisions.



·      Prototype draft of report on climate vulnerability and adaptation strategies for fisheries in Portland, ME

·      Draft portions of reports for Pt. Judith, RI; New Bedford, MA; and Stonington, ME

·      Synthesis of end-user input on draft of Portland report to shape revisions and help guide remaining reports



This project will provide foundational information for climate adaptation planning in marine fishing communities.  It draws on species vulnerability assessments and social resilience indicators that the National Marine Fisheries Service is developing nationwide, but our project helps tailor these results to local decision-making scales.  We are piloting this approach in the Northeast but plan to collaborate with researchers in other regions of the U. S. and world to replicate and extend it to additional areas.  As such, contributions to this project will shape long-term efforts to support resilience and sustainability of marine fisheries in rapidly changing ecosystems.


Location: Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Portland, ME

Time commitment:  40 hours per week, June 4-August 17, 2018

Compensation: $6,000 stipend


Desired Qualifications:

·      Communications background or experience communicating and synthesizing science-based information to decision-makers

·      General understanding of ecology, economics, and climate change impacts and adaptation

·      Understanding of marine fisheries, and ideally of the unique nature of fisheries in New England—or eagerness to learn quickly about these topics

·      Strong writing skills

·      Well organized and able to work independently

·      Capable of interpreting scientific outputs and interacting productively with those who produce them

·      Comfortable interacting with a wide range of potential end-users (e.g., fishermen, fishing industry participants, municipal officials)

·      Proficient in Word, Excel, and Illustrator


UNHSI Sustainability program eligibility:

Graduate students, exceptional undergraduate students, and recent graduates are eligible. We will encourage, but not require, an academic sponsor or reference for each fellow, and where possible we will ask that course credits are awarded.


Supervision, Training, Mentoring and Evaluation:

This fellow will receive supervision from Kathy Mills (Research Scientist) and Mary Hudson (Project Manager, Fisheries Technical Assistance Program) at GMRI, as well as mentoring and extensive professional development offerings from UNHSI.


Fellows will be expected to participate in the following MANDATORY events:

·      A three-day, two-night orientation in Durham, NH, May 29-31.  Lodging and meals will be provided.  A limited number of travel scholarships will be available to assist with transportation to Durham.

·      Weekly webinars during the course of the 10-week fellowship.

·      Midterm project presentations to UNHSI staff, faculty and relevant project partners in Durham, NH, July 12.  Travel support provided.

·      Final project presentations to UNHSI staff, faculty and relevant project partners in Durham, NH, August 10.  Travel support provided.


Apply by February 14 at




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