The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) works to safeguard the earth – its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. We use science, law, policy expertise and the support of 2.4 million members and online activists to protect the planet’s wildlife and wild places and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our staff helped write some of America’s bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, and many of the implementing regulations; our air pollution cases played a major role shaping current clean air policy throughout the country. Today, our staff of about 500 lawyers, scientists, policy and communications experts work out of offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Bozeman and Beijing.
Work is a central element in the lives of most adults, but relatively little is known about the occupational health implications of climate change. NRDC is seeking a two-year, full-time Climate Change and Worker Health Science Fellow who can provide subject matter expertise and conduct multi-disciplinary research and analysis on the occupational health effects of climate change. As part of the Federal Policy team of NRDC’s Climate and Clean Energy Program, the Fellow also will develop broadly accessible communication materials about occupational health and climate change to support NRDC’s community partnerships, public outreach, and advocacy on climate and clean energy policies (including climate adaptation).
Specific topics and projects undertaken by the Fellow will depend on their expertise and NRDC’s programmatic priorities. Some examples of potential projects include:
- Investigating the health implications of severe drought on outdoor occupations such as construction, agricultural, or recreation workers;
- Identifying indoor and outdoor worker populations most vulnerable to wildfire smoke;
- Quantifying the risk of occupational injuries or workplace accidents associated with prolonged work in preparation for, or response to, wildfires, hurricanes, or other extreme events;
- Assessing how the occupational health threats of climate change interact with other socioeconomic stressors and disparities;
- Quantifying health care costs imposed on indoor and outdoor workers by climate-related hazards; and
- Modeling how adaptation measures like an occupational heat safety standard might reduce health harms and related costs, or limit broader economic costs.
The Climate Change and Worker Health Science Fellow is supported by NRDC’s Science Center and its Science Fellows program, which is a key element of the Science Center’s mission to enhance NRDC’s scientific capabilities and provide resources and support for policy and advocacy work. The Science Fellows program provides young scientists interested in working in the science, policy and advocacy arena with professional experience and on-the-job training; it is an excellent opportunity to refine existing skills and build new ones, develop professionally, publish work, and gain important competencies.
The Fellow will ideally be based in our Washington, D.C. office, although exemplary candidates will also be considered for our New York, NY office or our San Francisco, CA office.