REPORTS TO: Program Manager, Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy

DATES: August 2019 – December 2019 (official start date flexible)

FLSA STATUS: Part-Time @ 19 hours/week; Non-exempt


Project Description:

The Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy seeks a research intern for the Colorado River Basin Land and Water Indicators Project. Indicators allow us to take a snapshot of the current state of land and water resources as well as to track changes over time. The Babbitt Center is generating sets of indicators useful for communicating important information to policy-makers, resource managers, and other stakeholders. Indicators can help tell stories about places, the people who inhabit them, and their efforts to build sustainable and resilient communities and environments. This project will involve collecting, aggregating, and analyzing publicly available data for the creation of indicators to gauge land and water sustainability at multiple scales. By quantifying and communicating important trends to key stakeholders at scales that are most relevant to them, we seek to catalyze policy evaluation and reforms that improve land use and water sustainability in the Colorado River Basin.  

What You’ll Do:

  • Conduct research on land, water, and urban sustainability indicators for a literature review;
  • Research, collect, and analyze land and water data at multiple scales (local, regional, state, and basin) across the Colorado River Basin (may entail contacting agencies and organizations for datasets that are difficult to locate online);
  • Create graphics (maps, charts, tables, etc.) based on collected data;
  • Organize and manage tabular and geospatial data in spreadsheets, databases, geodatabases, etc.;
  • Present and write about trends, recommendations, and results from data collection activities to internal team for feedback;
  • Learn to create and design web-based ArcGIS StoryMaps, incorporating original graphics;
  • Conduct research to identify indicator subject experts to interview; assist with questionnaire development;
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

  • A relevant combination of coursework and/or project-based experience in one or more of the following fields: geography; hydrology; environmental and natural resources management and planning; environmental engineering; urban planning; public policy; environmental studies; or related field;
  • Basic understanding of – and strong interest in – environmental sustainability issues in the Colorado River Basin, including implications of climate change for land and water resource management;
  • Experience managing, interpreting, analyzing, and graphically presenting tabular and geospatial data;
  • Strong writing skills;
  • Detail oriented, self-motivated, team player, and professional demeanor with strong communication skills and a positive attitude;
  • Strong organizational and time management skills with the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Experience conducting independent research involving environmental data collection, quantitative analysis, and a written report or publication presenting the results;
  • Familiarity with the concept of indicators for measuring and tracking changes in natural and social phenomena over time, especially related to sustainability assessment;
  • Knowledge of the historical development and allocation of the Colorado River; the major laws and policies that shape present-day water management in the Basin; and the major agencies responsible for data collection and water management;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite; ArcGIS or other spatial analysis software; Adobe suite or other graphic design tools; and web-based services, applications, and/or platforms.

Application Guidelines:

Please send a resume and cover letter to Zach Sugg at For questions, contact Zach Sugg via email or at 602-393-4308.


About the Babbitt Center of Land and Water Policy, a Center of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

The Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy is a center of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, established in 2017 to help integrate land and water policy to secure a sustainable water future in the West, throughout the U.S., and the world. The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy seeks to improve quality of life through the effective use, taxation, and stewardship of land. A nonprofit private operating foundation whose origins date to 1946, the Lincoln Institute researches and recommends creative approaches to land as a solution to economic, social, and environmental challenges. Through education, training, publications, and events, we integrate theory and practice to inform public policy decisions worldwide. With locations in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Washington, DC, Phoenix, and Beijing, we organize our work in seven major areas: Planning and Urban Form, Valuation and Taxation, International and Institute-Wide Initiatives, Latin America and the Caribbean, People’s Republic of China, The Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy, and the Center for Community Investment.

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Individuals seeking employment at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy are considered without regards to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other category protected by law.