Diverse Knowledge Systems for Climate Adaptation Fellowship, Climate Adaptation Science Centers

Posted by: CAKE Team
Post Date: 12/04/2023
Opportunity Type: Job
Organization/Grantor: Climate Adaptation Science Centers
Position/Title/Fund: Diverse Knowledge Systems for Climate Adaptation Fellowship
Type/Term: 1-year term
Deadline: January 18, 2024

The Diverse Knowledge Systems in Climate Adaptation Fellowship supports graduate students for one year as they use their diverse experiences, viewpoints, value systems, and cultural knowledge to strengthen their climate adaptation efforts.

The application period for the 2024 Fellowship opportunity runs from December 1, 2023 through January 18, 2024.

There are many ways of exploring and understanding the natural world. Tribal Nations and Indigenous peoples have cultural identities developed through millennia of connection with their homelands. Farmers and ranchers have deep understandings of the plants, animals, soils, and weather patterns at the foundation of their livelihoods. Intercity communities live and work among urban ecosystems and have unique experiences with the intersections between nature and society, power and class. 

Yet, traditional Western science often does not value these knowledge systems or provide ways of integrating knowledge held outside the peer-reviewed literature. In creating these silos, the scientific community is unable to fully understand the diverse peoples and ecosystems that make up our nation. 

The Diverse Knowledge Systems for Climate Adaptation (DKS) Fellowship provides graduate students an opportunity to explore the unique perspectives they bring to science. Over the course of the one-year fellowship, students will collaborate with USGS researchers to develop a project applying their unique knowledge system to applied climate adaptation research. Mentors from the USGS Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) will work with fellows to identify how their science can help on-the-ground practitioners understand, plan for, and adapt to climate change impacts. They will also teach them how to work with stakeholders and rightsholders to ensure their work is useful for those who need it, exemplifying the partnership-based model of the CASC network. 


  • Develop and implement a 1-year project that uses your unique knowledge system to help natural resource managers and/or communities understand, plan for, and/or adapt to climate change impacts. 
  • Have a $10,000 award to spend on DKS project expenses, such as travel to and from project locations 
  • Be mentored by CASC experts focused on engagement-centered research designed to meet on-the-ground needs 
  • Travel to work with CASC mentors for 2 months (typically during the summer) and meet with USGS staff, university faculty, and project partners  

During the fellowship year and beyond, fellows benefit from collaborations with university and USGS mentors, from interactions with other colleagues and partners of USGS, and from exposure to high priority, real-world challenges in the natural resources policy arena.

How to Apply:

Submit your Statement of Interest between December 1, 2023 and January 18, 2024. Register for our informational webinar on December 7 at 4pm ET.

Statement of Interest:

First, applicants will submit a Statements of Interest to express interest in the fellowship and to help the review panel pair applicants with potential CASC mentors. Applicants do not need to identify a CASC mentor at this stage. The Statement of Interest includes: 

  • One-page cover letter 
  • One-page pre-proposal 
  • CV 

Full Proposal:

Should an applicant be selected to advance to the full proposal stage, the CASCs will match the applicant to a potential mentor based on the proposed project and appropriate CASC expertise. The applicant is then invited to work with their mentor to submit a Full Proposal. The Full Proposal includes:  

  • Revised one-page cover letter 
  • Revised CV 
  • Full project proposal 
  • Letters of recommendation from each of the applicant's mentors.