Climate Change Research Initiative

NASA Science Mission Directorate’s Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI) program is an interdisciplinary, collaborative, year-long STEM engagement, and experiential learning opportunity for educators and graduate students to work directly with NASA scientists and lead research teams in a NASA research project hosted at either NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, CUNY City College of Technology in New York City, NY, or NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. The summer component of each CCRI project also includes undergraduate and high school interns.

During the fall and spring terms of CCRI, the research team will consist of NASA Principal Investigators who lead in-service high school STEM educators and graduate student research assistants to become immersed in a NASA science research area related to climate change.

Educators participating in this opportunity become associate researchers, CCRI education ambassadors and STEM education experts who integrate NASA education resources, platforms, data and content into their classrooms while improving STEM education within their communities.

Participating high school STEM educators contribute to the research project, assist in the development of a research question and assist in guiding the research team to complete all program deliverables. Educators also develop an Applied Research STEM Curriculum portfolio and unit plan that utilizes NASA education resources aligning NASA Science and STEM curricula to the Next Generation Science Standards. The teachers will then incorporate the STEM curriculum into their classrooms and also provide community STEM engagement events related to their NASA research study. The fall and spring term will not conflict with the educators' primary schedule, roles or responsibilities at their school sites.

For graduate student research assistants, this opportunity will not conflict with class schedules during the fall and spring. It is considered to be a part-time position that supports the graduate student's major area of study.

During the summer session, the primary research team will add an undergraduate intern and high school intern to the CCRI research team. The entire team will work collaboratively on a full-time basis to complete the research project, deliver presentations, create a scientific poster and a publishable research paper that will be presented at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and other science conferences and symposiums. The final symposium may have participants from other government agencies, such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and many others.


CCRI Autumn 2023-Summer 2024

Research opportunities for educators, grad student assistants, and interns during Autumn 2023 through Summer 2024 include the following projects:

  • Deciphering Changing Probabilities of Extreme Climate Events in Climate Models and Measurements (GISS)
  • Climate Change in the Hudson Estuary — Past, Present, and Future (GISS/LDEO)
  • Monitoring and Studying Lakes from Space in a Changing Climate (GISS/CUNY)
  • Characterizing the Urban Land Surface Temperature via an Innovative, Multi-Platformed Suite of Satellite and Ground-Based Remote Sensing Technologies (GISS/CUNY)
  • Land Surface Temperature via Satellite and Remote Sensing Technologies (GSFC)
  • SnowEx and Understanding the Role of Snow and Measurements (GSFC)

Detailed descriptions of the these projections are available here (PDF).

Education Award Stipend

Team Member Stipend
Teacher/Assoc. Researcher $7,650
Graduate Student Research Asst. $11,700
Undergraduate Intern $5,840
High School Intern $2,400

Program Schedule

  • Fall: 10/16/2023-12/22/2023: (~5-10 hr/wk for 10 weeks)
  • Spring: 01/29/2024–04/26/2024: (~5-10 hr/wk for 10 weeks)
  • Summer: 06/17/2024-08/09/2024: (~40 hr/wk for6-8 weeks)

How to Apply

CCRI applicants must be US citizens. Housing, relocation and travel expenses are not provided. Teachers, graduate students and interns whose locality is regional to the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, NY, or NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, are encouraged to apply. Applications are considered upon receipt.

The deadline for educators and graduate students to apply for the CCRI 2023-2024 year-long program was Aug. 25, 2023.

The final application deadline for Summer 2024 CCRI high school and undergraduate internship opportunities was Feb. 2, 2024 at the NASA Internship Programs website.

Preliminary information about opportunities during the Autumn 2024-Summer 2025 CCRI year will be posted in Summer 2024.

Please address all questions regarding CCRI educator and student opportunities to Matthew Pearce.

Additional Requirements

Upon submission of your application please e-mail Matthew Pearce to confirm receipt of your application.

Educators:
Teachers applying for CCRI should submit a cover letter, resume, and unofficial transcripts. Teachers are also encouraged but not required to submit any additional portfolio exemplars. The cover letter should also include:

  • A description of how participating in CCRI will benefit your students, school and community.
  • Description of IT and programing skills indicating a self-proficiency ranking.
  • Rank in order of preference the projects that the teacher would like to apply to and be considered for.

The selected candidate will be requested to provide a letter of support from their school administration for participation and collaboration in the program.

Graduate Students:
Graduate Student Research Assistants applying for CCRI should submit a cover letter, resume and unofficial transcripts. The cover letter should also include:

  • A description of how participating in CCRI aligns with your current degree program and anticipated graduation date.
  • Description of IT and program skills indicating a self-proficiency ranking.
  • Rank in order of preference the projects that the graduate student would like to apply to and be considered for.

The selected candidate will be requested to provide a letter of support from their graduate school advisor for participation and collaboration in the program.

How to Submit: Teachers and graduate students should submit their cover letter and application materials via our Box Account.

Other Internships
NASA/GISS internship opportunities for high school and college students that are not part of the CCRI program are posted on our general internships info page.

Further Info

Please visit NASA Education Program Fosters Climate of Discovery for additional program information.

Note: PDF documents require the free Adobe Reader or compatible viewing software to be viewed.

Contact

Please address all inquiries about the GISS Climate Change Research Initiative to:

Matthew Pearce
NASA Office of STEM Engagement
Goddard Institute for Space Studies
2880 Broadway, New York, NY 10025
matthew.d.pearce@nasa.gov
1 (646) 419-0144

CCRI Education Products

Dulaney, N., 2018: Earth's Energy Budgets. Applied Research STEM Curriculum Unit Portfolio. (16.8 MB PDF)

Dulaney, N., 2019: Future Temperature Projections. Applied Research STEM Curriculum Unit Portfolio. (7.3 MB PDF)

Dulaney, N., 2021: Changes in Climate and Wildfires. Applied Research STEM Curriculum Unit Portfolio. (5.0 MB PDF)

Mundo, A., 2021: Urban Surface Temperatures and the Urban Heat Island Effects. Applied Research STEM Curriculum Unit Portfolio. (9.2 MB PDF)

Sebastian, E., C., 2020: The Heat is On: Urban Heat Islands, Detection Strategies, and Mitigation Solutions. Applied Research STEM Curriculum Unit Portfolio. (5.1 MB PDF)

Wang-Mondaca, C., 2019: Wetlands. Applied Research STEM Curriculum Unit Portfolio. (7.9 MB PDF)

Wang-Mondaca, C., 2021: Blue Carbon: Bringing Field Research and ArcGIS Mapping to the High School Classroom. Applied Research STEM Curriculum Unit Portfolio. (2.6 MB PDF)

CCRI Research Products

Chui, A.C., A. Gittelson, E. Sebastian, N. Stamler, and S. Gaffin, 2018: Urban heat islands and cooler infrastructure — Measuring near-surface temperatures with hand-held infrared cameras. Urban Clim., 24, 51-62, doi:10.1016/j.uclim.2017.12.009.

Copple, S.P., D.M. Peteet, D. Balk, C. Chang, B. Jones, and M. Tzortziou, 2023: Marsh archive reveals human population history and future implications for estuarine health in Long Island Sound. Sci. Total Environ., 895, 164885, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.164885.

Jakubowski, H.V., N. Bock, L. Busta, M. Pearce, R.L. Roston, Z.D. Shomo, and C.R. Terrell, 2021: Introducing climate change into the biochemistry and molecular biology curriculum. Biochem. Mol. Biol. Educ., 49, no. 2, 167-188, doi:10.1002/bmb.21422.

LeGrande, A.N., J.F. Booth, C.M. Naud, C. Ordaz, and J. Crespo, 2024: Just how river-like are atmospheric rivers? Geophys. Res. Lett., 51, no. 10, e2023GL105828, doi:10.1029/2023GL105828.

McConnell, K., C. Braneon, E. Glenn, N. Stamler, E. Mallen, D.P. John, R. Pandya, J. Abramowitz, G. Fernandez, and C. Rosenzweig, 2022: A quasi-experimental approach for evaluating the heat mitigation effects of green roofs in Chicago, Illinois. Sustain. Cities Soc., 76, 103376, doi:10.1016/j.scs.2021.103376.

Pace, G., D. Peteet, M. Dunton, C. Wang-Mondaca, S. Ismail, J. Supino, and J. Nichols, 2021: Importance of quantifying the full-depth carbon reservoir of Jamaica Bay Salt Marshes, New York. City Environ. Interact., 12, 100073, doi:10.1016/j.cacint.2021.100073.

Peteet, D.M., J. Nichols, T. Kenna, C. Chang, J. Browne, M. Reza, S. Kovari, L. Liberman, and S. Stern-Protz, 2018: Sediment starvation destroys New York City marshes' resistance to sea level rise. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 115, no. 41, 10281-10286, doi:10.1073/pnas.1715392115.