Scholars will build a foundational understanding of the climate crisis through the study of climate science by taking at least two courses in the division of Earth and Climate Science (ECS) in the Nicholas School of the Environment:
- Climate Change for Future Leaders (ECS 103)
- Ocean and Atmosphere Dynamics (ECS 202)
- Exploring Climate Sciences (ECS 212S)
- Energy and the Environment (ECS 231)
- Atmospheric Chemistry (ECS 239)
- Weather and Climate (ECS 365)
An integral component of the University Climate Commitment is engaging with the broader Duke and/or Durham community to highlight the importance of this existential crisis. Climate Scholars can participate in community engagement through a variety of means such as: volunteering locally at the Urban Ministries of Durham shelter, distributing fresh vegetables with Catawba Trail Farm, or helping to lead tours around the main campus and the medical school highlighting the university’s climate mitigation efforts. Scholars can also choose to connect with a broader community by a variety of public-facing communications such as art installations, science journalism, or digital media.
Climate Scholars will receive:
- Research funding (up to $2,500)
- Conference funding to participate in a professional scientific meeting (up to $1,500)
- Travel course or professional development funding (up to $1,500)
During the fall semester of their senior year, Climate Scholars will join the Marine Lab Scholars in bi-weekly professional development workshops. Scholars will benefit from workshops on writing skills, science communication, graduate education, and career opportunities. Senior scholars will act as mentors for the new cohort of scholars, providing a critical bridge between peers, and enabling scholars to gain practice as leaders and mentors.
GRADUATION WITH DISTINCTION OR INTERnSHIP
All scholars are expected to complete an honors thesis for Graduation with Distinction (GWD), or an internship related to their project theme. The goal of this work is to see a project from conception to completion, producing a document that can be used by a specific audience to gain insight and knowledge into a topic related to climate disruption. Some products may be published in peer-reviewed journals, a special benefit for students considering continuing their education in graduate school. Alternatively, students interested in the growing climate work in the corporate or non-profit sectors may pursue an internship in that field.
- Independently-led and faculty-mentored research experience with the potential for publication in a peer-reviewed journal
- Resources to perform original research, attend a conference, and take a travel course or professional course
- Cohort and community-building within the climate research community
- Professional development workshops and advising from specialists in the field
- Peer mentorship and leadership opportunities
Potential Faculty Mentors
- Emily Klein (ECS) - earth science
- Shineng Hu (ECS) - climate and data
- Wenhong Li (ECS) - climate science
- Drew Shindell (ECS) - climate science
- Brad Murray (ECS) - climate and coastal systems
- Brian McAdoo (ECS) - climate, disasters and health
- Lincoln Pratson (ECS) - climate and energy
- Gary Dwyer (ECS) - paleoclimate
- Tim Johnson (ECS) - climate and energy
- Ram Oren (ESP/ECS) - climate and terrestrial ecosystems
- Avner Vengosh (ECS) – climate and the water-energy nexus
- Nicolas Cassar (ECS) - climate and ocean sciences
- Alex Glass (ECS) - climate and geology
- Martin Doyle (ESP) - climate and water resources
- Ryan Emanuel (ESP) - climate and environmental justice
- Nishad Jayasundara (ESP) - climate and health
- Bill Pan (ESP) - climate and health
- Luana Lima (ESP) - climate and energy
- Dalia Patino-Echeverri (ESP) - climate and energy
- Junfeng Zhang (ESP) - climate and health
- Betsy Albright (ESP) - climate and disasters
- Erika Weinthal (ESP) – climate and policy, environmental justice
- Prasad Kasibhatla (ESP) - climate and atmospheric science
How to Apply
Each fall, participating faculty from the Nicholas School of the Environment will select Climate Scholars for the upcoming academic year. First-years, sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply. Scholars will be announced in December.
October 20, 2023
The application process includes submitting the following items as one PDF document with the file name LastName_FirstName_GradYear_CSApplication:
- Statement. Prepare a one-page (12-pt font, 1-inch margins) statement describing how you will benefit from the Climate Scholars Program and how this program will help you reach your academic and career goals. The application statement should include your research idea(s) and preferences of faculty with whom to carry out research. It is beneficial to reach out to faculty with whom you are interested in working prior to writing your application statement.
- Resume. Your resume should be one page and include relevant experience, coursework, and your GPA.
All application materials should be emailed to the Climate Scholars Program at ClimateScholars@duke.edu by the deadline. Applications with statements or resumes not meeting the formatting standards listed above will not be considered. Semi-finalists will be selected from the pool of applicants for interviews or may be asked to provide additional information.