Internships & Research Opportunities

Water in the West facilitates student research, internships and other forms of engagement in pertinent projects that link students with potential researchers or organizations to shape course assignments, term projects, theses or independent studies. Water in the West also regularly hires research assistants, engages interns and guides independent study projects. Students interested in internships, summer opportunities, or research projects for credit, as well as organizations interested in working with Stanford students, are encouraged to contact us to learn more.

Organizations that are interested in working with Stanford students on water issues include The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. EPA, NASA-Ames Research Center, Deschutes River Conservancy and others.



Water in the West Postdoctoral Fellow

Water in the West, a joint program of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Bill Lane Center for the American West, is seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow to conduct applied research in their Sustainable Groundwater program, an interdisciplinary program focused on the development of sustainable groundwater management solutions.  The program's research includes governance, law, social science and physical science.

The Fellow will be a recent graduate who has received a JD or PhD in the last five years and who has completed substantial course work and/or gained experience in water resources, hydrology, water law, water policy, water governance or other water related fields. The Fellow’s expertise may be in the social sciences, economics, hydrology, ecology, policy or law, but the Fellow must have the capability of participating in and managing interdisciplinary projects. The Fellow will conduct solutions-focused research projects under the Sustainable Groundwater program lead and other Stanford faculty and research staff.  The Fellow will be expected to actively engage with water managers, policymakers and other key decision makers and stakeholders in the water arena. 

Water in the West’s purpose is to marshal the resources of Stanford University to find solutions to the central problem of water scarcity in the American West. Water in the West pursues this mission through research, active collaboration with decision makers and opinion leaders, effective public communications and hands-on education of students.  Water in the West’s work is accomplished through program staff, affiliated faculty and students.

The Fellow will work with the Sustainable Groundwater program lead to continue existing projects or develop new research projects within Water in the West’s Sustainable Groundwater program.  The Fellow will collaborate on a range of projects aimed at facilitating sustainable groundwater management both in California under the recently passed Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and more broadly.  The projects we decide to pursue will depend upon the expertise and interests of the Fellow hired.  Some of the potential projects include:

  • Studying and developing proposals for operating rules and governance for water markets, water banks and other transactional tools for reallocating water.
  • Developing tools to improve integration of climate change data into groundwater management planning at the state and local level.
  • Developing an improved understanding of the water availability for groundwater recharge in California’s Central Valley, as well as the barriers and potential incentives to increase recharge at the grower and agency level. 
  • Additional projects could focus groundwater quality monitoring, groundwater data monitoring and/or modeling or groundwater governance.

Key Responsibilities

  • Design, manage and implement solutions-focused research projects.
  • Build partnerships with government agencies, water managers and NGOs in order to develop research projects, find opportunities for students and other relevant purposes.
  • Collaborate within interdisciplinary research teams, including hydrologists, ecologists, modelers, water lawyers, practitioners and others.
  • Produce reports, academic journal articles, white papers, research briefs, blog posts, web site content and other written material.
  • Present research findings for academic, policy focused and public audiences.
  • Supervise and teach students in applied research settings and in internship/externship opportunities with project partners.
  • Organize conferences, expert workshops and similar events related to the Fellow’s core work.
  • Represent Water in the West as needed at conferences or events.
  • Contribute to grants, funding applications and grant reporting.

Postdoctoral Fellow Qualifications

Applicants must have received a terminal graduate degree (i.e. PhD and/or JD) in the last five years and be fluent English speakers and writers.

Applicants must demonstrate a strong interest and some experience in water resources management, hydrology, water law or other related field.

Successful candidates will have demonstrated: (1) strong experience in communicating research to a variety of audiences in both written and oral format; (2) strong research skills using a range of relevant  methods; (3) experience with interdisciplinary collaborations; (4) substantial course work and/or gained experience in water law, water policy, water management, hydrolog or related fields; (5) a growing record of scholarly or other activities of high impact in their field; and (6) a commitment to communicating about solutions to the problem of water scarcity in the American West.


Applicants should submit:

  • A letter of interest;
  • Curriculum vitae;
  • Contact information for three references, including at least one from an academic advisor and one from someone who is familiar with applicant's professional abilities;
  • Copies of undergraduate and graduate transcripts (official copies will be required for finalists);
  • Two relevant writing samples or links to online and social media posts.

Applications and inquiries should be submitted electronically to Megan Glatzel at

Review of applications will begin on Sept. 10, 2018.



 Water Communications & Knowledge Center Manager

Are you passionate about environmental solutions? Join the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment's communications team and help connect Stanford's environment and sustainability research to those who can use it. 

The Institute seeks an experienced communications professional to produce content and report findings related to freshwater, ocean and public health research produced by its centers and programs.  The position will work with Stanford’s Program on Water, Health & Development (WHD), half time with remaining time split between the Program on Water in the West (WitW) and the Center for Ocean Solutions (COS). These centers and programs are working to bridge academic research with practical solutions for the challenges we face with water, public health and oceans. Responsibilities include raising the profile of Stanford’s water, public health and oceans research and scholars, implementing strategic communications plans to link research to action, producing editorial content and newsletters, producing and posting content for social media and websites, and serving as a knowledge manager on key grants where data must be reported back to funders.

To learn more and apply, view the full job description here.

None at this time.