Environmental Health Fellowship – Summer 2020

This paid fellowship will provide a graduate student in Western Pennsylvania with the opportunity to deepen their academic understanding of environmental issues affecting the heavily-fracked region around Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The fellow will work in close collaboration with FracTracker’s expert team and with their academic advisor.

Depending on future public health circumstances, this position may be remote.

This position was developed in partnership with the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies and The Heinz Endowments.

Fellowship Details

Title: FracTracker Alliance Environmental Health Fellow
Eligibility: Current graduate students
Fellowship Period: 12 weeks (6/1/20 – 8/21/20)
Application Deadline:  April 3rd, 2020
Compensation: $15/hour, 37.5 hours per week

Fellowship Description

The environmental health fellow will perform research and geo-spatial data collection, processing, and analysis with a focus on environmental health issues associated with oil, gas, and petrochemical development. Specific projects and research interests will be identified by the fellow in consultation with FracTracker staff and the fellow’s graduate program advisor. While multiple projects might be undertaken, a signature capstone project and blog post on www.fractracker.org will be the primary foci of the experience. 

Apply today to:

  • Conduct independent study relevant to your coursework
  • Deepen your understanding of environmental health issues and solutions
  • Learn and Apply GIS skills
  • Obtain valuable resume-building experience
  • Make new connections in the field of environmental health

This position is not eligible for health benefits, but approved travel expenses for relevant research, meetings, and fieldwork will be reimbursed. Fellows will work out of the Pittsburgh FracTracker office.


The responsibilities of the fellow will revolve around their capstone project. They may also be asked to assist with daily work and time sensitive projects of the organization. Responsibilities will vary, but may include:

  • Spatial analyses and mapping using GIS software
  • Data mining, cleaning, and management
  • Field research (e.g. mobile app documentation, interviews, air or water monitoring, etc.)  
  • Meetings with staff, partners, and/or experts
  • Written contributions to the FracTracker blog at www.fractracker.org
  • Translation of data into information and stories for the blog
  • Developing educational outreach materials


This fellowship is dedicated to current graduate students in Western Pennsylvania only. The candidate should possess the following qualifications:

  • Interest in protecting public health from risks associated with unconventional oil and gas and/or petrochemical development
  • Working knowledge of geographic information systems (GIS) and Microsoft Office products (especially Word and Excel)
  • Ability to assist with researching spatial data availability from internal and external sources; collect, assimilate, analyze, and interpret data and draw sound conclusions; prepare oral and written reports
  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent written and oral English communication and research skills
  • Ability to tackle challenging problems with minimal guidance
  • Experience presenting data and information in creative, visually compelling ways is a plus

Completed studies in environmental or public health, environmental science, environmental policy or environmental law, environmental engineering, chemistry, biology, economics, marketing, or nonprofit management are desired, but not mandatory.

To Apply

To apply, please fill out the form below. The application deadline is Friday, April 3rd at 5pm. 

Selected candidates will be contacted for an interview with FracTracker staff members. First-round interviews will take place between April 13th – April 24th.

Once the fellow has been selected, all first-round candidates will be notified regarding the result of their application by April 10th.

Second-round interviews will take place between May 4th – May 15th, with the final candidate being selected by May 20th at the latest. All first-round candidates will be notified regarding the result of their application at that time.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Shannon Smith at smith@fractracker.org.

FracTracker is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, citizenship status, age, veteran status, or disability.

2020 Fellowship

2020 Fellowship

Address *
Please upload the following in one pdf document: your resume, a cover letter, the contact information of your academic advisor, and one reference. *
Maximum upload size: 2.1MB

You must click the “submit” button in order for us to receive your application!

  • April 3rd

    Application Deadline

  • April 13th

    First-Round Interviews

    April 13th

  • May 4th

    Second-Round Interviews

  • May 20th

    Final Fellowship Candidate is Chosen

    May 20th

  • June 1st

    Fellowship Begins

  • August 21st

    Fellowship Ends

    August 21st

FracTracker Internships

Each spring, we welcome college and graduate-level students with a passion for the environment and data to join FracTracker Alliance as interns.

Working with FracTracker Alliance offers students and researchers invaluable resume-building work experience and networking opportunities. Not only will interns and visiting scholars work closely with members of our team, but they will also have the opportunity to learn about and contribute to many aspects of our oil and gas work. Interns and visiting scholars will also have the opportunity to participate in events that increase their professional networks and interact with our partner organizations.

Learn more about our Internships and Visiting Scholar Program in the sections below.

Brook Lenker, Matthew Kelso, and intern Gianna Calisto counting oil trains as they passed through Pittsburgh, PA

FracTracker executive director Brook Lenker, manager of data & technology Matt Kelso, and intern Gianna Calisto count oil trains as they pass through Pittsburgh, PA

General Internship Description

The responsibilities of interns revolve around the daily work of the other FracTracker staff, as well as time-sensitive projects. Due to FracTracker’s web and mapping focus, the primary skills we seek out of internship applicants are those that would allow them to do GIS work, assist with various web and communications projects, or a combination of the two. Responsibilities will vary, but may include:

  • Data mining, cleaning, management, and GIS mapping
  • Website and e-newsletter maintenance
  • Communication, marketing, and social media tasks
  • Translation of data into information and stories for the blog
  • Project-specific outreach to nonprofit and other external partners
  • Event planning and organization
  • Helping to maintain/enhance social media and networking presence
  • Administrative support when needed (including data entry, schedule coordination, taking and preparing meeting notes, etc.)
  • Field research
  • Participation in software development, integration, and system testing

Applicants should be currently attending or have recently attended an academic institution, preferably in the US for logistical purposes.

Applications for FracTracker’s spring internships open each fall. Opportunities will be listed on the FracTracker website, and you can sign up to be notified by email using the form on this page.

FracTracker internships are paid positions.

Sign up to receive news about employment & internship opportunities with FracTracker Alliance

(Only your email address is required, but filling out all of the fields below will help us get to know you better.)

Visiting Scholar Program

In addition to our collegiate internship program, FracTracker also offers a more flexible but rigorous Visiting Scholar Program. This program provides a unique opportunity for graduate students, post-docs, and other experts to further their scholarly endeavors with us. Subject areas can vary widely, from anthropology to environmental science; from renewables to oil and gas impacts.

Visiting scholars will work directly with the data, people, and organizations that function within their study of extractive industries. Typically the most effective way to conduct research is to participate as an active member in the community being studied. This program enriches both the work of FracTracker and the Visiting Scholar. In addition to presentations to staff and external partners, at the end of the term (as agreed upon by the Scholar and FracTracker), each Visiting Scholar must provide a report on the project’s outcomes and how it shaped his/her research interests and goals.

Visiting Scholars generally represent their home institutions or serve as independent researchers. In either case, each Visiting Scholar should seek financial compensation for their time through their home institutions or independent resources. FracTracker will provide the Visiting Scholar with office space and standard IT setup.

If you are interested in serving as a Visiting Scholar with FracTracker, please send us a proposal that outlines your project concept: info@fractracker.org.

Within your proposal, please include: 1) A concise and clear explanation of the proposed study/project, with a work plan detailing the stages of the project and ways to identify the goals have been reached (maximum 2 pages); 2) An indication of which FracTracker office you would like to be based – please see our current list of offices across the U.S.; 3) References, including a support letter from institutional or departmental head (if representing an institution), or 2 reference letters if on independent study.

For more information, please contact Shannon Smith at smith@fractracker.org.

About Us

FracTracker Alliance is a nonprofit environmental research organization based in the United States.

We map, analyze, and communicate the risks of oil, gas, and petrochemical development to advance just energy alternatives that protect public health, natural resources, and the climate.

We provide visual and technical tools to assist communities in mitigating negative impacts of extraction-related activities, particularly fracking. Since 2012, FracTracker Alliance has been a leading resource for maps, data, and analyses in our field. Learn more

To date, we have hosted interns from the following institutions:

  • Auburn University
  • Columbia University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Denison University
  • Dickinson College
  • Drexel University
  • Duquesne University
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Humboldt State University
  • Kaplan University
  • McGill University
  • Michigan Tech
  • North Eastern University
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • San Francisco State University
  • Stony Brook University
  • The George Washington University
  • The Ohio State University
  • University of California Berkeley
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Redlands
  • Vassar College
  • Washington & Jefferson College

Collaborations and Projects

Our interns and student collaborators have worked on some incredible projects, as showcased below:



If you have any additional questions about our internship opportunities, just send us an email.