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Opportunity Description/Objective (specific student assignment): It is an exciting time for many urban disciplines and new urban environmental research will shape the way cities evolve, function and look over the next decades and beyond. One aspect of the new thinking about cities is the growing appreciation for 'softer' adaptation approaches that emulate natural ecosystems -- to take advantage of the multiple co-benefits that such systems confer such as simultaneous urban heat island mitigation, storm water management, amenity values, and ecosystem preservation or restoration. This can be contrasted with more traditional 'hard' engineered solutions that often are designed to solve just one environmental problem (e.g. sea walls for sea level rise, massive storm water storage tanks). The scientific mentor in this project is working with multiple NYC agencies such as the Mayor's Office, Department of Buildings, Department of Parks and Recreation, and NGO's, to study a new field of projects generally called 'green infrastructure.' The proposed research complements a number of ongoing and pending climate projects within NASA GISS and Goddard, such as the CASI program which aims to prepare NASA Centers for future climate change adaptation and mitigation. Although the definition of the term 'green infrastructure' is evolving, it includes newly developed green systems being installed on a large scale. Examples included 'Million Tree' programs, bio-swales, enhanced street tree pits, storm water green streets, green roofs and higher-albedo surfaces, membranes and materials. The investigator and colleagues are studying a number of the performance metrics for such systems such as temperature control, storm water detention and retention, native plant performance and restoration, water quality performance, socio-economic response and acceptance by local communities and residents to such installations (maintenance, appearances, plant survivability, competing uses such as parking, and right-of-way uses. The research project involves using a wide range of experimental methods and sensors both fixed and mobile deployment at different spatial scales.

Expected opportunity outcome (i.e. research, final report, poster presentation, etc.): Interns will work collaboratively in an interdisciplinary team to develop a publishable scientific research paper, create a scientific poster and PowerPoint presentation of their research.

Comments: Interns should reside within a 50-mile radius from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Travel, housing, relocation and Per-Diem expenses are not provided.

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