environmental communications ambassador program

Special Project | 2020

Environmental Communications Ambassador Program

Top notch environmental communication is the key for transforming science into solutions.

To tell the stories of our changing planet in ways that will move politicians, skeptics and the general public to action requires creative and interdisciplinary forms of storytelling. This program provides outstanding students the opportunity to advance communication skills and network with IoES faculty and prestigious award winners. The fellowship gives student ambassadors a platform to develop their voice and builds on existing talents to reach a broad range of communities.

Candidates must demonstrate exceptional writing, videography, graphic design or artistic abilities and an eagerness to develop their skills. A background in science is not required but experience in environmental or sustainability research is preferable.

Fellows are mentored by experienced science writers to communicate the environmental issues facing our planet today. These paid positions require a 10-20 hours weekly time commitment during the school year, though hours are more flexible during exams.

If interested in joining or supporting this program, please contact IoES communications director David Colgan dcolgan@ioes.ucla.edu


Environmental Communications Ambassador for UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability 

Job Summary: UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability is seeking a part-time student writer/communicator to help build the profile of its global leadership in research, ideas and education as part of the Environmental Communications Ambassador Program. Reporting to the IoES Director of Communications, the Environmental Communications Ambassador will be a key player in IoES communications activities. This individual will have responsibility for creating digital content — including news stories, program descriptions and social media posts about major IoES research papers and reports, IoES faculty, academic programs, and student and alumni achievements.

In addition to being a paid position ($15/hr), this position will provide mentorship and potentially significant exposure via UCLA online publications and external media outlets. This position is expected to provide 8-10 hours per week, though the amount of time will fluctuate depending on  institute needs and student responsibilities. This appointment is for the academic year, though there will be potential to extend over the summer.

Communicating clearly and in innovative ways about environmental topics is an ongoing and important global challenge. We strive to write to the standards and style of a major national or international news publication.

Core functions and duties

  • Write stories and news articles about IoES research; academic and center developments; student, faculty and alumni news; and other strategic IoES initiatives.
  • Assist with conceptualization, production and delivery of written communications and other assets on major IoES stories and content initiatives as well as across IoES social media channels.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Communications on ways to strategically grow our audience.

Other useful skills/duties:

  • Skills in photography or video editing, social media, creation of graphics, social media analytics, and other communications-relevant abilities. 

To apply: 

  • Please send a resume and two recent examples of your work to David Colgan (dcolgan@ioes.ucla.edu). If you have questions, please call David at 818-203-2858.

Student Communications, Events, and Outreach Specialist with the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

Job Summary: The UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability is seeking an undergraduate student to work part-time supporting and promoting our academic programs including the environmental science BS, the environmental systems and society minor, the PhD in environment and sustainability, the professional doctorate in environmental science and engineering, and the Leaders in Sustainability graduate certificate program. Reporting to the IoES Associate Director, and working collaboratively with the academic and communications teams, the specialist will be a key player in IoES academic communications, events, and outreach. This individual will have responsibility for developing communication strategies to engage IoES students and prospective students, to create digital content for our website and social media channels, and to plan and support socials and outreach events. There will also be opportunities for special projects including creating a database of internship opportunities and career paths of alumni. Come help us improve our programs for your fellow students!  


  • $15/hr
  • 8-10 hours per week (weekly flexibility depending on institute needs and student’s schedule)
  • Academic year, October through mid-June (with potential to extend into the summer) 


  • Strong organizational skills (required)
  • Strong writing and editing skills (required)
  • Google Suite: sheets, forms, docs, etc. (preferred)
  • Website creation/editing (a bonus)
  • Event planning (a bonus)
  • Photography, video editing, creation of graphics (a bonus)

To apply: 

  • Please email your resume, and include a note about your interest in the position, to Associate Director Cully Nordby (nordby@ucla.edu). 
  • Deadline: Friday, October 8th