Sarah Deckel Receives NSF INTERN Award

Sarah Deckel Receives NSF INTERN Award

Sarah Deckel, a Ph.D. student in Environmental Conservation, was recently awarded funding from the National Science Foundation to support a six-month internship. Part of NSF’s INTERN program, the award is designed to provide non-academic research experience and training to graduate students. Deckel is the seventh UMass graduate student to receive an INTERN award. 

Deckel plans to hold her internship at the office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in Hadley, MA. During her time there, she will act as a coordinator for all 10 species working groups in order to facilitate collaborative conservation plans. The conservation plans aim to save bird species that have been directly affected by anthropomorphic causes, including climate change and habitat fragmentation, and that have faced population declines since the 1970’s. 

According to Deckel, this internship will give her an excellent opportunity to build her science communication skillset, network with professionals all across North America, and expand her knowledge of conservation. 

About her upcoming internship, Deckel says she is “most looking forward to learning more about science communication and conservation within this field. My current dissertation work is very research focused, and this internship will build more on the skills I currently don’t have a lot of experience with. I am also looking forward to getting to know folks all throughout this field and learning through their perspectives on how on the ground conservation work is put into action!” 

Current graduate students who hold an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, or whose PI has an active NSF grant, may be eligible to apply for INTERN funding. Contact Heidi Bauer-Clapp ( for more information.