The Haskell Environmental Research Studies (HERS) Institute is a workforce development and education initiative supported by the Kansas NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award OIA-1656006: Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant, and Soil Systems across Kansas (MAPS). The program is directed by Dr. Jay Johnson, Professor and Associate Chair of Geography & Atmospheric Science, the Director of The Center for Indigenous Research, Science, and Technology (C-FIRST) at the University of Kansas (KU), and member of the MAPS workforce development and education team and Mr. Cody Marshall, Indigenous and American Indian Studies faculty at Haskell Indian Nations University.  The institute is a paid 8-week summer internship program. The goal of the HERS Institute is to promote Indigenous research methodologies by drawing on knowledge from Native peoples to develop broad understandings and strategies for responding to climate and environmental change in Indigenous communities.

The HERS Interns learn about climate and environmental change, participate in an intensive writing classes, and learn how to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  Then students develop individual research projects, complete a research proposal, conduct research and present a poster on an environmental issue affecting a Native community. Graduate students provide one-on-one mentorship throughout the process.

During the academic year interns have opportunities to present their work at professional meetings, workshops, and conferences such as the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) or the American Indian Science and
Engineering Society (AISES). 

The selected HERS interns will receive the following: 

• Summer stipend
• Housing and meals
• Use of laptop and software
• Mentorship
• GIS instruction
• Intensive writing instruction
• Professional development & networking
• Graduate school advising
• Access to the University of Kansas’ libraries and research databases

To Apply students are required to

  1. submit a Statement of Purpose (400-500 words) to introduce themselves, provide information related to previous research experiences and explain how a HERS internship benefits their academic goals and graduate school aspirations.
  2. write an essay (400-500 words) describing an important environmental issue affecting Indigenous that is of interest to them
  3. provide a copy of their most recent college or university transcripts (unofficial transcripts accepted)
  4. submit two Letters of Recommendation. (HERS requires both an academic letter of recommendation and a character reference. Letters are submitted online by the reference).

All application materials should be submitted online. Documents should be uploaded as a word document or pdf.

To apply click here

Applications due March 5, 2021


Contact Katrina McClure, HERS Program Coordinator at