Exploring Youth’s Concerns About Climate Change

A recent global study led by researchers at the University of Bath found that over 50% of young people surveyed reported experiencing significant emotional distress associated with climate change, including feeling afraid, sad, anxious, angry, powerless, and/or guilty (Hickman et al., 2019). Researchers also found that among those who reported having talked to someone about climate change (81.2%), almost half (48.4%) reported that other people had ignored or dismissed them (Hickman et al., 2019). Adapting the Free Association Narrative Interview method (FANI) developed by Hollway and Jefferson (2013), our project aims to build on the Bath study and learn from children and youth living in New York City and across New York State about how they feel about climate change. Gathering youth and children’s perspectives through an interview or qualitative survey will allow the team to inform the development of a new parenting education curriculum intended to help families engage proactively in these important conversations. The student intern will support the team by distributing qualitative surveys, interviewing interested youth from ages 16 to 25 years, and collecting and managing data.

Roles and responsibilities 

The student intern will be responsible for assisting in multiple project tasks and will collaborate with a multidisciplinary team working with youth, young children, and parents. The student intern's role and responsibilities may include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Aid in development and review of survey/interview before implementation
  2. Recruit youth to participate in the survey or interview
  3. Conduct interviews or deliver surveys to interested participants
  4. Coordinate and manage data collection using Qualtrics and Excel

Qualifications and previous coursework

This opportunity is available to students in Cornell University's College of Human Ecology.

We are looking for a student intern who is completing an undergraduate program in a field related to the issues explored in the project. Fields might include human development, psychology, environmental analysis, policy, environmental justice, and public health. Previous course work in research methods is preferred. Being bilingual in English and Spanish is a plus, as is previous experience and continued interest in working with youth in diverse settings. The ideal intern will demonstrate enthusiasm for working with youth and can flexibly adjust to project demands.

Learning outcomes 

The student intern will have the opportunity to apply qualitative research and engage in various projects and community programs currently taking place in CUCE-NYC.