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National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT)/U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 2015 Cooperative Summer Field Training Program
Learn More About the NAGT Internship Program
As a student nominated by your field camp director, you must apply for this paid internship with the USGS. Students are then matched with selected USGS projects, depending on the needs of the scientists and the interests and abilities of the applicants. Although not all applicants will receive internships, every effort is made to provide as many placements as possible that will result in professional growth for the students and scientific contribution to the projects. The USGS Human Resources Office will determine salary in accordance with government regulations and student education/experience. For 2015, the general salary range will be $15.15 to $17.76 per hour (depending upon locality). Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation to the home project site and housing for the summer.
NAGT interns work on a range of different projects involving fieldwork, laboratory work, or frequently combinations of both. New projects are available each year. Selected projects from 2015 include:
- Geological and geophysical studies of the San Andreas Fault System
- Ecological impacts of metal mines on stream ecosystems
- Geodetic monitoring of Cascade Range Volcanoes and Yellowstone
- Carbon storage in coastal salt marsh ecosystems after restoration
- Earthquake hazards studies in the Central and Eastern U.S.
- Geohydrologic monitoring and characterization of landslide and debris flow source areas
- The effect of floodplain geomorphology on nutrient biogeochemistry and water quality
- Utilizing Quaternary geochronology to unravel Pleistocene geomorphic histories
- Soil respiration following wildfire in ponderosa and lodgepole pine forests of the Southern Rocky Mountains
- Microfossil indicators of Pliocene paleoenvironments
The USGS places interns in the research locations where the project scientists are working. Most recently, interns have worked in Reston, VA; Menlo Park, CA; Woods Hole, MA; Denver, CO; Vancouver, WA; Helena, MT; Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; Cook, WA; Jackson, WY; Fort Collins, CO; San Francisco, CA; Fort Lauderdale, FL, and many other locations.
Read a history of the NAGT/USGS internship program and a list of the 2015 projects or look back to the projects from 2014 and 2013 (products in pdf format require Adobe Acrobat Reader).
Placement Procedures used to Match Interns with Projects
- Candidates are nominated for the internship by their field camp director. They submit resumes, transcripts, and cover letters to the USGS Education office through USAJobs (see Internship Home).
- USGS scientists across the nation submit proposals for a project to host an intern. Consistent with the earth systems approach used in modern research, these proposals come from a wide variety of disciplines, including geology, hydrology, ecosystems, and other areas of the earth sciences.
- A panel is convened of USGS scientists representing all disciplines, who review candidate applications and project proposals, in order to determine potential matches. The panel attempts to find at least 2 to 4 potential projects for each intern, based on the student’s interests, educational background, and goals.
- Candidates are informed of the projects that have been selected as a potential match for them, and are asked to review each project proposal for acceptability.
- USGS Scientists are informed of the candidates that have been identified as potential matches for their project, and are asked to conduct a phone interview with each student. They then submit a ranked list of their preferences.
- The final match-up of interns to projects is determined by way of scientist and candidate preference. USGS scientists have the ultimate choice in candidate selection, although student preferences will be accommodated whenever possible.
- Once interns have been placed with a project, they will be contacted by their science mentor to set up a start date, and will receive instructions on the hiring process by the USGS Human Resources office.