RESESS is an undergraduate internship and support program in the Earth sciences, dedicated to increasing diversity and inclusion in the geosciences, hosted by UNAVCO, a Boulder, Colorado based non-profit, university governed consortium that facilitates geoscience research and education using geodesy (studies on the size, shape, and other physical characteristics of the Earth). 

RESESS encourages applications from students who are members of historically underrepresented groups in the Earth sciences, including but not limited to: national origin, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, veteran status, educational background, race/ethnicity, disability and family structure. We solicit diverse applications with the aim of cultivating diversity in ideas and perspective. 

We provide support and mentoring as students participate in authentic research experiences while building skills and confidence. Students may participate for up to two years and are encouraged to consider careers in geoscience.

Under the RESESS umbrella are two programs: Boulder and Satellite.

RESESS Boulder is 11 weeks in person based in Boulder, Colorado.

RESESS Satellite is a hybrid 11-week program, with 5 weeks in person and 6 weeks remote based at a UNAVCO member institution in the U.S.  

UNAVCO intends to run all internship programs during summer 2022 in their native format. Should the situation change in terms of health and safety of participants and program staff as it related to COVID-19, we will convert all programming to a remote model. We will make any such decision on or before March 1, 2022. By applying to this program, you are agreeing to participate in either format. Support is available to assist with a work from home model. 

Note:  In order to follow federal guidance and maximize the safety of working conditions, UNAVCO requires all interns to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or provide documentation of an exemption for medical or religious reasons.  Requests for medical or religious exemptions can be made by contacting Human Resources.

The application deadline is February 8. Program dates are Mid May to Late July.

A successful candidate usually will:

  • Have completed the equivalent of two years of college
  • Currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at the close of this application with a major in Earth or environmental sciences or related field
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • From a historically underrepresented group in the geosciences
  • Have completed several courses in geology, physical geography, hydrology, environmental sciences, math, physics, geophysics, or engineering
  • Be interested in pursuing a career in the Earth or environmental sciences or related science
  • Have U.S. citizenship or permanent-resident status. Sorry, no exceptions
  • Be able to attend the full summer program
  • Be comfortable with all internship requirements such as living at their research location for the duration specified in their program.  Internship Position description

Application Instructions

In preparing to apply, consider the following:

How to Apply

To apply to RESESS, you must fill out the online application (see below) though the UNAVCO Career Portal found at:  Note that you cannot go back and edit your answers or documents once submitted.

**Do not upload a resume or CV. When prompted, select ” Proceed without resume/CV.”**

The application has many steps, each with several questions:

  1. On the first page, you do not need to upload a resume or CV. Select “ Proceed without resume/CV “.
  2. For questions about the job type and career level, select “intern” or “internship”. You do not need to answer the questions about relevant work experience or desired salary.
  3. You do not need to answer the questions about additional countries in which you are authorized to work or security clearance.
  4. Do not upload your résumé. Instead, please upload a single PDF containing all of your college transcripts (unofficial copies are accepted)
  5. Please also upload a PDF with the questions and responses that are particular to the RESESS program you are applying to. You must provide a short essay response to each of these questions (max 200 words per essay). Questions can be found here

Applicant Essay Questions

QUESTIONS SECTION (200 Word limit, per question)

Please copy questions to a separate document and record your responses on that document. Attach the completed document as a PDF to the application along with your transcripts.

Prospective RESESS Interns

(Former RESESS interns applying for a second year, skip these questions and proceed to the next set of questions.)

1. Will you be 18 years or older by May 16, 2022?

2. Educational Institution: List the name of your current educational institution, including city and state.

3. Major: Your current major and minor (if any).

4. Expected Graduation Date: What year and month do you plan to graduate with your undergraduate degree?

5. What is your summer availability? Please provide the dates for the end of your Spring 2022 and beginning of Fall 2022 Semesters/Quarters.

6. Introduce Yourself: Please tell us about how you became interested in the Earth or environmental sciences. What drives your passion for Earth science?

7. RESESS Mission: RESESS is dedicated to increasing the diversity of the geoscience workforce by supporting students from historically underrepresented groups. Please describe how you, your life experiences, and/or your participation in the RESESS Internship Program will support our mission.

8. RESESS Education and Community Engagement: RESESS is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of the geosciences among broad and diverse segments of the population. Please describe how you have helped someone in your community learn about or understand science.

9. Research Interests: Please indicate which topics interest you the most in the Earth and environmental sciences. You may list as many topics as you like.

10.  Career Goals: Please tell us about your career and academic goals. Specifically describe how participation in the RESESS program will contribute to the pursuit and fulfillment of your career and academic goals.

11.  Educational background: What college-level science, technology, engineering, or mathematics courses have you completed or are you currently enrolled in?

12.  Academic Record: Do you feel your academic record accurately reflects your abilities and potential? Why or why not? Please describe any adversity (physical, mental, educational, economic, social, or otherwise) that you have overcome in pursuing your academic goals.

13.  Please list any extracurricular activities (clubs, employment, volunteer work) you have participated during the academic year.

14.  What has made your college experience unique?

15.  What do you consider to be your proudest achievement? (It need not be related to science or academia).

16.   (Optional) Please share any additional information about yourself not addressed by this application, or any concerns you have with participating in the RESESS program.

17.  Are you open to participating in either RESESS program (11 weeks in person vs a hybrid: 5 weeks in person 6 week remote)? If not please state your preference and provide a brief explanation. For more information please see the position description.

18.  UNAVCO is committed to running the internship programs in 2022. A decision to run the programs in-person or remotely will be made by March 1, 2022. If selected, will you commit to participating in the program whether it is in-person or online?

Returning RESESS Intern

(If you have not previously participated in RESESS, you do not need to answer these questions.)

1. Describe how participating in RESESS for an additional summer will help you to boost your geoscience career.

2. Describe how you have advanced your engagement in the earth sciences since your last RESESS summer internship.

3. RESESS is dedicated to developing strong Earth science leaders. As a returning RESESS intern, we expect that you will be an ambassador for our program and a role model to first-year interns. Describe a time when you used your leadership skills in a challenging situation that led to a positive outcome for your peers and/or community.

4. RESESS highly encourages returning interns to contact potential science/project mentors and take the initiative to organize their own summer research. Have you already spoken with potential mentors about summer research in 2020? If so, list potential research mentors and include their name, institution, email, and a detailed description of your research question and topic. If you have not reached out to a science mentor yet, please list potential science mentors and describe potential research topics.

5. UNAVCO is committed to running the internship programs in 2022. A decision to run the programs in-person or remotely will be made by March 1, 2022. If selected, will you commit to participating in the program whether it is in-person or online?

Note: If you have questions or are unable to complete the application online, please contact resessat or call 303-381-7488.