The RESESS Internship is a summer internship program, primarily funded by the National Science Foundation, that is dedicated to increasing diversity in the geosciences. 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. With the aim of cultivating diversity in ideas and perspective. This program is hosted by UNAVCO, Inc., in Boulder, Colorado. Students may participate for up to two years.

UNAVCO intends to run all internship programs during summer 2021. At this time, we aim to conduct these programs in person, in Boulder, Colorado. Should the situation change in terms of health and safety of participants and program staff we will convert all programming to a remote model. We will make any such decision on or before March 1, 2021. By applying to this program, you are agreeing to participate in either format. Support is available to assist with a work from home model.

The application deadline is February 1. 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 in Boulder, Colorado, for the summer: Internship job description - First Year Intern and Internship job description - Returning Intern

Application Instructions

In preparing to apply, consider the following:

  1. To apply to RESESS, you must fill out the online application found here. To apply to RESESS as a First Year Intern, you must fill out the RESESS Intern – First Year application. To apply to RESESS as a Returning Intern (you must have already participated for one summer), you must fill out the RESESS Intern – Returning application.
  2. The application has 10 steps, each with several questions:
    1. On the first page, you do not need to upload a resume or CV. Select "Continue without uploading…"
    2. In Step 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. In Step 3, you do not need to answer the questions about additional countries in which you are authorized to work or security clearance.
    4. In Step 6, there is no need to upload your résumé. Instead, please upload PDFs of all of your college transcripts (unofficial copies are accepted).
    5. Step 7 includes the questions that are particular to the RESESS program. You must provide a short essay response to each of these questions (max 200 words per essay). The essay questions for First Year and Returning interns are listed below.
  3. You will need to provide a copy of Unofficial or Official college transcripts to the RESESS program before the application deadline, for all colleges that you have attended. Please upload your transcripts in Step 6.
  4. Complete the application by February 1, 11:59 p.m., Mountain Time.
  5. If you are notified that you are a finalist by mid February, you will need two letters of recommendation from college faculty members or research advisors to be emailed directly to no later than February 14, 2021. See the FAQ with tips on who to choose for references.
  6. Direct your references to the web page with instructions on how to submit a letter of recommendation.

Applicant Essay Questions (subject to change for 2022 applications)- Please prepare responses prior to starting your application (max 200 words per question)

First Year Intern

  1. Introduce Yourself: Please tell us about how you became interested in the Earth or environmental sciences. What drives your passion for Earth science?
  2. RESESS Mission: RESESS is dedicated to increasing the diversity of the geoscience workforce by supporting students from historically under-represented groups. Please describe how you, your life experiences, and/or your participation in the RESESS Internship Program will support our mission.

  3. 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.
  4. Research Interests: Please indicate which topics interest you the most in the Earth and environmental sciences. You may list as many topics in the box below as you like.
  5. Career Goals: Please tell us about your career and academic goals. Specifically describe how participation in this program will lead to the pursuit and fulfillment of your career and academic goals.
  6. Educational background: What college-level science, technology, engineering, or mathematics courses have you completed or are you currently enrolled in? Academic Record: Do you feel your academic record accurately reflects your abilities and potential? Please describe any hardships (physical, mental, educational, economic, social, or otherwise) that you have overcome in pursuing your academic goals.
  7. Major: Your current major and minor (if any). 

  8. Expected Graduation Date: What year and month do you plan to graduate with your undergraduate degree?
  9. (Optional) Please share any additional information about yourself not addressed by this application, or any concerns you have with participating in UNAVCO’s RESESS program.
  10. Educational Institution: List the name of your current educational institution, include city and state. 

  11. Will you be you 18 years or older by May 16, 2021?
  12. UNAVCO is committed to running the internship programs in 2021. A decision to run the programs in-person or remotely will be made by March 1, 2021. If selected, will you commit to participating in the program whether it is in-person or online?
  13. The RESESS program collaborates with internship programs throughout the United States. If you are not selected as a RESESS intern, may we share your application to be considered as a participant in these other programs?

Returning Intern

  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 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 2021? 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, methods, and project goals.
  5. UNAVCO is committed to running the internship programs in 2021. A decision to run the programs in-person or remotely will be made by March 1, 2021. 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 or call 303-381-7488.