Opportunities

NOAA Ocean Exploration Explorer-in-Training Program

The Explorer-in-Training Program is excited to welcome applicants for the 2022 program!

Application deadlines:
February 5 (for the 2-4 week expedition-based opportunities) or
February 15, 2022 (for the 10-week internship program)

Check out some of the great work from past years.  

Ocean explorer logo

Program Description

NOAA Ocean Exploration is the only federal program dedicated to exploring our deep ocean, closing the prominent gap in our basic understanding of U.S. deep waters and seafloor and delivering the ocean information needed to strengthen the economy, health, and security of our nation.

Using the latest tools and technology, NOAA Ocean Exploration explores previously unknown areas of our deep ocean, making discoveries of scientific, economic, and cultural value. Through live video streams, online coverage, training opportunities, and real-time events, the office allows scientists, resource managers, students, members of the general public, and others to actively experience ocean exploration, expanding available expertise, cultivating the next generation of ocean explorers, and engaging the public in exploration activities. From this exploration, NOAA Ocean Exploration makes the collected data needed to understand our ocean publicly available, so we can maintain the health of our ocean, sustainably manage our marine resources, accelerate our national economy, and build a better appreciation of the value and importance of the ocean in our everyday lives.

The data collected based on community input informs policies and actions leading to the conservation, management and balanced use of the ocean. The program strives to provide resources and develop technological solutions along with innovative applications to address questions in undersea exploration. A fundamental part of the OE mission is the engagement of the marine science community, general public and training of the next generation of explorers.

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer is the Nation’s only federal vessel dedicated to ocean exploration. The ship is equipped with advanced tools that support systematic exploration of unknown ocean regions. High-resolution sonars, deep-water remotely operated vehicles, and telepresence technology are used to collect baseline information in unexplored areas.
 

Explorer-in-Training Program Description

Students watching monitors

Standing Watch: Explorers-in-Training Laura Almodovar, Victoria Dickey, and Kelsey Lane standing mapping watch at the University of New Hampshire Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center. Image courtesy of CCOM.

Since 2009, CPAESS/UCAR and NOAA Ocean Exploration have hosted over 144 Explorers-in-TrainingFor many, this first experiential opportunity was invaluable in subsequent academic and career pursuits. NOAA Ocean Exploration continues to seek opportunities to work with external groups to train the next generation of explorers. NOAA Ocean Exploration has also hosted graduate and undergraduate students as Explorers-in-Training in collaboration with NOAA’s Educational Partnership Program and Cooperative Science Centers.

The Explorer-in-Training Program equips students with skills to meet the current and future demands of the ocean exploration workforce, providing meaningful experiential learning opportunities that support NOAA Ocean Exploration’s mission and inspire ocean literacy for the next generation. The program features two internship options: (a) 2 to 4-week expedition-based opportunities (Hydrography & Seafloor Mapping) and (b) 10-week summertime opportunities (Exploration Education, Media, & Science Communication). The 10-week internships give students an experiential opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge through long-term projects supported by NOAA Ocean Exploration mentors. The 2 to 4-week expedition-based internships involve providing support for specific NOAA Ocean Exploration-supported expeditions, giving students the chance to contribute to mission efforts while gaining tangible skills that benefit their future pursuits. For 2022, both 10-week summer internships and 2 to 4-week expedition-based opportunities are available for application.

The Explorer-in-Training Program offers multiple internship themes to reflect NOAA Ocean exploration’s diverse expertise, work products, and services. These themes are designed to be interdisciplinary and reflect main focus areas while providing training in critical ocean exploration mission fields. Available themes for the 2022 year include: 

  • Hydrography & Seafloor Mapping (Offshore, expedition-based, 2-4 week internship): Mapping the seafloor via NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer is an integral part of NOAA Ocean Exploration’s mission, providing critical bathymetric data needed to characterize previously unexplored areas. Students in this track will work on projects related to multibeam sonar and sound velocity profile data acquisition and processing with support from the office’s experienced mapping team. These interns will gain tangible skills in the use of geographic information system (GIS) software, hydrographic processing and display software, and data management.
  • Exploration Education, Media, & Science Communication (Shore-based, 10-week Summer internship): NOAA Ocean Exploration strives to engage stakeholders and improve ocean literacy of learners of all ages through our educational programs. To achieve our mission of community-driven exploration, we employ a suite of communication strategies and media tools that bring our discoveries to the public. Interns will work on cross-disciplinary projects to gain experience in scientific communication, ocean education programming, and media use.  


Eligibility and Application Requirements

Eligibility

  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Currently enrolled students (undergraduate or graduate) or students who have already graduated, but whose graduation date is within a year of the application date (i.e., “gap-year students” or recent graduates); students must be enrolled in or have received a degree from an accredited academic institution within the United States or its territories
  • Degree, major, or intent to major in a field relevant to NOAA Ocean Exploration’s mission; these can include, but are not limited to: STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, social sciences, communications, education, business operations/administration, and ocean policy/management
  • Willingness to learn and follow NOAA Ocean Exploration’s office and shipboard standard operating procedures

Application Requirements

This year, the Explorer-in-Training Program will feature two internship options: (a) 2 to 4-week expedition-based opportunities (Hydrography & Seafloor Mapping) and (b) 10-week summertime opportunities (Exploration Education, Media, & Science Communication). The 10-week internships give students an experiential opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge through long-term projects supported by NOAA Ocean Exploration mentors. The 2 to 4-week expedition-based internships involve providing support for specific NOAA Ocean Exploration-supported expeditions, giving students the chance to contribute to mission efforts while gaining tangible skills that benefit their future pursuits. Applicants may apply for both internship options via a single application form.

  • Submission of online application form
  • Short answer response to each of the following prompts:
    1. What attracts you to ocean exploration? (250 words or less; this question is required)
    2. What are your expectations for an Explorer-in-Training internship? What skills and/or experience are you hoping to gain to advance your future career goals? (500 words or less; this question is required; if you are applying for both the 10-week summer internship and the 2-4 expedition-based hydrography/seafloor mapping opportunities, please address your expectations for both of those programs here)

    3. Is there anything else about your self/your experience that you feel is important and would like to share? (500 words or less; this question is optional) 
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae (CV) 
  • Contact information for at least one academic (professor, advisor, teacher, etc.) and one character reference (community member, work supervisor, mentor, etc.). These references should be able to speak to your character and your professional and/or academic background.  

Please compile short answer question responses and resume/CV into a single PDF and email to oer.explorerintraining@noaa.gov

If you have any questions, need guidance, or experience technical difficulties, please contact NOAA Ocean Exploration Internship Program Coordinator, Trish Albano, at oer.internships@noaa.gov.

 

Application deadline: February 5th, 2022 (2-4 week expedition-based opportunities) or February 15th, 2022 (10-week internship program)

For additional information about the NOAA Ocean Exploration, please visit: About NOAA Ocean Exploration.

Additional information about the Explorer-in-Training Program is available through NOAA Ocean Exploration.

 

Compensation

2-4 Week, Expedition-Based Internships (Hydrography & Seafloor Mapping)

  • A pre-tax daily stipend ($150 per day) is provided. Please note that the stipend will be taxed by the Federal government, and that interns will be provided a 1099 Form at the end of the tax year. Travel costs to and from the ship are covered in addition to the stipend.

10-Week, Summer Internships (Exploration Education, Media, & Science Communication)

  • A pre-tax weekly stipend ($500 per week) is provided. Please note that the stipend will be taxed by the Federal government, and that interns will be provided a 1099 Form at the end of the tax year.


Insurance

Operations at sea inherently entail some safety risks. Applicants whose internship involves going to sea are expected to provide their own medical insurance coverage if selected for a trainee position. Additional medical, offshore or worker’s compensation insurance is not provided by UCAR or by NOAA.


How to Apply

There are three steps to the application process.

Step 1:

The application form is closed.

Step 2:

The following information is required and should be compiled in a PDF or Word Document and emailed to oer.explorerintraining@noaa.gov to complete the application process :

  1. A current resume or Curriculum Vitae.
  2. Contact information for at least one academic (professor, advisor, teacher, etc.) and one character reference (community member, work supervisor, mentor, etc.).
  3. Answers to the short response questions listed above.

Instructions:  Combine items 1-3 above into one document and save as a PDF or Word Document and email to explorersintraining@noaa.gov. Applicants may apply for both internship options via a single application form and one set of supporting documents.

 

Application deadline: February 5th, 2022 (2-4 week expedition-based opportunities) or February 15th, 2022 (10-week internship program)

Contact Information 

For additional information about NOAA Ocean Exploration and the Explorer-in-Training program please visit: Okeanos Explorer and Explorer-in-Training.

 

Ocean floor mapping images