NOAA Bill Lapenta Internship

The NOAA Bill Lapenta Internship Program is a unique 10-week long opportunity open to U.S. citizens who are sophomore or junior undergraduates, or in a graduate program. Students are matched with NOAA mentors and study a breadth of work from modelling and programming, to new data analysis techniques, and the incorporation of social science to communicate science. 

Dr. William “Bill” Lapenta served as director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) from 2013-2019, and was a champion for atmospheric science within NOAA. After his passing in 2019, the NOAA community created an internship in his honor to reflect his passion for mentoring the next generation of meteorologists. The Bill Lapenta internship is an expansion of a National Weather Service internship that has been evolving under the guidance of Genene Fisher, OER; Jackie Alexander, NWS; Monica Bozeman, NWS; and Todd Christenson, NOAA CPO. 

CPAESS helps manage this program by hiring the interns as visitors and taking care of all of their logistics. NOAA matches them with mentors, and the students learn and get a “hands on” education during the summer. This internship has traditionally focused on modeling and programming but can cover a wide range of skills depending on the mentors available. They include: how to improve understanding of forecasting problems, operational model development, new data analysis techniques, improving forecast tools (including use of GIS), coding and testing of data visualization systems, the development of datasets for the Science on a Sphere, the incorporation of social science to communicate science, improving air quality and dispersion models, and contributing to the development of the National Climate Assessment and other reports (NOAA). 

NOAA Bill Lapenta Internship

These summer internships are ten weeks long and are open to U.S. citizens who are sophomore or junior undergraduates, or in a graduate program. They are matched with mentors and may be placed at the “NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) facilities: Climate Program Office (Silver Spring, MD), Office of Weather and Air Quality (Silver Spring, MD), Air Resources Laboratory (College Park, MD), and the Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR) (College Park, MD) (NOAA).”

Among the students in this internship, a certain portion of them are designated to NOAA’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) program. This addition of OAR-mentored students created a record-breaking number of interns to 38 this summer. The areas of study are anticipated to expand and delve more into earth system science with climate as a cross-disciplinary area. In particular, the space where ocean and atmosphere converge. Depending on mentor availability the internships could address the breadth of OAR’s mission.

Applications for the Summer of 2023 will be announced soon. Find out more about the Bill Lapenta Internship Program.