Career Opportunities

Okeanos Explorer-In-Training Program


There are two deadlines for 2017:

1) For participation in a program from January to May, 2017 - Applications due Dec 1

2) For participation in a program from June to September, 2017 – Applications due Feb 17

Program Description:

Ocean exploration & research logo

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) provides the nation with unparalleled capacity to discover and investigate new oceanic regions and phenomena, conduct the basic research required to document discoveries, and seamlessly disseminate data and information-rich products to a multitude of users. The program strives to provide resources, develop technological solutions, and innovative applications to address critical problems in undersea exploration. A fundamental part of the OER mission is the engagement of the marine science community, general public and training of the next generation of explorers.

The 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. Real time collaboration with scientists and other experts at exploration command centers around the world enables rapid dissemination of information-rich products to the scientific community. Telepresence technoloy ensures that data from new discoveries are available almost immediately to experts in relevant disciplines for further analysis and research.

Okeanos Explorer-In-Training for 2017 will focus on the central and southern Pacific. Current students and recent graduates from higher education institutions in American Samoa and Hawaii are encouraged to apply. Students traditionally underrepresented in the sciences including Native Hawaiian, Polynesian, and Pacific Island students are also encouraged to apply.

Explorer-in-Training Program Description:

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is currently seeking Mapping trainees to participate in the Okeanos Explorer-in-training (Eit) program for the 2017 field season. This program is open to enrolled undergraduate and graduate students as well as individuals who have recently graduated from a higher education program. The Explorer-in-training program will provide the opportunity to gain experience using an advanced multibeam bathymetric sonar mapping system, while contributing in a significant way to the Okeanos Explorer ocean exploration mission.

Expeditions will occur during the winter, spring, and summer of 2017. A typical placement will consist of one (1) 20 to 30 day expedition either offshore aboard the Okeanos Explorer or onshore at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Exploration Command Center (ECC) in Durham, NH.

Offshore trainees will stand an eight-hour mapping watch each day while onboard. The duties of at-sea mapping watch standers typically include the acquisition and processing of multibeam data and associated sound velocity profile data, as well as precise record keeping.

Onshore trainees will stand an eight-hour watch at the UNH Exploration Command Center. This opportunity will provide excellent experience with seafloor mapping sonars, data analysis, and software technology, as well as real time watch standing and communication with the ship through telepresence equipment in place at the UNH ECC.

Both onshore and offshore trainees will also complete a project of their own interest, with approval and support from experienced mapping team personnel. Note that travel and housing will be provided as part of both opportunities.


  • US Citizenship required for offshore opportunities (non-US citizens may apply for the onshore opportunities)
  • For offshore only: ability to stand an 8-hour at-sea watch
  • Familiarity with Windows and Microsoft Office tools
  • Willingness to learn and follow shipboard Standard Operating Procedures
  • Interest in learning about seafloor mapping operations

Additional Skills (Preferred but not required):

  • Previous experience in the acquisition and processing of multibeam data
  • Previous experience with geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Previous experience with fisheries or sub-bottom sonars


A generous pre-tax daily stipend ($125 per day) is provided. Please note that the stipend will be taxed by the Federal government, and the trainees will be provided a 1099 Form at the end of the tax year. Travel costs to and from the ship or UNH are covered in addition to the stipend.


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

How to Apply:

if interested, please apply at:

There are two application deadlines:

1) For participation in a program from January to May, 2017 - Applications due Dec 1

2) For participation in a program from June to September, 2017 – Applications due Feb 17

The following information is required as part of the application process:

  1. A current resume or Curriculum Vita.
  2. At least one letter of recommendation. If you are working with an academic or research advisor, please include his/her contact information.  Letters of recommendation can be sent directly to, or can be included as part of the online application submittal. 
  3. A brief letter of interest (limited to one single-spaced page), which specifically addresses these questions:
    1. Why do you think ocean exploration is important?
    2. What are your anticipated educational / academic goals for this Mapping Explorer-in-training program?
    3. How do you anticipate that this program with the Okeanos Explorer program will apply to your future academic and/or career pursuits?
  4. Your availability between January 1st and September 30th,  2017.


For additional information about the Okeanos Explorer and the Office of Ocean Exploration and Research please visit:

Three photos of undersea life and mapping image

CPAESS CAMP Proposal Website

To submit a proposal to the UCAR Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program (CAMP), please visit the CAMP website

CPAESS Contact Information


Shipping Address:
3090 Center Green Dr.
Boulder, CO 80301