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Ecology Summer Fellows Program

The ESA/USGS Cooperative Summer Fellowship Program was established in 2018 to complement the USGS longstanding NAGT/USGS internship program. The parternship with Ecological Society of America targets students with training in biological field methods. See below for more information about the programs and information on how USGS scientists can sponsor interns.


What is the ESA/USGS Cooperative Summer Fellowship Program?

The ESA/USGS collaboration seeks to bring students trained in ecological and biological field methods to USGS for fellowship opportunities. It is additive to our longstanding NAGT program. Now in its fifth decade, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT)/U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Cooperative Summer Fellowship Program is the longest continuously running internship program in the earth sciences. Over the past fifty-one years, more than 2,400 students have participated in this program with an impressive number of these individuals becoming full-time employees of the USGS.

With active participation and support from the highest levels of both the USGS and ESA, a joint committee oversees the program. The program “year” begins in September with calls to field course directors and field supervisors who are invited to nominate well-qualified students. Nominated students apply by sending a resume, letter of interest, and transcripts to the USGS YES Office. At the same time, USGS scientists interested in working with an intern send information about proposed field and laboratory related scientific projects to the YES Office. Candidates are then matched by their coursework, skills, and interests with up to five projects. The listing of candidates and accompanying academic information are sent to USGS scientists for review, interviews, selection or possible further discussion. As interdisciplinary system science is a cornerstone of USGS science, all science disciplines are encouraged and do take advantage of this program. Students hired through this program have continually received outstanding reviews from our managers.

Over the years, NAGT, ESA, and GISCI have succeeded in identifying top-flight students for the program, and the USGS has succeeded in garnering the interest of competent and enthusiastic supervising mentors. The Cooperative Summer Fellowship Programs provide a first-rate professional experience to students early in their careers. These wonderful partnerships influence the career paths of future scientists in positive and exciting ways.

USGS Scientists

USGS scientists interested in hiring an intern through this program must submit a project proposal by the deadline of December 18th, 2023. Projects are reviewed and highest rated projects receive partial funding for the summer. The criteria are:

  • the engagement of the student in the science
  • the mentoring plan for the student in both science skills and professional development

Students hired through this program are initially appointed for 10-12 weeks. The appointments can be extended for up to 4 years, depending on budgets and science center needs. If appointments are extended beyond one year, benefits and a plan for advancement kick in. 

View the 2024 Cooperative Summer Fellowship Program placements here!