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Geology Summer Fellows Program

Established in 1965, the NAGT/USGS Cooperative Summer Fellowship Program is one of the longest continuing science internship programs in the country. Over 2,400 students have participated, with many proceeding on to distinguished careers with the USGS, academia, and industry. See below for more information about the programs and information on how USGS scientists can sponsor interns.

What is the NAGT/USGS Cooperative Summer Fellowship 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-three 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 NAGT and USGS, a joint committee oversees the program. The program “year” begins in September with college and university geoscience department heads and chairs being given the opportunity to nominate a limited number of students. Nominated students apply by sending a resume, letter of interest, and transcripts to the USGS Youth and Education in Science (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 a full list of our most recent 2024 Cooperative Summer Fellowship Program placements


Previous NAGT/USGS Interns By Year

The NAGT/USGS Fellowship Program has been operating continuously since its inception in 1965. The USGS has recently verified the names of NAGT interns back to 1989. Click here to see a complete list of intern names.