USGS/NAGT Cooperative Field Training Program

Jump down to: Past and Present Interns | Nomination and Selection | Evaluations and Reflections

Program History

photo of students in the field
Started in 1965, the NAGT-USGS Cooperative Summer Field Training Program is the longest continuously running internship program in the earth sciences. Over the past fifty years, more than 2300 students have participated in this program with an impressive number of these individuals becoming full-time employees of the USGS.

Present and Past Interns

2019 Interns

Past Year Interns

Nomination and Selection

Directors should send applicant name(s), address(es), and email(s) to:

Dr. Kurtis Burmeister
Executive Secretary NAGT-USGS Cooperative Field Training Program
University of the Pacific
Department of Geological & Environmental Science

USGS will decide among the applicants and then hire the selected NAGT nominees for available field, laboratory, or office related scientific positions throughout the country for up to 5 months. USGS places interns wherever the project scientists need them. Most recently, interns have worked in Reston, VA; Menlo Park, CA; Miami, FL; St. Petersburg, FL; Denver, CO; Woods Hole, MA; Baltimore, MD; Seattle, WA; Dover, DE; Trenton, NJ; Vancouver, WA; Indianapolis, IN; Lincoln, NE; Columbia, SC; Santa Cruz, CA; and many other locations.

Field camp directors and students can get more information about the program at the USGS Program Page. Please refer to the USGS Field Camp Survey for a comprehensive list of national college and university geoscience field camps.

Deadline for Nominations is October 1, midnight PST.

With active participation from the highest levels of both organizations (including the Director of the USGS), a joint committee oversees the program. The program "year" begins in September with all field camp directors being provided information about the program. Field camp directors can nominate students whose field course was at least 4 weeks in duration and completed in the year they are nominated. In addition, nominees must be US citizens or Resident Aliens. After talking with potential nominees to ascertain interest and availability, field camp directors can nominate:
  • the top student if the camp enrollment is 20 students or less
  • up to 2 students if the camp enrollment is 40 students or less
  • up to 3 students if the camp enrollment is 60 students or less
  • up to 4 students from camps with greater than 60 students
  • his/her field course was at least 4 weeks in duration and was completed in 2013
  • and he/she is a US Citizen

Nominated students apply by sending their resume to the USGS Education Office along with a letter of interest and transcripts. At the same time, USGS scientists interested in working with an intern send information about field, laboratory, or office-related scientific projects to the Education Office. Candidates are then matched by skill and interest 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. USGS personnel make final selections. As interdisciplinary, system science is a cornerstone of our science, all disciplines are encouraged, and do take advantage of, this program's support and available talent. Students hired through this program have continually received outstanding reviews from our managers; and, over the decades, many of these individuals have become full-time colleagues. Interns employed through this program are hired at a rate commensurate to their educational level and experience, typically at a GS-5 Grade, Step 1, with an adjusted locality payment.

Evaluations and Reflections

Over the years, NAGT has succeeded in identifying top-flight students for the program, and the USGS has succeeded in garnering the interest of competent and enthusiastic supervising mentors. Evaluations of the program by the students have been strongly positive, and the interns have continually received outstanding reviews from USGS managers. The NAGT-USGS Cooperative Summer Field Training Program continues Pecora's vision of greater educational involvement, and provides a first-rate professional experience to students early in their careers.

Current-year interns should complete the program evaluation questionnaire to help us continue to evaluate the program's effectiveness and impact.

If you took part in an internship in the past, please consider reflecting on your experience and how it affected the path of your personal and/or professional life. NAGT is gathering these stories via the reflections form and will use these stories to both evaluate the program and to generate new materials for the program website. You can see the collection of reflections that have already been submitted by past interns on the Reflections page.