Nine Week Research Internship for Undergraduates

June 22 – August 21, 2020

Applications for 2020 are now being accepted!

Summer research opportunities are available for 10-12 undergraduate interns through the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO). Interns are matched with a research project within one of JISAO’s seven research themes and work with a JISAO, NOAA, or University of Washington scientist at either the UW campus or the NOAA Northwest Regional Center in Seattle. Students will receive a stipend of $600 per week ($5,400 for the summer). JISAO also covers the cost of travel to and from Seattle and provides housing on the University of Washington campus.

The Intern Program in a Nutshell

Amy analyzing fish in a UW labAs a JISAO research intern you will work closely with a mentor, often within the context of a research team, to conduct a research project related to you specific interests. Depending on the project, the summer may involve hands-on experience in the field or laboratory, or both.

At the end of the summer interns will design a research poster displaying the results of their work. They will also create a three-minute video summarizing their experience over the summer. Each intern will present their poster and video during a program the final week of the internship that will be open to the JISAO community as well as student’s family and friends.

There will also be weekly seminars that each intern is expected to attend. Seminars feature guest speakers discussing topics such as:

  • The Arctic, a Harbinger for Global Climate Change
  • How to Create a Successful Research Poster
  • Sights and Sounds of the Bering Sea
  • The Journey of an Atmospheric Chemist


Internship participants must be a current undergraduate student and a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Participants must be returning to an undergraduate program after their summer with JISAO (students graduating in the spring are not eligible for this program).

JISAO is committed to promoting diversity and building a diverse, inclusive community of environmental scientists. All undergraduate students, especially those traditionally under-represented in the sciences, are encouraged to apply.

“This program gave me the chance to explore atmospheric chemistry in a way I couldn’t in the Midwest. Not only did I meet amazing people, but the experience I gained, in and out of the lab, will be extremely valuable in the future.” Claire Buysse, 2015

Important Dates

February 1 – Application deadline
March 20 – Target date for notification of acceptance
June 20 – University or Washington campus apartments open
June 22 – Program begins with orientation at 10:30 am. After lunch interns will be taken to their work locations to meet their mentors.
August 20 – Final presentations
August 23 – Last day to be in the apartments. Depart for home


Contact Jed Thompson, JISAO’s Education/Outreach and Communications Specialist, at

Application form

Recommendation form

Seattle Met Magazine

Cover of Seattle Met Magazine with Best Places to Work headlineJISAO’s internship program is featured in the Best Places to Work issue of Seattle Met magazine (January 2013) as one of “Seattle’s coolest internships.”

Excerpt from the magazine:

On a Whale’s Tail: Orca Research

University of Miami undergrad Rachel Pausch spent two months of her 2011 summer with a dog that had a nose for whale poop. They cruised around Puget Sound looking for orca pods while she was a research intern for the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean; the UW-based group studies endangered whales around the San Juan Islands. The team’s black Labrador retriever would bark when it caught a whiff of orca poo, and the boat would move close enough to collect whale feces samples to analyze for stress-hormone levels. “Seeing whales every day was amazing,” Pausch says. “Every time I saw their dorsal fins rise to the surface it was like seeing them for the first time.” The internship was paid, but the biggest draw for her was working alongside a wide spectrum of research scientists—and getting up close to sea life. The rewards for Tucker the black lab were simpler: a ball on a rope and a profile in The New York Times. —Dameon Matule

Winds of Change Magazine

JISAO internship program and former intern Delilah Dougi featured in spring 2016 issue of Winds of Change magazine.

Delilah wearing a hardhat

2019 Interns

2019 JISAO summer interns









Back Row (L-R)
Amanda White – Ursinus College
Shelby Gunnells – North Dakota State University
Winona Platt – Ithaca College
Madeline Talebi – University of California, Irvine
Chloe Hansum – Dordt College
Jaya Muehlman – University of Utah
Front Row (L-R)
Ricky Wright – Walla Walla University
Michelle McCarthy – Navajo Technical University
Delaney Kuehnel – University of Texas, El Paso
Isabelle Chan – University of North Carolina, Wilmington
Raymond Surya – University of Michigan
Ellie Lee – Bryn Mawr College

Back to Top