Internship Opportunities

Nine week research internship for undergrads
June 20 - August 19, 2016

Applications for the 2016 program will be available in November. 
Application forms (Before filling out the form, download it to your computer and open it in Adobe Acrobat): [Application], [Recommendation letter form], Information flyer

Amy working with fish in the labSummer research opportunities are available for 7-10 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 approximately $4,200. 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

As a JISAO research intern you will work closely with a mentor, and 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 your work. You will also create a three-minute video summarizing your 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. Click here to see videos made by previous interns.

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. Students graduating the spring before the program are not eligible for the JISAO Internship Program. Participants must be returning to an undergraduate program after thier summer with JISAO.

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.

Important dates

February 2 – Application deadline
March 16 – Target date for notification of acceptance
June 21 – 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 21 – Final presentations
August 23 – Last day to be in the apartments. Depart for home

Download the application here. Completed application form, statement of interest, resume, transcript, and letters of recommendation should be emailed to Jed Thompson at

Applications may also be mailed to:

Jed Thompson
University of Washington
Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO)
Box 355672
Seattle, WA 98195

Seattle Met magazine

January 2013 Seattle Met coverJISAO'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


Scientists interested in hosting an intern should contact Jed Thompson at


2014 Interns

Madeline Camp, Rice University - Maddie worked with Becky Alexander in the UW Department of Atmospheric Sciences to analyze oxidants of sulfate in the remote marine boundary layer.

Alexandra Caruthers, Valparaiso University - Alex worked with Karin Bumbaco in the Office of the Washington State Climatologist studying Washington wind storms. 

Amy Duarte, Humboldt State University - Amy worked with Dave Beauchamp in the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences studying how size influences survival of Chinook salmon.  

Brittany Hailey, Jackson State University - Brittany worked with Jeff Arnold of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers performing statistical analysis of watershed data for USACE's climate vulnerability assessment. 

Stanley Ko, CUNY City College - Stanley worked with Timothy Essington in the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences to develop life history models of krill in the Northern Pacific Ocean.

Sophia Wensman, University of Michigan - Sophia worked with JISAO's Rolf Sonnerup and Bonnie Chang to study the production and emission of nitrous oxide from Hood Canal. 

The interns after thier final presentations

L-R: Stanley Ko, Amy Duarte, Alexandra Caruthers, Madeline Camp, Sophia Wensman, Brittany Hailey

Are you a former intern visiting the site? If so, please send us an update at and find us on Facebook