See more videos on UNAVCO's YouTube page.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ICER-1540524
I think for me, the most valuable thing [from GLP] was being able to discover things about myself like interests and I now have a clear idea of what I want to do afterwards. I felt like when I compared, if I didn’t have this opportunity, I would just be studying undergrad with no purpose. Being able to discover that is just priceless.
Geo-Launchpad is an eleven-week paid summer internship program based in Boulder, CO and is open to all Colorado and New Mexico community college students with an interest in geoscience. Geoscience includes atmospheric science, chemistry, earth science, engineering, environmental science, geography, geology, hydrology, technology, etc. This is a pre-REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program that will expose students to geoscience careers, assist in professional development and communication skills, and provide research-ready skills.
Interns will work full time on a collaborative research-support project under the guidance of technical staff. Professional development activities and communication workshops take place weekly throughout the summer, as well as Geoscience Career Circles that offer students the opportunity to meet and participate in an informal discussion with a geoscience professional.
I learned the most from being able to work with field engineers. Getting exposed to so many things technical, professional. It was just like an insight, like opening your eyes and also getting to know what my interests are by doing this work is something that I'll take from this.
The actual hands-on research helps you, at first you’re like ‘this is a really expensive piece of equipment,’ but working with it and they trusted us with it, and you just prove to yourself that you can figure it out and get there and get some self-confidence. And just the value of working with the field engineers and hearing their stories was great.
Webinar #1: What to expect this summer in the Geo-Launchpad program. This webinar will focus on the program and outline what the interns can expect prior to and just after arriving in Boulder.
Webinar #2: Project descriptions and Q&A with former Geo-Launchpad interns. This webinar provides an opportunity to talk to other students who have participated in the program.
Research-support Project. Interns will work collaboratively on a research-support project with a project manager. Students are provided office space and any required computing resources and supplies.
Geoscience Career Circle. Interns have a unique opportunity to meet informally with professionals from different sectors of the geoscience workforce each week. Guest speakers will discuss their career trajectory including their academics, any challenges they’ve faced, and offer advice. Interns are encouraged to ask as many questions as they like.
Professional Development Workshops. The purpose of the workshops is to explore non-academic communications as a student and a scientist. Past workshops included resume/CV and cover letter writing, interview practice, technical writing, science poster creation, and conflict resolution.
Mentorship. Build and maintain a mentor relationship with a faculty mentor from your home institution. A faculty mentor is a faculty member from your school who can provide support to you before, during, and after the internship program. They must also travel to Boulder to attend your poster session during the last week of the program.
Geology Field Trip. Interns will participate in a geoscience field trip, along with RESESS and USIP interns, to a local area of interest. Past trips include Morrison, CO and Rocky Mountain National Park.
Overnight Field Trip. Interns will participate in an overnight field trip, along with RESESS interns, to the University of Colorado (CU) Mountain Research Station led by CU faculty and graduate students.
Community Poster Session. Geo-Launchpad interns will present a poster detailing their summer work along with several Boulder-based intern groups at the annual poster session held locally in Boulder. This event takes place during the final week of the program.
I learned I'm in the right field. That's the sentence I would use to sum it up.
Meet with faculty mentor to discuss career paths, research opportunities on campus, and other ways to stay connected to the scientific community. Submit a write-up to Geo-Launchpad during the following fall semester.
The way they've built this internship, it's so supportive, and so the staff and then our mentors, and, it's just, it's really been a very supportive and wonderful environment.
Unfortunately, no. Most of the requirements above are minimums, and many of our applicants will exceed these base requirements. We also cannot accept applications from international students, unless they have U.S. citizenship or are permanent U.S. residents, or from students who are not currently enrolled in a community college in Colorado or New Mexico.
Please contact us at geolaunchpadunavco.org if you have questions about your eligibility.
A faculty mentor is a faculty member from your home institution who will provide you with support before, during, and after the internship. You are required to apply with a faculty mentor, and they must submit a letter of recommendation as part of your application. Details about faculty mentor requirements and support can be found here. If you need advice on choosing and/or approaching a faculty mentor, feel free to contact us at geolaunchpadunavco.org.
UNAVCO offers 3 tiers of internship opportunities, beginning with Geo-Launchpad at the community college level. UNAVCO's research internship (RESESS) is targeted at upper division undergraduate students from underrepresented groups in the geosciences and serves as a research experience. UNAVCO's Student Internship Program (USIP) internships are real-world work experiences for undergraduates, graduates, and post-graduates that relate to the students' major or career goal.
The Geo-Launchpad internship is designed for students who are early in their academic career, such as community college students. The research-support project is collaborative and under the guidance of a project manager.
We will do our best to assign you a project that matches your interests. However, we cannot guarantee specific projects, and project topics will depend on the current work of the project managers. We try to assign projects that will expose you to authentic scientific research, teach you important research techniques that often include fieldwork, and that will have tangible results by the end of the program.
The Geo-Launchpad internship provides assistance with local transportation.
Yes. Housing is available for the duration of the summer internship.
Yes. Interns are paid a weekly stipend during the eleven-week internship.
You should apply, and if you are accepted, we will discuss what kind of arrangements would be best for your family and we will make every effort to meet those needs.
Definitely [gained] confidence in myself in being able to approach a problem, and just knowing like, there's a way around this, or a way through it, and I'm going to find it.
I think professionally it's been great to learn a lot more about mentoring and be able to be more intentional with these relationships that crop up with students. Now, having more resources on the mentoring side, I think will benefit me greatly in my career as a teacher, to be more intentional with how I give advice or how I talk with students or build a rapport. Giving more than just, ‘Oh, take this class, take this class,’ but more to, ‘What's your ultimate goal?’ Then figuring out the best way to reach that goal.
- 2016 Faculty Mentor
It is important that Geo-Launchpad interns have a strong and supportive relationship with a faculty member from their home institution in order to ensure they continue on a path to a career in science or technology. Therefore, we ask that students apply with a faculty mentor who will provide support before, during, and after the internship.
There are many benefits for faculty members who mentor undergraduates. Mentoring provides an opportunity for you to have the greatest impact on a student, yet most faculty members are constrained by other academic commitments and the importance of student mentoring is not emphasized at their institutions. By being a mentor through Geo-Launchpad, you are provided with training, support, and a stipend to help you with your mentoring efforts. Most mentors report personal satisfaction and fulfillment, are often creatively inspired by their mentees, have increased networking due to their involvement with students, are motivated to stay current in their field, and mentoring relationships often result in lifelong friendships (Johnson, 2007).
Students with a close mentoring relationship have a number of documented benefits including: academic achievement such as higher GPAs and completing more credit hours, higher likelihood of graduation, enhanced professional skill development, better networking, more likely to secure initial employment, higher income levels and promotion rates, and many more (Johnson, 2007).
Full reference: Johnson, W. Brad. On being a mentor: A guide for higher education faculty. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers, 2007.
For more information on mentoring, please visit our Mentor Resources page.
One of the things I love about teaching is that I also learn from them and that goes on in class and this summer, too. Learning about what she's been doing and the types of things that are really happening in research and the types of tools and instruments they're using and projects that they're working on. I learned a lot yesterday [at the RESESS presentation]. I will use that and plug it into my classes like 'Hey this is what people are really doing. This is how you can apply the knowledge from class. You can do projects like this.' I'm always soaking all that in and incorporate it into my classes.
- 2016 Faculty Mentor
Last modified: Tuesday, 21-May-2019 22:44:06 UTC