2022 Summer Program Dates: May 23 – August 5, 2022
Geo-Launchpad is an eleven-week paid summer internship program based in Boulder, CO that is open to all community college students in Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming that have 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 exposes students to geoscience careers, assists in professional development and communication skills, and provides an opportunity to develop research-ready skills.
Research-support Project. Interns will work on a research-support project with a project mentor. Students are provided office space and any required computing resources and supplies.
Career Circle. Interns have a unique opportunity to meet informally with professionals from different sectors of the geoscience workforce. 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, science poster creation, and science communication.
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. Interns are encouraged to communicate with their faculty mentor during the summer program. The faculty mentors must also travel to Boulder (if applicable) to attend the poster session during the last week of the program.
Local Field Trips. Interns will participate in field trips, along with RESESS and USIP interns, to a local area of interest. Past trips include Morrison, CO, Colorado Springs, CO, and Rocky Mountain National Park.
Community Poster Symposium. 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.
Professional Conference. In addition to presenting at the community poster symposium, interns will have the opportunity to present at a professional conference in the fall. Funding is provided for travel if necessary.
Fall Mentor Meeting. Interns are required to meet with their faculty mentor to discuss career paths, research opportunities on campus, and other ways to stay connected to the scientific community.
Faculty Mentor Information
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.
Why be a mentor?
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).
What do faculty mentors do?
- Complete the letter of recommendation (below) for the student as part of their application.
- Regularly communicate with the intern about their project throughout the summer.
- Travel to Boulder, CO during the last week of the program to attend the interns’ final poster session (if applicable, note that travel costs to Boulder will be provided).
- Following the program in the fall semester, you will need to have one official meeting with your student during which you discuss career paths, opportunities on campus, and how to stay connected to the scientific community (the student will submit a summary of this meeting to Geo-Launchpad, and then you will receive a stipend for your efforts).
- Although it is not required for the program, we encourage you to meet with your student regularly throughout the year.
Faculty mentors receive:
- Mentor resources
- Geoscience career resources
- Travel expenses to Boulder for student program final presentations
- Stipend for post-summer support
- Experience guiding students into STEM academic pathways and careers
How does mentoring benefit undergraduates?
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.
Letter of Recommendation
Find the Faculty Mentor Letter of Recommendation submission form below or here.
- be enrolled and currently attending classes in a community college in Colorado, New Mexico, or Wyoming through the current academic year (through Spring) with plans to transfer to a 4-year university.
- be at least 18 years old by the start of the summer program (mid-May).
- have an interest in science, technology, or engineering.
- have completed or are currently enrolled in college algebra with minimum grade of B.
- have completed or are currently enrolled in at least one additional course in geology, physical geography, hydrology, environmental sciences, physics, math, or engineering.
- have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.
- have a faculty mentor from their home institution who agrees to provide support before, during, and after the program. See “Faculty Mentor Information” for requirements and recommendation form.
Note: In order to follow federal guidance and maximize the safety of working conditions, UNAVCO requires all interns and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or provide documentation of an exemption for medical or religious reasons. Requests for medical or religious exemptions can be made by contacting Human Resources.
How to Apply:
To apply to Geo-Launchpad, you must fill out the online application (please first review instructions and program questions below). Note that you cannot go back and edit your answers or documents once submitted.
- On the first page, fill in required information.
- Do not upload a resume or cover letter. Instead:
- Upload a PDF document with your responses to the questions that are particular to the Geo-Launchpad program. Questions can be found here.
- Upload a PDF of your college transcripts (unofficial copies are accepted).
- Complete required legal information including: work authorization, gender, race, and veteran status (optional).
- Click submit. Your application is now complete.
Complete the application by February 8, 2022 11:59 p.m., Mountain Time.
Note: Applicants who do not meet the internship requirements and do not have a letter of recommendation from a faculty mentor will not be reviewed.
If you have questions or are unable to complete the application online, please contact geolaunchpadunavco.org or call 303-381-7500. The Geo-Launchpad Internship is a summer internship program dedicated to exposing early academic career students to research and increasing diversity in the geosciences. This program is hosted by UNAVCO, Inc., in Boulder, Colorado and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grant Nos. 2117397, 2119440 and 1724794.
Frequently Asked Questions
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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 2117397, 2119440 and 1724794.