2022 Summer Program Dates: Coming Soon!

Applications will open in November 15, 2021 and close February 8, 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.

Program Details

Summer activities:

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.

Post-summer activities:

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.

Application

Applications will open in November 15, 2021 and close February 8, 2022.

A successful candidate will:

  • Be enrolled in a community college in Colorado, New Mexico, or Wyoming with plans to transfer to a 4-year university
  • Be interested in career paths involving science, technology, or engineering
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Currently enrolled or have completed college algebra (minimum grade of B)
  • Currently enrolled or have completed at least one additional course in geology, physical geography, hydrology, environmental sciences, physics, math, or other science or engineering course. (minimum grade of B)
  • Have a faculty mentor from their home institution willing to support them before, during, and after the internship.
  • Have U.S. citizenship or permanent residence status
  • Have read and understand the internship requirements including traveling to Boulder, Colorado for the summer.

Application Instructions:

The application has 10 steps, each with several questions, some of which are not relevant to the program. Please carefully read the following prior to starting your application. Once the application is started, you will not be able to save your progress.

**Do not upload a resume or CV. When prompted, select “Proceed without resume/CV.”**

  • Step 1: fill in required contact information
  • Step 2: select ‘Intern’ for both ‘Current Job Type’ and ‘Desired Job Type’. Leave all other responses blank.
  • Step 3: only answer first question to state you are authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Step 4-5: answer relevant and required questions
  • Step 6: do not upload a resume or cover letter. Instead, please upload PDFs of all of your college transcripts (unofficial copies are accepted). One single PDF is preferred.
  • Step 7: Geo-Launchpad Applicant Questions – Please prepare your responses prior to starting your application (500 word limit).
    1. Introduce yourself and tell us how you first became interested in science or engineering.
    2. Tell us about your career goals. What scientific or engineering topics most interest you in terms of a future career?
    3. Please describe how you have helped someone in your family or community learn about or understand science or engineering.
  • Name, city, and state of current educational institution (all eligible applicants must attend community college in Colorado, New Mexico, or Wyoming).
  • The name and email address of your faculty mentor.
  • Your expected graduation date.
  • Step 8: Not applicable
  • Step 9: Equal Employment Opportunity
  • Step 10: Voluntary Self-Identification
  • Step 11: Review and Submit

Note: Applicants who do not meet the internship requirements will not be reviewed.

If you have questions or are unable to complete the application online, please contact geolaunchpadat symbolunavco.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

  • Spend eleven weeks working full time (~40 hours per week)
  • Complete a research-support project under the guidance of a project mentor
  • Present your results in a scientific poster presentation at the end of the internship
  • Participate in other intern activities, such as communications and professional development workshops, participate in field trips, present your work and local and national conferences, and any other required activities
  • Develop a relationship with a faculty member from your home institution, who will serve as your faculty mentor. See “What is a faculty mentor?” below for more details.

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 under “Faculty Mentor Information”. If you need advice on choosing and/or approaching a faculty mentor, feel free to contact us at geolaunchpadat symbolunavco.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.

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.

The Geo-Launchpad internship provides assistance with travel costs.

Yes. Housing is available for the duration of the summer internship.

Yes. Interns are paid a weekly stipend of $600 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.

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.

Geo-Launchpad Alumni

Get to know our GLP Alumni and their projects.

School: Front Range Community College

Project Mentor: Lindsay Powers and Michaela Johnson (USGS)

Faculty Mentor: Jamie Dahl

Project: Compiling and Creating Recommended Practices for the Preservation of Geological Data to Promote the FAIR principles

About Madalyn Massey (she/her/hers)

Madalyn Massey is a student at Front Range Community College, in Fort Collins, CO. Madalyn currently studies Natural Resources as a first generation college student. As a first generation student, she has studied a variety of scientific courses, such as social sciences, chemistry, environmental science and forestry. She has decided to pursue a path as a supporter of science. Madalyn values the importance of inclusion, communication and connection between public and science. With these in mind, Madalyn seeks a future where research and data is more accessible and will practice this, this summer, on her project with United States Geological Survey (USGS). As a Geo-Launchpad intern, Madalyn will research, evaluate, and compile best practices regarding the preservation of geological data. The second part of the program is the planning, and participating to conduct a series of virtual webinars. Madalyn will further develop her skills and research practices, to better herself as a student, and future scientist. 

School: Front Range Community College

Project Mentor: Sky Bristol (USGS)

Faculty Mentor: Jennifer Muha

Project: Exploration of Open Science Practices within the Geosciences

About Allison Sowers (she/her/hers)

Allison Sowers is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Applied Science degree in geospatial science at Front Range Community College in Longmont, CO. Her summer internship project is centered around the importance of documenting and publishing scientific protocols for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), applying open science practices, and creating a meaningful resource for others to build upon.

School: San Juan College

Project Mentor: Sky Bristol (USGS)

Faculty Mentor: John Burris

Project: Exploration of Open Science Practices within the Geosciences

About Jimmy Swift (he/him/his)

Jimmy Swift is traveling to Socorro, New Mexico in the fall to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in geology at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. His Geo-Launchpad summer project involves analyzing research and development projects in order to make architectural improvements and to develop new capabilities to parts of the USGS geoscience data portfolios.

School: San Juan College

Project Mentor: Lindsay Powers and Michaela Johnson (USGS)

Faculty Mentor: John Burris

Project: Compiling and Creating Recommended Practices for the Preservation of Geological Data to Promote the FAIR principles

About Patrick Walston (he/him/his)

Patrick Walston is transferring as a junior to Fort Lewis College in Durango, and will be pursuing a Bachelors in Geology with a certificate in GIS for the fall semester of 2021. His work in the Geo-Launchpad program focuses on working with the USGS to research and compile best practice techniques for geologic sample data preservation which will be presented to the numerous collectives that work with the USGS.

School: Front Range Community College

Project Mentor: Amanda Lowe and Christy-Ann Archuleta (USGS)

Faculty Mentor: Max Miller

Project: Uncharted Territory: Reviewing the USGS Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for future hydrographic mapping endeavors (PDF)

About Jonathan Bias (he/him/his)

Jonathan Bias is currently studying at Front Range Community College to obtain his Associate’s in Geography. He plans to transfer to University of Colorado Boulder where he will major in Geographic Information Systems and minor in Geology. During his time with the Geo-Launchpad internship, Jonathan was involved in the inspection and assessment of IFSAR-derived Hydrography data and standard operating procedures for the National Geospatial Technical Operations Center staff. Along with this data review, Jonathan compiled test results and recommendations to ensure accurate, up to date data is being delivered to the National Hydrography Dataset, in addition to future USGS enterprises.

School: Arapahoe Community College

Project Mentors: Erin Korris, Emily Anderson, and Chuck Matthys (USGS)

Faculty Mentor: Rosann Poltrone

Project: Mapping our Nation: How volunteers are modernizing the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Map (PDF)

About Celeste Briefs (she/her/hers)

Celeste was born in Denver, Colorado and has lived in Highlands Ranch almost her entire life. She has a passion for travel and for learning new things. She graduated from Arapahoe Community College in 2020 with an Associate of Arts degree and is currently attending the University of Colorado Denver for a Master’s in Creative Writing and Literature. Celeste is also very passionate about the environment and environmental sciences, and it is this passion that led her to join UNAVCO’s Geo-Launchpad summer internship program. Although her dream is to be a published/best-selling poet, she is dedicated to learning as much as she can about how she can help to save the environment. For this internship, she worked on USGS’s TNMCorps project, editing and updating various map points of man-made structures across the United States, such as hospitals, post offices, schools, and fire stations, in order to provide accurate and authoritative spatial map data for The National Map.

School: Front Range Community College

Project Mentor: Erin Korris, Emily Anderson, and Chuck Matthys (USGS)

Faculty Mentor: Angela Green-Garcia

Project: Mapping our Nation: How volunteers are modernizing the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Map (PDF)

About Sean Vogel (he/him/his)

Sean Vogel was born in Nashville, TN and joined the U.S. Air Force in 2012. After a six-year enlistment, he moved to Colorado to be closer to family. He currently attends Front Range Community College and is finishing an Associate of Science degree, with plans to transfer to C.U. Boulder to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. Sean is interested in building better community-used structures and roads to leave a more efficient and productive society for future generations. As an intern, Sean worked with USGS to edit, update, and maintain accurate spatial map data for their web-based project: The National Map.

School: Red Rocks Community College

Project Mentor: Amanda Lower and Christy-Ann Archuleta (USGS)

Faculty Mentor: Blake Mayberry

Project: Uncharted Territory: Reviewing the USGS Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for future hydrographic mapping endeavors (PDF)

About Maeve Wilder (she/her/hers)

Maeve Wilder lived all over the U.S. before finally settling in Colorado and realizing her interest in Earth Sciences. She just graduated from Red Rocks Community College with an Associates of Geography and is planning on getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science from Fort Lewis College. Her other interests include skiing, art, and playing cello. Over the summer Maeve is working with the USGS to test training processes and the standard operating procedure for their Alaskan Elevation-derived Hydrography project. The results of her feedback will inform the training process for future data reviewers on the project.

School: Front Range Community College

Project Mentor: Brandon Heyman, Brian Staff, and Tom Cardenas (Droplet Measurement Technologies)

Faculty Mentor: Brandon Wills

Project: Implementation of Lean Manufacturing Tools in Assembly of Scientific Instrumention (PDF)

About Lily Chuang

Lily came from Taiwan when she was nine years old and currently lives in Boulder, CO. After graduating from CU Boulder with an art degree, she wanted to find her style as an artist and continued to take art classes in Chinese calligraphy and classical painting. These classes helped her realize science inspires her artwork. So she took a class at Front Range Community College on meteorology and is now continuing her journey in science. As a GLP intern, Lily enjoyed the summer interning at Droplet Measurement Technologies learning about the instruments and created a process to improve their lean manufacturing practices.

School: Red Rocks Community College

Project Mentor: Viv Hutchison, Lindsay Powers, Natalie Latysh, and Madion Langseth (USGS)

Faculty Mentor: Barbra Sobhani

Project: The Future of Published Papers: Improving Reproducibility Practices for USGS Publications (PDF)

About Alex Cohen

Alex Cohen is currently studying at Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, CO for her A.S in biology. She plans to transfer to CU Boulder to obtain an undergraduate degree in evolutionary biology and ecology. She enjoys travelling the world and researching coral reefs. During the Geo-Launchpad internship, Alex was working with USGS to assess published USGS approved publications for reproducibility factors. The goal of this project was to demonstrate how open access for scientific publications has changed in USGS, since several policies were enacted in 2016.

School: Front Range Community College

Project Mentor: Keith Van Cleave and Jenny Stevens (USGS)

Faculty Mentor: Patrick Shabram

Project: Creating the Digital Collection of William E. Davies at the USGS Library (PDF)

About Daniel Kelly

Daniel Kelly was a participant in the Geo-Launchpad program at UNAVCO. His project involved data entry and synthesization at USGS. Daniel graduated from Front Range Community College in Fort Collins in May and now plans to finish his undergraduate degree at CSU in the fall. Daniel enjoys slacklining with his friends, riding his bike and attending food truck rallies.

School: Front Range Community College

Project Mentor: Abby Benson, Daniel Wieferich, Steve Aulenbach (USGS)

Faculty Mentor: Patrick Shabram

Project: Analysis of Avian North American Migratory Flyway Use to Enable Effective Conservation of Species in Greatest Conservation Need (PDF)

About Kaely Harris

Kaely Harris is a participant in the 2019, Geo-Launchpad Internship hosted by UNAVCO in Boulder, Colorado. She is a former student of Front Range Community College and will be transferring to Colorado State University Fall 2019 to earn a degree in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation with a concentration in Wildlife Biology. She aspires to use her education and training to work as a wildlife researcher for state and private institutions. Kaely participated in the project titled, ‘Analysis of State Avian Species of Greatest Conservation Need within North American Flyways’, and learned to use data management tools and technology to analyze data on avian species in the region.

School: Arapahoe Community College

Project Mentor: Keith Van Cleave and Jenny Stevens (USGS)

Faculty Mentor: Rosann Poltrone

Project: Creating the Digital Collection of William E. Davies at the USGS Library (PDF)

About Jackson Galloway

Jackson Galloway was a participant in the Geo-Launchpad internship program at UNAVCO and spent the summer working with the US Geological Survey in digitizing and managing data archives in their Antarctic collections. Jackson recently transferred to CU-Boulder, where he plans to obtain a degree in Global Environmental Affairs. He would like to utilize a strong background in earth sciences to better enable economic development and quality of life improvements for marginalized populations around the world by integrating improvements in agriculture and land management, education, and renewable energy access.

School: Arapahoe Community College

Project Mentors: Keith Van Cleave and Jenny Stevens (USGS)

Faculty Mentor: Mark Leatherman

Project: The Modern Library: Digitizing Historic Photographs and Field Records for the United States Geological Survey (PDF)

About Santiago Cuevas

Santiago Cuevas is currently studying geology at Arapahoe Community College with plans to transfer to the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2019. Santiago’s interest in the geosciences began at a young age. With the guidance of many amazing teachers, his interest became a passion. After taking geology and astronomy classes in high school, Santiago found an interest in planetary geology. He hopes to graduate with a master’s in geology with plans to study planetary geologic processes. During the Geo-Launchpad program, Santiago helped digitize historic photographs and field records of the United States Geological Survey Library. Santiago’s ultimate goal is to someday become an astronaut doing geologic work for NASA.

School: Front Range Community College

Project Mentors: Daniel Wieferich and Steven Aulenbach (USGS)

Faculty Mentor: Frank Hearn

Project: Using National Hydrography Linked Data to Better Understand Wild and Scenic River Protections (PDF)

About Grace Donovan

Grace Donovan is a student at Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU) pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. Before recently transferring to MSU, she completed two years at Front Range Community College. Grace originally planned on pursing a degree in International Relations. However, after taking an Introduction to Environmental Science course, changed her academic track completely. During her internship with UNAVCO, she worked at the US Geological Survey within the Core Science Analytics and Synthesis & Libraries program. Her project focused on linking data on protected rivers and streams to the National Hydrography Dataset, enabling in-depth research, discovery, and the development of resource management tools.

School: Front Range Community College

Project Mentors: Daniel Wieferich and Steven Aulenbach (USGS)

Faculty Mentor: Patrick Shabram

Project: Using National Hydrography Linked Data to Better Understand Wild and Scenic River Protections (PDF)

About Alexandrea Hurtado

Alexandrea (Alex) Hurtado is a 3rd year student at Front Range Community College (Larimer Campus) pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Geography. Alex has had former experience with outreach, working as the Visibility Coordinator for the Climate Reality Project Campus Corps at Colorado State University in 2016. Through this experience, Alex gained a sense of stewardship for the land and was interested in furthering her education on the physical sciences to better understand the systems she hopes to protect. The Geo-Launchpad internship was a firsthand experience of the research side of science and exposed Alex to data management tools such as Python, QGIS, and Google Earth Pro. Alex worked with her mentor, Daniel Wieferich, at the U.S. Geological Survey on a project that linked the National Hydrography Dataset Plus Version 2 to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. This linkage will provide a better understanding of the hydrologic network in the lower 48 to provide insight for improved future and effective designations.

School: Front Range Community College

Project Mentors: Keith Van Cleave and Jenny Stevens (USGS)

Faculty Mentor: Patrick Shabram

Project: The Modern Library: Digitizing Historic Photographs and Field Records for the United States Geological Survey (PDF)

About Katie Gallagher

Katie Gallagher is currently pursuing an A.S. at Front Range Community College, with plans of pursuing a bachelor’s in Environmental Science. During the Geo-Launchpad Program Katie digitized the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) extensive collections of historic photography and scientific field records to preserve materials and make them more accessible online to researchers and the public. Katie’s dream is to help create a process of sustainable agricultural that can feed the growing population while still being environmentally conscious.

School: Front Range Community College

UNAVCO Project Mentors: Marianne Okal & Christopher Crosby

Faculty Mentor: Andrew Caldwell

Project: 3D Printing Procedures and Applications in Outreach and Field Support (PDF)

About Dylan Blanchard

Dylan Blanchard is presently studying geography at Front Range Community College, with plans to transfer to the University of Northern Colorado in 2018. Through a chance encounter on his campus, Dylan met a former Geo-Launchpad intern who piqued his interest in the geosciences. Dylan’s project at UNAVCO consisted of learning to assemble and use a 3D printer, ultimately creating a “how to” guide for the conversion of LIDAR data to a printable file.

School: Front Range Community College

Project Mentors: Kevin C. McKinney and Chris Stuckey (USGS)

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Richard Koehler

Project: Locating Fossils: Georeferencing and Mapping Invertebrates in the Western United States (PDF)

About Elizabeth Etzel

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Texas, Elizabeth (Liz) Etzel worked in the outdoors on trail crews, as an environmental educator, and as a natural resources technician. Liz decided to get back into her original interests in geography by going back to school at Front Range Community College to pursue a Geographic Information Sciences (GIS) Certificate. While part of the Geo-Launchpad program at UNAVCO, Liz worked on a project to map out shorelines of the Western Interior Seaway for the Core Research Center at USGS. She hopes to work as a GIS analyst helping people answer questions about how things relate spatially and eventually undertake a graduate program that incorporates her interests in botany and remote sensing.

School: Front Range Community College

Project Mentors: Kevin C. McKinney and Chris Stuckey (USGS)

Faculty Mentor: Stephanie Pipis

Project: Locating Fossils: Georeferencing and Mapping Invertebrates in the Western United States (PDF)

About Jessica Ghent

Jessica Ghent is currently pursuing an A.S. in geology at Front Range Community College, and intends to transfer to the University of Colorado Boulder for geophysics. She hopes to one day attain a Ph.D. and work for the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program. Her passion for geosciences, and volcanoes in particular, stems from her childhood love of the best disaster film ever made, Dante’s Peak, and from her travels to Iceland and Costa Rica. As a Geo-Launchpad intern, Jess worked for the USGS, georeferencing fossil localities to complete collection databases for the Smithsonian.

School: Front Range Community College

UNAVCO Project Mentor: Dave Mencin

Faculty Mentor: Max Miller

Project: The Slumgullion Slide: Using Drones (UAV’s) for Structure from Motion (SfM) (PDF)

About Brandon Lucas

Brandon Lucas is currently a student of geography and GIS at Front Range Community College with plans to transfer to CU Boulder to study atmospheric and oceanic science. Brandon’s a passionate geoscientist who hopes to better the world and society using science and GIS. At UNAVCO, he trained in obtaining Structure from Motion with drones (UAV’s). Outside of scientific endeavors, he loves spending time with his dogs, cat, and fiancé, as well as writing, making, and watching horror movies, and playing in his band, The Dead Side.

School: Front Range Community College

Project Mentor: John Rhoades (USGS)

Faculty Mentor: Andrew Caldwell

Project: Showcasing Minerals and Elements Critical to the National Security of the United States (PDF)

About Amye Pedrino

Amye R. Pedrino, 2017 UNAVCO Geo-Launchpad intern, is a physics major at CU Boulder. Amye was pursuing a degree in social work when she became suddenly and deeply interested in geosciences after taking geology and astronomy courses at Front Range Community College (Larimer campus). During the Geo-Launchpad program, Amye helped construct a mineral showcase at the United States Geological Survey Core Research Center (USGS-CRC) to promote public awareness concerning Rare Earth Elements (REE’s) and their importance to the national security of the United States. Amye plans to apply her multidisciplinary experiences towards contributing advancements in our global society.

School: Community College of Denver

UNAVCO Project Mentor: Dave Mencin

Faculty Mentor: Joel Thompson

Project: The Slumgullion Slide: Using Drones (UAV’s) for Structure from Motion (SfM) (PDF)

About Beth Scaeffer

Beth Schaeffer is a native of Denver, Colorado and is currently attending the Community College of Denver for an AS with a geology concentration. When she “grows up” she would like to travel the world, monitoring volcanic and other geologic processes. Her passions include geology, geophysics, geomorphology, volcanology, cartography, GIS, Unmanned Aerial Systems (drones), camping, hiking, and spending time with her husband and young daughter. Her time at UNAVCO was spent using drones and structure from motion to map geologic change.

School: Front Range Community College

UNAVCO Project Mentors: Marianne Okal & Christopher Crosby

Project: 3D Printing Procedures and Applications in Outreach and Field Support (PDF)

About Jodi Schoonover

Jodi Schoonover is currently a sophomore at Front Range Community College and transferring to CU Boulder in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in geology. Her passion for geology began while hiking the Colorado Trail and was further fostered by geology courses she attended. During her internship with UNAVCO, she worked on the 3D Printing Team to construct a 3D printer, write “how to” manuals for the printer, and aid in its application in field support and outreach.

School: Community College of Aurora

Project Mentor: John Rhoades (USGS)

Faculty Mentor: Sam Bishop

Project: Showcasing Minerals and Elements Critical to the National Security of the United States (PDF)

About Billy Jack Traversie

Billy Jack Traversie started college at the young age of 35, previously having no intentions of going back to school let alone pursuing higher education. After Billy worked in couple different industries, he started to see the value in an education. When he went back to school, Billy was interested in a degree to take back to the pharmaceutical industry. While taking Geography as an elective at the Community College of Aurora he quickly realized he had a passion for the subject. Billy is currently enrolled at Metropolitan State University of Denver for Physical Geography. Billy’s role for the Internship was to build a mineral display case and to research on (REE’s) or Rare Earth Elements for the (USGS) United States Geological Survey.

School: Front Range Community College

UNAVCO Project Mentors: Annie Zaino & Spencer Niebuhr

Faculty Mentor: Max Miller

Project: Polar Applications of Geodetic Field Methods: A St. Mary’s Glacier Case Study (PDF)

About Kelly Billings

Kelly has been interested in the weather and climate even as a small child, but fell in love with many aspects of Atmospheric Science after taking a General Meteorology class. Through her studies she has found great interest in how the atmosphere, earth and oceans interact. She worked on the Polar team in the Geo-Launchpad program, and studied how many of the Earth’s processes are tracked using the different methods of GPS.

School: Front Range Community College

UNAVCO Project Mentor: Marianne Okal

Faculty Mentor: Elizabeth Tulanowski

Project: Using Differential GPS to Determine Range Accuracy and Precision of Terrestrial Laser Scanners (PDF)

About Laura Fakhrai

Laura has a B.S. in Geology from Northern Arizona University and is currently earning a GIS certification from Front Range Community College. She became fascinated with geology as a teenager after reading a wall map that displayed the global plate boundaries along with volcanic and earthquake prone zones. She enjoyed working with Arc/GIS during her capstone as an undergraduate and is looking forward to combining her two interests as she enters the work force in her new career.

School: Front Range Community College

UNAVCO Project Mentors: Annie Zaino & Spencer Niebuhr

Faculty Mentor: Mike Zawaski

Project: Polar Applications of Geodetic Field Methods: A St. Mary’s Glacier Case Study (PDF)

About Bradley Norman

Bradley Norman is a geology major from Longmont, CO who found his passion for geoscience camping and hiking around the country, and watching Star Trek. As a Geo-Launchpad intern at UNAVCO Bradley gained field experience working with GPS equipment and supporting UNAVCO scientists performing research in Antarctica. His work over the summer included using GPS at St. Mary’s Glacier to measure snowpack to determine how the glacier is changing over time.

School: Front Range Community College

UNAVCO Project Mentor: Marianne Okal

Faculty Mentor: Patrick Shabram

Project: Using Differential GPS to Determine Range Accuracy and Precision of Terrestrial Laser Scanners (PDF)

About Alex Olsen-Mikitowicz

Alex Olsen-Mikitowicz is currently pursuing a degree in Watershed Science at Colorado State University. Alex recently separated from the U.S. Air Force where he developed a passion for service after participating in humanitarian aid missions. He plans to further this interest by focusing his knowledge and talents on assisting third world communities facing water based challenges.

School: Austin Community College

UNAVCO Project Mentor: Marianne Okal

Faculty Mentor: Peter Wehner

Project: Range and precision accuracy of Terrestrial Laser Scanners

About Dana Downs

Dana has long loved both science and art and found the perfect balance of the two in geology. Her previous social science background and her experiences as a lab assistant and geology club president at Austin Community College have inspired her to work toward becoming a professor at a two-year institution. She will continue that journey this fall at the University of Texas in Austin.

School: Syracuse University

UNAVCO Project Mentors: Annie Zaino & Spencer Niebuhr

Faculty Mentor: Linda Ivany

Project: Applications and utilization of UNAVCO GPS equipment for Polar research support

About Alexis Ho-Liu

Alexis’ devotion to community service has taken him all over the world, where his multicultural background as an Asian Hispanic born and raised in Puerto Rico has helped him connect with people everywhere he works. This passion for community service led him to study geography and geoscience at Syracuse University with an interest in teaching and using geospatial analysis to identify and assess natural hazards and needs around the globe.

School: El Paso Community College

UNAVCO Project Mentors: Annie Zaino & Spencer Niebuhr

Faculty Mentors: Joshua Villalobos and Debra Caskey

Project: Applications and utilization of UNAVCO GPS equipment for Polar research support

About Nicole Ingraham

Nicole is a geology major from El Paso, Texas, who plans on transferring to a university once she completes her associate’s degree at El Paso Community College. She is passionate about Earth science and enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, swimming, climbing, and collecting rocks.

School: Waubonsse Community College

UNAVCO Project Mentor: Marianne Okal

Faculty Mentor: Erin Menig

Project: Range and precision accuracy of Terrestrial Laser Scanners

About Jessica Whiteaker

Jessica is a geology major at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She became interested in geology from her grandfather’s love of the Earth and from collecting rocks together. Her current interests are geophysics and seismology.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 2117397, 2119440 and 1724794.

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