Thanks to the generous support of the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Geo-Launchpad program will continue to serve community college students through 2024! Geo-Launchpad prepares community college students for transfer to four-year universities to pursue academic studies in geosciences through paid summer student internships, academic coursework, and support for for their faculty mentors.

Geo-Launchpad is a collaborative effort between UNAVCO and Front Range Community College. Since 2015 Geo-Launchpad has supported over 30 Colorado students and engaged almost 50 faculty. This $500,000 award will expand programming to New Mexico and Wyoming and will support community college students and faculty in program activities that value impactful mentoring, supportive science, and empowering students to carve their own path in science.

“From the first year of the program, we have seen what the Geo-Launchpad program has been doing for so many students just starting on their path to a career in STEM.  Many are now professionals contributing to fields in science and technology. We are fortunate to be able to continue this work, and I can’t wait to see the impact the program will have on future students and interns.”
Patrick Shabram, Geo-Launchpad PI, Geography Faculty, Front Range Community College

Summer internships working with the US Geological Survey and other program partners provide students experience in science and an opportunity to build the skills necessary to conduct research. Past projects have included using GPS to measure local glaciers, evaluating the accuracy of terrestrial laser scanners, digitizing and archiving geological samples and historical collections, and creating recommended practices for the preservation of geological data. After their summer internship, students attend a national scientific conference to present project results.

Faculty mentor support at the home college is critical for student success. Geo-Launchpad interns are paired with a faculty mentor who participates in the Whole Student Mentoring program. Whole Student Mentoring provides faculty with mentoring resources and information about careers in STEM and geoscience, and also connects them to a network of other faculty and scientists.

“Geo-Launchpad is a really special part of UNAVCO’s workforce development portfolio. There aren’t many other programs that serve community college students, and we think doing so meaningfully addresses inclusion in geophysics. I can’t wait to meet all the amazing people who will join the UNAVCO family through Geo-Launchpad over the next three years.”
Rebecca Bendick, UNAVCO President

The Education and Community Engagement team at UNAVCO manage three internship programs that serve students from various academic levels and diverse backgrounds. Check out the Student Internships page to learn more about Geo-Launchpad, RESESS, and USIP, and apply for summer 2022 programs!

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