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COAST Student Internships Summer 2022

​​​NOAA CoastWatch 

West Coast Regional Node 

Ocean Satellite Data Internship​


Host: NOAA Fisheries is responsible for the stewardship of the nation's living ocean resources in order to maintain productive and sustainable fisheries and to facilitate the recovery and conservation of protected and endangered marine species. The NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center's (SWFSC) Environmental Research Division (ERD) is a climate-focused research group, developing science-based analyses, products, and information on environmental variability. NOAA CoastWatch develops and distributes satellite-based data products for monitoring environmental conditions in the world's oceans to support the work of coastal scientists and resource managers. The West Coast Regional Node (WCN) of CoastWatch and the ERD maintain a partnership to study and monitor U.S. coastal ocean resources and meet the nation’s needs for fisheries research and management. 

Location: Remote. CoastWatch is based in Santa Cruz  (map) but currently staff are working completely remotely. No in-person participation is anticipated. 

Internship Dates: June 1 - August 16, 2022; start and end dates flexible with regard to student’s academic commitments

Stipend: $6,000. Additional funds will NOT be available because relocation will not be required, participation will be entirely remote. 

Time Commitment: The internship is a full time, 11-week commitment. Over the 11 weeks, the intern may take up to five days off for personal reasons, vacation or illness. If participation is less than 100%, the stipend will be prorated.  

Position Description and Responsibilities: The CoastWatch WCN, in partnership with the ERD, distributes data, develops new products, and provides training to help users incorporate satellite data into research and management projects. Examples of CoastWatch projects can be found on the West Coast Regional Node websiteOne (1) internship is offered to work with WCN and ERD staff to expand satellite-based products and improve instructional materials for our training efforts. Depending on the background of the intern, possible projects include:​

  • Help develop satellite-based estimates of primary productivity. 
  • Use satellite data to map habitat suitability for fish species in locations off the US West Coast.
  • Develop a Python-based workflow for rapid development and deployment of new products.
  • Develop code examples in R or Python to use as content in satellite data training courses.​

The duties may include: 

  • Development and documentation of code using R or Jupyter notebooks. 
  • Development of basic metadata following community standards.
  • Check-in calls for interns to get guidance from supervisors and for supervisors to monitor progress of the internship (anticipated to be ~3 times per week)  

The intern will be encouraged to attend online science talks given by NOAA fisheries scientists. At the end of the internship, the intern will be expected to give an informal presentation to the ERD/CoastWatch team summarizing the results of their activities. 

Preferred Experience and Capabilities: ​Preferred skills include the following:​
  • ​​Python or R coding skills
  • An educational background in science (preferably oceanography or a related science), OR in computer science or a related discipline​
  • Familiarity with basic Unix command line tools and file structures​​

Skills Gained: The intern will learn how to work with large satellite datasets using online data services and how to use Python or R programs to extract data from the service.  They will learn about basic satellite metadata standards, such as the Climate and Forecast (CF) conventions, and about the structure and use of satellite files using the R or Python programming language. In addition, the intern will be exposed to current research and monitoring efforts underway at SWFSC and CoastWatch. Results from the intern's successfully completed activities will be incorporated into the ERD/CoastWatch operations with attribution suitable for inclusion in the intern's CV or portfolio.

Eligibility/Requirements: In order to be accepted for the internship, the candidate may be required to undergo and pass a Federal background check. If required, the process for the background check needs to be initiated at least one month in advance of the intern's start date. The intern will work remotely and will need to have access to a computer with the necessary open-source software installed. Applicants are also subject to general eligibility requirements.


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