The William M. Lapenta - NOAA Student Internship Program

The William M. Lapenta - NOAA Student Internship Program
The William M. Lapenta - NOAA Student Internship Program

The William M. Lapenta - NOAA Student Internship Program

In recognition of the many contributions of Dr. William (Bill) Lapenta to advance NOAA science and services and his dedication to training the next generation of scientists, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) established the William M. Lapenta Student Internship Program in 2019. The program builds on the highly successful National Weather Service (NWS) National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Internship which Bill created in 2017.

NOAA is offering paid summer internships targeted towards current 2nd and 3rd-year undergraduate and enrolled graduate students to work in areas that will provide robust research and/or operational experience that will prepare the student for further study in NOAA fields, for application to fellowships or for the NOAA-mission workforce. This internship program enables the National Weather Service, (NWS), Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NESDIS), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Ocean Service (NOS) and Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO to target the skills needed to fulfill their specific mission needs. Projects may be focused on research areas or the development of operational products such as decision support tools, climate and weather forecast models, population dynamics of fish populations, ecosystem modeling, hydrology, ocean circulation models, unmanned systems (both in air and under water), data analysis methodologies, social science, and strategies to communicate climate and weather information pertaining to NOAA's mission to the public and to stakeholders. Overall, students will focus on areas that will meet the future needs of NOAA’s ever-broadening user community and address immediate challenges across a diverse spectrum from the sun to the bottom of our oceans.

The application period for the 2023 Lapenta Internship will be open from Oct 1 2022 to Jan 5 2023 (about one extra week will be allowed for processing of recommendation letters). The 2023 Lapenta Internship will run from June 5 to August 11.

Click here to apply!

Program Details

Internships are full time for a 10 week period between June and August, with a preferred start in early June. Participants may be involved in projects such as:

- Activities that improve the understanding of forecasting problems
- Activities that address some critical aspect of operational model development
- Activities that will create new data analysis techniques with wide application and usefulness in operational forecasting
- Development of improved forecast tools (including those that use GIS)
- Coding and testing of data visualization systems (using Python and other coding mechanisms)
- Improving air quality and dispersion models and analysis tools
- Incorporation of social science to communicate forecast uncertainty and enhance IDSS
- Improving understanding of ocean-atmosphere interactions via modeling or analysis
- Developing and fostering decision support and communications on urban heat and air quality
- Establishing new science and technology to convert raw satellite data into critical information for strategic decision-makers
- Supporting evaluation and testing of ocean models

In addition to their project, participants attend lectures, participate in workshops to build skills and knowledge relevant to the job, and then present their projects in both written and oral formats (e.g., PDF or PPT). Interns will have numerous opportunities to meet with NOAA and non-NOAA scientists, managers and leaders, as well as other interns (NASA for one).

What the program provides:
- Internship stipend ($6000)
- Furnished housing
- Travel allowance to get to and from the internship site
- Payment of abstract fee for AMS or AGU conference
- ID cards and subsidies for use of Metro or other transportation to/from dorms to work site
- Upon completion, each intern will receive a certificate for Corp Conservation Act Direct Hiring Authority (CCA DHA)

Each student will collaborate with one or more scientists at one of the facilities detailed in Participating Offices tab (subject to availability). All of NOAA's Line Offices participate in this internship program: National Weather Service (NWS), Office of Oceanic an Atmospheric Research (OAR), the National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NESDIS), National Ocean Service (NOS), and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) also participates. Please note that we cannot guarantee the availability of an internship opportunity at each facility on an annual basis.

Click here to apply!


Must be enrolled in an undergraduate (sophomore and junior status only) or graduate degree program, and be a U.S. Citizen willing to undergo a security background check. US citizenship must be in hand by Jan 1, 2023. Students from all STEM majors relevant to NOAA's mission will be considered.

NOAA’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan states that:
“NOAA’s unique mission of science, service, and stewardship demands a diverse workforce to reflect, understand, and respond to the varied communities and stakeholders we serve. Equally important is an inclusive work environment that drives employee and organizational performance. NOAA recognizes that a sustained commitment to strengthening diversity and inclusion is critical to enable a future where societies and the world’s ecosystems reinforce each other and are mutually resilient in the face of sudden and prolonged change.”

Members of groups underrepresented in the sciences including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Pacific Islanders, and LGBTQ+ persons with disabilities, veterans, first-generation college students, and economically disadvantaged students are strongly encouraged to apply.

Click here to apply!