NSF Unidata Student Intern
Boulder, CO 
Posted 6 days ago
Job/Internship Description
Job Description Summary:UCAR is excited to announce the job opening for the Student Intern. The 2024 NSF Unidata Summer Internship will offer graduate students and upper-level undergraduates the opportunity to work closely with NSF Unidata's professional staff on projects that interest them and benefit the wider NSF Unidata community. Interns interact with software developers, instructional designers, technical writers, and other mentors within the program, building skill with modern software development processes, learning about data-enabled Earth system science, and generally getting to know what it's like to work in a community-focused organization supporting Earth Science research and education. Participants contribute to NSF Unidata's innovative data access, analysis, and visualization tools by writing code, creating learning materials, or participating in other aspects of the software development lifecycle.

As an intern, you will choose a summer focus from a wide range of areas where NSF Unidata has active projects. Some examples:

- Contributing to existing data management, analysis, and visualization software packages written in languages like Python, Java, and C.
- Creating learning materials that help students and educators take advantage of NSF Unidata software and services.
- Investigating ways that leading-edge technologies such as machine learning, software containerization, and cloud computing can benefit the Earth system science community.

While we encourage you to think about focus areas you might be interested in, and to take a look at some of the things previous interns have worked on, you'll work together with NSF Unidata staff mentors to choose projects once the internship begins.

The 2024 program is an 11-week summer position (40 hours / week) running 18 May to 3 August, 2024. As circumstances permit, interns will have the opportunity to work full-time in person at the NSF Unidata Program Center (UPC) in Boulder, Colorado, in a virtual/remote internship setting, or in a hybrid arrangement. Interns receive an hourly stipend; interns who come to Colorado will be provided with housing (shared with other UCAR interns) and transportation costs to and from Boulder. Additionally, NSF Unidata will arrange for 2024 interns to attend the 2025 AMS annual meeting to present their work.

Position Details:

Visa Sponsored Job:


Relocation Assistance Eligible:


Job Location:

Boulder, Colorado

Position Type & Term:

Full time, Term - Casual (Fixed Term)

Compensation Min - Mid Range:

Hourly Rate Range: $21.91 for undergrad intern; $26.52 for graduate intern

*Final salary and rates are based on education, experience, skills relevant to the role.*

Application Notes

Application Deadline:

  • This position will be posted until February 9, 2024

Required application materials: (preferably in PDF Format)

Applications for the Unidata Summer Internship will be accepted starting in December 2023. Applications are due February 9, 2024 and must be submitted through the UCAR Career Portal. As part of the application process, we'll be asking you to provide us with a few things:

  • Your resume or curriculum vitae.

  • A cover letter that discusses:

    • Your professional skills and experience that align with the NSF Unidata mission, projects, and initiatives

    • How this internship will benefit you and your future career plans

  • A brief statement (one page or less) based on your personal background and life experiences (including cultural, educational, familial, social, etc.) describing how you have or would cultivate and maintain inclusive spaces.

  • Note: Candidates may be asked to submit a sample project (e.g. past class assignment, research project, previous work project, etc.) that highlights relevant skills.

Background Checks: Conducted for candidates selected for hire. .

Work Location: Regardless of flexible work arrangements, UCAR requires ALL positions to be
performed within the U.S., excluding U.S. Territories.

What You Will Do

Here is a brief summary of what one would expect to be generally responsible for in this role.

Key Responsibilities

Research / Scientific Software Development

  • Engage in research that builds on NSF Unidata technologies and involves using, designing, and/or modifying existing NSF Unidata software.

Reporting / Seminars

  • In addition to working closely with individual developers, you will attend technical staff meetings to report on the status of your project. You'll also have opportunities to update the UPC staff on the progress of your project through informal "brown bag" talks. And you'll also be encouraged to share your progress and experiences at UCAR and Unidata with a larger community by posting to the Unidata developer's blog.

  • In the last week of your internship, you will have the opportunity to give a NSF Unidata Community Seminar describing your experience and the outcomes of your summer work.

  • Unidata will also arrange for your attendance at the 2025 AMS Annual Meeting Student Conference, allowing you to present your internship work to a wide audience of working scientists and other students. We'll help you get started on your presentation and abstract submission during the summer.


  • The intern will be expected to document their work (for projects that involve writing code, this includes in-code documentation as well as user level documentation). The student will be encouraged to participate in the Unidata Developer's Blog throughout their summer experience.
Who We'd Love To Join Our Team

Successful candidates will ensure their application materials speak to the following criteria:
Education and Experience (Required):


  • Must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program as a sophomore, junior, or senior, or enrolled in a graduate level program with a focus on earth science or, if in a related field (e.g., computing or engineering), some earth science coursework preferred.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (Required/Desired)


  • Demonstrated knowledge and skill in the areas of data access, distribution, analysis, and/or visualization.

  • Basic knowledge, through coursework, of earth and/or computer science.

  • Ability and willingness to learn and use new scientific computing tools and programs.

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

  • Ability to work with a diverse group of peers.

  • Ability to work full-time virtually or in Boulder, Colorado during the summer program.

  • Ability to interact with mentors and peers in a manner that supports collaboration and inquiry.

  • Basic problem-solving skills: exercises judgment when to ask for help. Consults with supervisor on larger job or community related issues.


  • For software development projects, working knowledge of at least one Version Control tool, preferably Git.

  • Experience with Earth system science data formats (e.g., netCDF, GRIB, BUFR).

    Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

    Our organization is committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment and fostering a culture where everyone feels welcome and supported. To learn more about these efforts, visit the and our site.

    Research shows that women and people of color are less likely to apply for a position if they do not meet almost 100% of the desired skills and experience. Please note this is not necessary! If you meet the minimum requirements and have a passion for the work, you are encouraged to apply. We can provide on-the-job training for the rest!

    Some Final Considerations

    At UCAR|NCAR|UCP, you will work alongside a dedicated team of professionals conducting critical research and community outreach to solve complex Earth system science problems including climate change, air pollution, extreme weather, floods, drought, wildfires, and space weather, all with the goal of improving human life and reducing economic loss. Each of us, from scientists to the professionals who support their work, serves the public and a collaborative community of scientists in our mission to understand the complex processes that make up the Earth system, from the ocean floor to the Sun's core.

    Flexible Work

    At UCAR, we are committed to supporting our mission by giving staff the flexibility to find the schedule and location that works best to maintain their own work-life circumstances and reach their full potential as professionals. Many positions within our organization are eligible for fully on-site, hybrid, fully-remote and/or flexible work schedules.

    Equal Opportunity Employer

    UCAR is committed to providing equal opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy.Whatever your intersection of identities, you are welcome at UCAR.

    Export Control

    All positions are required to comply with U.S. export compliance regulations work location requirements regarding access to facilities and research systems.

    Visa Wait Times

    Please consider the length of visa procurement when applying for this posting, understanding that you will not be able to begin employment until you are able to get a visa and enter the U.S.

    The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer that strives to develop and maintain a diverse workforce. UCAR is committed to providing equal opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy.

    Whatever your intersection of identities, you are welcome at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). We are committed to inclusivity and promoting an equitable environment that values and respects the uniqueness of all members of our organization.


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    As soon as possible
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    Full Time
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