Nine Week Research Internship for Undergraduates

June 21 – August 20, 2021

Summer research opportunities are available for 10-12 undergraduate interns through the Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean, and Ecosystem Sciences (CICOES). Interns are matched with a research project within one of CICOES nine research themes and work with a CICOES, NOAA, or University of Washington scientist at either the UW campus or the NOAA Northwest Regional Center in Seattle. Students will receive a stipend of $600 per week ($5,400 for the summer). CICOES also covers the cost of travel to and from Seattle and provides housing on the University of Washington campus.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic our 2020 program was entirely remote. At this time we are hoping to return to in-person projects for summer 2021 but a final decision will not be made until spring.

The Intern Program in a Nutshell

Anita on research vessel As a CICOES research intern you will work closely with a mentor, often within the context of a research team, to conduct a research project related to you specific interests. Depending on the project, the summer may involve hands-on experience in the field or laboratory, or both.

At the end of the summer interns will design a research poster displaying the results of their work. They will also create a three-minute video summarizing their experience over the summer. Each intern will present their poster and video during a program the final week of the internship that will be open to the CICOES community as well as student’s family and friends.

There will also be weekly seminars that each intern is expected to attend. Seminars feature guest speakers discussing topics such as:

  • The Arctic, a Harbinger for Global Climate Change
  • How to Create a Successful Research Poster
  • Sights and Sounds of the Bering Sea
  • The Journey of an Atmospheric Chemist

CICOES has existed since 1977 (formerly known as JISAO) for the purpose of fostering research collaboration between UW and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). CICOES’s research is at the forefront of investigations on climate change, ocean acidification, fisheries assessments, and tsunami forecasting. The impact of CICOES’s environmental research is felt by communities all over the world, and a broad variety of perspectives and life experiences is essential to the success of this research. We encourage students from groups historically and currently underrepresented in this field to apply. Please read about our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion here.


To apply please send the application form, cover letter, resumé, transcripts (unofficial are okay), and two letters of recommendation to Items may be sent together or individually.

Cover letter: Provide 1-2 pages telling us about yourself, your research interests, why you’re interested in this program, and what makes you a unique candidate. Also, please tell us what it means to you to have a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Applications for 2022 will be available in November.


Internship participants must be a current undergraduate student and a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Participants must be returning to an undergraduate program after their summer with CICOES (students graduating in the spring are not eligible for this program).

“This program gave me the chance to explore atmospheric chemistry in a way I couldn’t in the Midwest. Not only did I meet amazing people, but the experience I gained, in and out of the lab, will be extremely valuable in the future.” Claire Buysse, 2015

Important Dates

February 1 – Application deadline
March 26 – Target date for notification of acceptance
June 19 – University or Washington campus apartments open
June 21 – Program begins with orientation at 10:30 am. After lunch interns will be taken to their work locations to meet their mentors.
August 20 – Final presentations
August 23 – Last day to be in the apartments. Depart for home


Contact Jed Thompson, CICOES Education/Outreach and Communications Specialist, at

Seattle Met Magazine

Cover of Seattle Met Magazine with Best Places to Work headlineNow known as CICOES, JISAO’s internship program is featured in the Best Places to Work issue of Seattle Met magazine (January 2013) as one of “Seattle’s coolest internships.”

Excerpt from the magazine:

On a Whale’s Tail: Orca Research

University of Miami undergrad Rachel Pausch spent two months of her 2011 summer with a dog that had a nose for whale poop. They cruised around Puget Sound looking for orca pods while she was a research intern for the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean; the UW-based group studies endangered whales around the San Juan Islands. The team’s black Labrador retriever would bark when it caught a whiff of orca poo, and the boat would move close enough to collect whale feces samples to analyze for stress-hormone levels. “Seeing whales every day was amazing,” Pausch says. “Every time I saw their dorsal fins rise to the surface it was like seeing them for the first time.” The internship was paid, but the biggest draw for her was working alongside a wide spectrum of research scientists—and getting up close to sea life. The rewards for Tucker the black lab were simpler: a ball on a rope and a profile in The New York Times. —Dameon Matule

Winds of Change Magazine

JISAO internship program and former intern Delilah Dougi featured in spring 2016 issue of Winds of Change magazine.

Delilah wearing a hardhat

Due to COVID-19, the 2020 program was done entirely online.

Interns on Zoom

Top Row (L-R)
Zoë Stroobosscher – Calvin University
Haley Staudmyer – University of Washington
Bria Goldade – North Dakota State University

Middle Row
Dina Zawadzki – Monterey Peninsula College
Cassondra DeFoor – University of Nevada, Reno
Yoana Torres – Heritage University

Bottom Row
Jesus Espinoza – University of California Merced
Mark Yamane – Eckerd College
Katline Barrows – University of Puget Sound
Victoria Trejo – Cal State University, Chico

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