George Perkins Marsh Institute

NOAA Summer Internships

NOTE: Due to the recent partial federal government shutdown, the NOAA Fellows Program is cancelled for 2019. We hope to implement the program again in 2020.


The George Perkins Marsh Institute announces a competitive internship program for Clark University undergraduate students interested in ocean, coastal and atmospheric research. This program is sponsored by the George Perkins Marsh Institute in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science.

Through this program, scientists and managers with NOAA are partnering with Clark University to offer qualified undergraduate students paid summer field internships for summer 2019. Opportunities will be available in NOAA labs and offices nationwide, working in fields such as applied ocean and atmospheric science, policy, and science communication. Each student's summer activities will be overseen by a NOAA scientist or manager, and advised by a Clark faculty mentor. Internships will be offered in natural and social sciences, and are for a period of approximately 10 weeks. Starting dates are flexible, but most internships will begin in June and end in August. Fellows will be selected on a competitive basis, and will receive a summer stipend of $4,500. US citizenship is not required in general, but internships in some federal facilities are only open to those with US citizenship or Green Cards.

Available internship opportunities and full application guidelines will be posted in January on the website of the George Perkins Marsh Institute ( Student applications will be due February 12, 2019.

For more information about Clark's NOAA Internship Program, contact Robert J. Johnston, Director of the George Perkins Marsh Institute at 508.751.4619.

NOAA Fellows Work to Protect Endangered Species Across the US

Anthony Himmelberger and Hannah Corney hold baby loggerhead turtles

Three Clark University undergraduates returned to campus after a summer conducting research aimed at protecting endangered species, from the Pacific Arctic to Florida's Gulf Stream waters.

Anthony Himmelberger '19, Sophie Spiliotopoulos '20, and Jess Strzempko '20 received summer research fellowships through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in collaboration with Clark's Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise and George Perkins Marsh Institute. More »

2018 NOAA Fellows and Their Project Descriptions

Assessing Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nesting Activity along the Cape Romano Complex Beaches

NOAA Fellow: Anthony Himmelberger, Earth System Science '19
Faculty Mentor: Karen Frey
Location: Florida


Himmelberger is interning at the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) in Naples, Florida where he will monitor and document sea turtle nesting and hatching activity throughout the Cape Romano beach complex. Several species of sea turtles inhabit the estuary waters within the reserve and two species nest along its beaches. Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) are the most prevalent and green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) are the least common. The Rookery Bay NERR has been partnering with Collier County Parks and Recreation to monitor sea turtle activity since 2005. The long-term data are used to guide the management of important sea turtle nesting beach habitat.

Identifying and Summarizing Research: Marine Mammal Life History Traits

NOAA Fellow: Sophie Spiliotopoulos, Geography '20
Faculty Mentor: Karen Frey
Location: Maryland


Spiliotopoulos is interning with NOAA Fisheries in Silver Spring, Maryland where she will assist with vulnerability assessments on marine protected species. These assessments use existing life history information and expert judgement to assess exposure, sensitivity, and capacity to adapt to changing climate and other conditions. The objective of this project is to describe the current state of knowledge about marine mammal species' life history traits related to climate change vulnerability by exploring and summarizing published literature. The information compiled in this project will be used as input to the Marine Mammal Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Pacific and Arctic stocks.

Age and Growth Studies of Endangered Atlantic Salmon

NOAA Fellow: Jess Strzempko, Earth System Science '20
Faculty Mentor: Karen Frey
Location: Massachusetts


Strzempko is interning with NOAA's Atlantic Salmon Ecosystems Research Team in Woods Hole, Massachusetts which monitors the emigration of Atlantic salmon smolts and studies the growth patterns in the scales from both juvenile and adult life stages of this endangered species. Scales provide a valuable record of growth in Atlantic salmon since they record patterns of growth over the lifetime of a fish, instead of providing only a snapshot of condition at one point in time. Strzempko will contribute to a long-running time series of data collected from Atlantic salmon smolts and have the opportunity to develop an individual project based on new and archived scale data.

2017 NOAA Fellows and Their Project Descriptions

Rapid Bathymetry for Safer Navigation: Developing an Automated Process

NOAA Fellow: Tyler Anderson, Environmental Science '18
Faculty Mentor: Chris Williams
Location: Maryland


Anderson interned at NOAA Headquarters in Silver Spring, MD as part of a team that is automating the process to obtain water depth from satellite data in order to complement traditional surveys. Knowledge of water depth or bathymetry is critical for coastal navigation and management. Hurricanes and winter storms can move channels and shoals, posing a risk to navigation. Many remote areas of the U.S. and the world have limited or extremely old surveys. Satellite data can offer a rapid way to provide an assessment of water depth for these places. Anderson evaluated data from multiple satellite products to determine which approaches provide the best estimates of bathymetry, as well as turbidity and other water quality outcomes.

Advancing Integration of Natural Capital Principles into American Businesses

NOAA Fellow: Anika Kreckel, Economics '18
Faculty Mentor: Dana Bauer
Location: Maryland


Advancing Integration of Natural Capital Principles into American Businesses Kreckel interned at NOAA’s Office of the Chief Economist on multiple projects related to the integration of natural capital into the planning and operations of private business. Natural capital is another term for the stock of renewable and non-renewable resources (e.g. plants, animals, air, water, soils, and minerals) that combine to provide benefits to people. Every business affects and depends on natural capital to some degree and will experience risks and/or opportunities associated with these relationships. Kreckel assisted with the development of a framework to define the Ocean Economy that will help businesses evaluate their relationship to marine natural capital. The internship provided many opportunities to attend conferences and symposiums in Washington, D.C. that discussed the importance of business support to mitigate climate change. Back at Clark this fall, Kreckel remains engaged with a small group of individuals from NOAA, Conservation International, and The Natural Capital Coalition (NCC), working to develop an Oceans Supplement to the Natural Capital Protocol. This has been integrated with her Clark studies through a linked independent study with Marsh Director Robert Johnston.

Finding Harmful Algae with High Resolution Satellite

NOAA Fellow: Carly Robbins, Geography '18,
Faculty Mentor: Florencia Sangermano
Location: Maryland


Robbins interned at the National Ocean Service’s Stressor Detection and Impact Division at NOAA Headquarters in Silver Spring, MD, where she assessed the potential of high resolution satellite data to detect harmful algal blooms within small lakes in northern Florida. NOAA lacks information on bloom conditions in these smaller lakes due to their satellite data having too coarse of a spatial resolution and an absence of ground truth data to validate satellite measurements. To determine how well the high resolution satellite could detect and quantify algal blooms, Robbins conducted a matchup between new high resolution satellite data and existing lower resolution satellite data that was previously found to detect harmful algae accurately.

Endangered Species Act -- Listed Species Tracking

NOAA Fellow: Alexis Stabulas, Environmental Science '18
Faculty Mentor: John Baker
Location: Massachusetts


Stabulas interned at the NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office and Protected Resources Division, which is responsible for protecting marine mammals and threatened/ endangered species. She provided research and technical assistance on several projects within the Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultation team, summarizing and interpreting programmatic data and assisting with the development of an ESA-listed species tracking geodatabase and the creation of a map user guide. The final mapping products will be published online, improve interagency efficiency, and help educate the public on the best available science and information regarding threatened and endangered species.

2016 NOAA Fellows and Their Project Descriptions

Congressional Communications for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research

NOAA Fellow: Rebecca Hadik, Political Science '17
Faculty Mentor: Amy Richter
Location: Maryland


Hadik interned at the NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research's Formulation and Congressional Analysis Division, which develops the Office's budget and defends it to the President and Congress. As part of her internship experience, she translated scientific information for delivery to Congress and interpreted congressional actions for a scientific audience. Her tasks included editing draft reports to Congress on scientific topics, tracking legislation of interest, compiling remarks from relevant floor speeches, attending and summarizing congressional hearings and briefings, and reviewing summaries of scientific programs.

GIS Intern for NOAA's Hawaii-focused Sentinel Site Program/Habitat Blueprint and NOAA's Office for Coastal Management

NOAA Fellow: Isabel Miranda, Global Environmental Studies '17
Faculty Mentor: John Rogan
Location: Hawaii


Miranda participated in several projects for the NOAA Office of Coastal Management including: creating outreach materials on anchialine pools (brackish water bodies with cultural and ecological significance) in Hawaii; mapping fires in Guam to help the US Forest Service target campaigns at reducing intentional burns; and mapping data locations for the Citizen Science King Tides Project.

Climate Effects on Physiology and Life History for Southwest Fisheries Ecology

NOAA Fellow: Kristen Sheldon, Biology '17
Faculty Mentor: Deb Robertson
Location: California


Sheldon worked at the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Ecology Division to understand the mechanisms by which fish populations respond to environmental changes. Specifically, she investigated whether maternal or paternal effects are more important in shaping sheepshead minnow offspring's phenotype and reaction norm in response to temperature, which can be essential in understanding the adaptations of marine organisms to climate change.