High School Students

Apply to Become an Earth Science Intern

SEES High School Intern Program logo

Stem Enhancement in Earth Science (SEES) Summer Intern Program - In Partnership with NASA

NASA, Texas Space Grant Consortium, and The University of Texas at Austin Center for Space Research Summer Intern Program is a nationally competitive STEM program for high school students. The program provides selected students with exposure to Earth and space research. Interns will learn how to interpret NASA satellite data while working with scientists and engineers in their chosen area of work.

Scientists and Engineers at UT/CSR are conducting NASA supported research on astronomy, remote sensing, and space geodetic techniques to help understand Earth systems, natural hazards and climate science. This summer TSGC and UT/CSR will support a summer intern program where interns will work remotely in June and July and on-site July 17-29. Housing, meals, and local transportation will be provided for those selected. A limited number of travel scholarships to Texas are available. The summer intern program will allow interns to view and investigate NASA remote sensing data including CSR analysis of ice sheets, Earth's gravity field, and other satellite observations while being mentored by project scientists.

We are offering summer internships to motivated high school students who have an interest in pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics careers. The interns will work beside CSR scientists analyzing and visualizing data. This content knowledge, coupled with hands-on experiences, allows the intern to gain experience in authentic research through field investigation and data analysis.

Interns are selected on the basis of their academic records, written application that includes written essay questions, and interest in STEM. The deadline for submitting your application for the summer 2017 internship program is April 4, 2017.

How to Apply



Apply Online

  1. Submit your online application by April 4, 2017. The application includes essay questions which you must answer as part of the application. You may wish to answer the questions or a separate document and then cut and paste your answers into the on-line application.

    Please respond to each of the following questions. 250 word maximum for each question.

    1. Why would you like to be selected for the SEES program?
    2. Important academic or life experiences in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)
    3. Extracurricular activities that have influenced you in a positive way (include skills you deem valuable for an academic team research setting)
    4. Your current academic path and career plans
    5. How your experience in this program will impact your plans for the future
    6. Share any prior STEM opportunities to which you were accepted.
    7. How did you hear about the SEES Internship Program?
    8. The subjects that most interest me are...
    9. Which of the following does your school offer?
      • Science AP classes
      • Computer Science coding. What language(s)
      • IB
      • Dual credit
    10. My participation in SEES depends on my receiving a travel scholarship from my hometown to Austin, Texas.
      • YES
      • NO
  3. You must include in the application the name and email address of a teacher, counselor, or principal who will submit your letter of recommendation.
  4. Prepare a short introduction video telling us who you are, where you are from, and why you are interested in becoming a NASA high school intern. This is due by April 10.
    1. When submitting a video, remember that you are submitting a link (URL) to your video (such as on YouTube.com, youku.com, tudou.com, some other video hosting site, or your own website), not the video itself.
    2. Do not secure your video with a password. Instead, we recommend that you make the video unlisted. The following descriptions apply to YouTube.com, but should be applicable to other video hosting sites. YouTube has three privacy settings: Public, Private, and Unlisted.
      • Public means anybody can find it and view it. Do not use this option.
      • Private means it can only be seen by the you, and the people you select. The video doesn't appear in your channel or in search results. Viewers you select must have a Google account to log in and see the video, and the you must also know to whom to grant permission. Do not use this option.
      • Unlisted means that anybody who has the link can view the video, but it doesn't appear in your channel or in search results. Use this option.
    3. Please email your video link URL to Margaret Baguio at baguio@csr.utexas.edu with your name in the subject line.


Open to current high school Sophomores or Juniors ONLY (will be rising Juniors and Seniors) who have not worked as a UT/CSR intern previously and have a strong interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Must be US citizen.

Each intern selected will receive a SEES "box" with distance learning activities that must be completed prior to the residential internship. These activities must be completed by July 15. The residential internship is for two weeks. Interns must be on-site at The University of Texas Center for Space Research, West Pickle Research Center, Austin, Texas, from July 17-29, 2016. In addition to the daytime activities, there will be evening sessions and field investigations. Teachers have been selected as chaperones for the SEES program and will be with interns during the time they are on campus.

Interns will not be allowed to use their personally owned vehicles during this time. Any intern who is local to the Austin area may email with a request to commute although they must still participate in all planned events. Upon completion you will receive NASA certification and a letter of recommendation.


All interns will be notified by April 20 of their selection into the SEES Internship program.

High School Intern Project Choices

Aerospace Engineering

This project will advance high quality STEM education by using NASA’s unique capabilities. Exploration is the key driver in learning and innovation. Interns will immerse themselves in content and activities while learning about Earth-Moon Trajectories, Rockets, Lunar Topography, and observing Earth from the Moon. While tackling this engineering project, interns will learn about the Earth Moon System Dynamics, Power Systems, and Communication while designing the mission.


In addition to learning about the tools astronomers use, interns will learn about the Solar System, its small bodies, and the hazards these bodies could pose to Earth. They will search for unmeasured asteroids on archive images taken at McDonald Observatory, determine and report their positions. Interns will measure brightness variation for some of these bodies to find the rotation period and make conclusions about their shape. In the process they will be introduced to the digital image toolkit of astronomers.

Explore the Moon

Interns will study the spectral effects of space weathering and impact gardening on the evolution of the lunar soil using remote sensing data. Understanding the effects from these processes improves the ability to map the true composition of planetary crusts.

GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment)

Interns will analyze data from GRACE, twin satellites launched in March 2002, that are making detailed measurements of Earth's gravity field changes and revolutionizing investigations about Earth’s water resources over land, ice, and oceans, as well as earthquakes and crustal deformations. These discoveries are having far-reaching benefits to society and the world's population.

ICESat (Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite)

Interns will examine ICESat mission data (2003-2009) and simulated ICESat-2 data (2017 launch). The satellites' laser altimetry is collected globally over ice sheets, sea ice, land, vegetation, and ocean/water surfaces. Analyses will include data visualization, satellite calibration, and comparisons with airborne laser data and other measurements. Investigations of some primary questions surrounding the missions include how to link the data from the two missions and how to optimally compute changes of the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets.

Mars Exploration

NASA isn't just planning on eventually sending astronauts to Mars, it is hoping to one day to actually build a colony on the red planet. What are the requirements? What resources are needed? Interns will design a Mars village that will allow people to live and work at distances much farther away from our home planet.

MAGIC (Mid-American Geospatial Information Center) Emergency Preparedness

Interns will focus on a recent flood, wildfire, or tropical storm event, review satellite image datasets from NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the US Geological Survey (USGS) collected before, during and after the event, and test best practices for rapid information extraction from these data. We will use image analysis and investigate related geospatial information resources with the goal of creating and distributing products for emergency response applications and societal benefit.

MAGIC (Mid-American Geospatial Information Center) Flood Response

Interns will compare National Weather Service Quantitative Precipitation Estimation (QPE) products derived from Radar with rainfall gauge values collected in the same time and space. This will provide ground truth evidence of estimations compared to captured rain totals. Interns will also develop Python scripts to automate the transformation of QPE point data into an interpolated gridded surface that can be tiled for rapid consumption by web-based mapping applications via rest endpoints. Activities will simulate recent flood events with the goal of improving future flood response scenarios.


Who to Contact

Questions may be directed to:

Margaret Baguio

Senior Education and Outreach Coordinator

NASA Texas Space Grant Consortium
3925 W. Braker Lane, Suite 200
Austin, Texas 78759

Phone: 512-471-6922
Fax: 512-471-3585
Email: baguio@csr.utexas.edu

SEES logo
SEES High School Summer Intern Program
In partnership with NASA
Cooperative Agreement Notice NNH15ZDA004C
Award NNX16AB89A