The Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences (DAES) has increasingly encouraged its undergraduate students to apply for internships with government, non-profit, or commercial entities as a way to augment aspects of “experiential” learning they receive in departmental course offerings and to gain work experience in their chosen field. Because the number of interested students may exceed the number of internships available locally in any given year, students are being advised to consider internships offered by regional or even national entities as well.
To be eligible to receive elective credit for an Internship in Atmospheric Science (ATM 490) or an Internship in Environmental Science (ENV 496), students must be juniors or seniors with an overall grade point average of 2.50 or higher. Depending on the nature of the internship, the student registers for 1-3 credits. An internship may be repeated for credit. Typically, internships begin and end during the summer, but this is not a requirement. Two DAES faculty members coordinate registration of students in ATM 490 and ENV 496. Satisfactory performance by the intern is usually determined based on feedback received from the intern’s supervisor and a report by the intern presented to the coordinator, who then assigns a grade of S for the course.
Of the students who registered for ATM 490 during the past four years, by far the largest number have interned for the National Weather Service (NWS). Duties include learning each shift NWS employees are responsible for, launching morning and evening weather balloons, working on an ongoing research project, and running a weather event simulator. “Weather Analysis and Forecasting” (ATM 211) is a prerequisite. The following are quotes from two recent students in the NWS Internship Program:
Pictured: Stephanie Soroka at the NWS Office in Albany
A smaller number of students who registered for ATM 490 during the past four years interned with local broadcast meteorologists. “Weather Analysis and Forecasting” (ATM 211) is a prerequisite.
The following is a quote from one recent student in the Broadcast Meteorology Internship Program:
The New York State Mesonet is a network of 125 weather stations, designed, implemented, and operated by scientists at the University at Albany that will serve as the foundation of an Early Warning Severe Weather Detection network for the entire State of New York. Eight ATM and ENV students are currently working as interns in the Mesonet Operations Center on the Uptown Campus. They support field technicians, monitor and document the status of the network including communications, data quality, and site photos, and prepare the morning and evening system reports. Additionally, they work on research projects relevant to Mesonet data analysis and applications. These internships provide opportunities for students to receive training in the scientific and technical aspects of mesoscale weather measurement and are expected to continue in the future.
Students who registered for ENV 496 from 2012-2016 and interned outside of the NYS Mesonet:
Ashley Santana describes her internship at the New York State Museum this way:
The Institute for Health and the Environment (IHE), on the University at Albany’s East Campus, is another organization where several of our ENV students have interned recently and where we expect more opportunities for interns to develop over the next several years.
Brenda van Etten describes the progress she’s made during her IHE internship this way:
Hannah Matthew describes the progress she’s made during her IHE internship this way: