The NOAA Educational Partnership Program (EPP) with Minority Serving institutions (MSI) Undergraduate Scholarship provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to study a wide range of science, engineering, mathematical, computer, technology and social science disciplines related to NOAA’s mission and objectives. Scholarships are awarded competitively to rising juniors or 4th year students in a 5-year program, who are full time students attending accredited Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) within the United States and U.S. territories.
The scholarship is awarded for two years of undergraduate study in fields related to NOAA’s mission critical sciences. Scholars are required to participate in two internships at approved NOAA offices and sites during the summers prior to their senior year. During the internships portion of the award, the scholar is provided opportunities for hands-on research at participating NOAA facilities. Scholars receive financial assistance for two academic years, a bi-weekly stipend and housing allowance during summer internships.
An applicant for the EPP/MSI USP must:
- be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national.
- be enrolled full-time at an accredited MSI within the United States or U.S. territory.
- be majoring in a field of study related to NOAA’s missions and goals.
- have and maintain at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average per academic term on a 4.0 scale in all completed undergraduate courses and in their major field of study. Current community college students may apply if accepted and will transfer to a 4-year institution in the fall term following the application period, and will have sufficient credit hours transferred to qualify for junior class academic status.
The EPP/MSI scholar receives:
- An EPP/MSI USP scholarship of up to $45,000 is awarded to successful scholars. The award includes housing allowances, internship stipends for two experiences, allowable travel expenses over the two years of the appointment and costs associated with attendance at Program-approved conferences or workshops.
- Financial assistance during 9-month academic year to support college costs.
- A bi-weekly stipend and housing allowance during the summer internships. The budget includes a $700 per week stipend for the summer internship, a housing allowance of $300 per week, and round trip transportation to the internship site.
Artificial Intelligence Opportunity
The NOAA Center for AI (NCAI) is collaborating with Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) to define AI-ready data standards for Earth and Space science. Once we have the requirements, we will work to assess the readiness of our current open data offerings, the make improvements over time. The aim is to make NOAA’s open data easier to use in AI and machine learning, and help researchers find data that meets their needs.
In addition, NCAI is working to develop training resources to increase the capacity of scientists (inside and outside NOAA) to use AI and machine learning techniques in the ocean, atmosphere, climate, and weather disciplines. We intend to build a clearinghouse of internal and public resources, a library to search, discover, and tailor accessible knowledge. From tutorial to best practices, we aspire to offer material, training, and ideas.
This internship position will generally focus on helping NCAI with these two related efforts. The exact nature of the project is flexible, depending on the background and interest of the candidate. Potential projects include:
- The aim to develop “recipes” for the data preparation steps needed to improve the AI-readiness of some NOAA datasets. Developing “recipes”, tools to implement a computational workflow of data conversion/data pre-processing, to improve the readiness of NOAA data and enable AI applications. As time permits, the intern would explore a variety of different data sets to address the full gamut of data issues and steps — for example, geospatial data, satellite imagery, time series from in situ instrumentation, underwater acoustics, and/or video.
- Developing learning journeys, which are a series of interactive Jupyter notebooks using open source programming languages, such as Python and R, to enable users to learn about data analytics and AI model development, for the NCAI training library. The learning journeys created in this project will focus on how to implement the developed recipes for selected datasets to enable future AI applications. The learning journeys will be curated and distributed via the NCAI training resource library for public use.
Duties & Responsibilities
Develop interactive Jupyter notebooks depicting how to open, view, and perform AI or machine learning analysis on key NOAA datasets. Develop general purpose data preparation workflow to improve the AI-readiness of a variety of NOAA’s open datasets. Develop learning journeys for the NCAI training resource library.
Special skills/training required
The student should have at least a general background in AI, machine learning, and/or advanced data analytics. They should be comfortable with computer programming and data visualization, preferably in Python or R. Prior experience with data engineering/data preparation and developing Jupyter notebooks is appreciated but not required.
At the completion of this project, the student will be well versed in emerging standards for defining AI-readiness for data. The student will be credited as one of the main contributors for any workflows, learning journeys, Jupyter notebooks, and associated materials that are posted to the NCAI training resources library using the developed tools. Finally, the student will come away with knowledge of how to use NOAA data and improved research and science communication skills.