February 19, 2018

Do you have any plans for the summer?

This week we would like to emphasize to students the importance of maximizing opportunities during summer break. I know what you are thinking, spring break is not even here and we already talking about summer. Well, the reality is that not having a plan for the summer, is like planning for an unproductive summer. Summer is a great time to add experience to your CV, regardless of the stage of your college or graduate career. The market is competitive and employers are looking for experience nowadays, so you really want to have something to show by the time you start applying for jobs. As mentioned in an earlier news brief, experience comes in different forms: job-shadowing, assistantships, volunteering, internships, and part-time positions. As you can see, none of these have to be “official paid positions”, but of-course if you are able to land a temporary paid position during summer, or if you already have a full time job, then even better.

Keep in mind that you can receive actual college credits towards your degree if you are doing an internship or working on a project for a company or institution. Note that this must be approved by your advisor. However, you should also keep in mind that your professors have ongoing research projects in which you can assist. In fact, if you are interested in assisting a professor or having a professor supervise your own research project, this is a good time to get in contact with them. Marshall University is requesting proposals for summer research projects. The program is open to juniors and seniors with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. The awards provide a $3000 stipend and up to $1000 for travel and materials for summer 2018.


  • Applicants must be juniors and seniors with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Applicants must be enrolled at Marshall University for at least 12 hours during the semester previous to the summer in which the project is funded.
  • Applicants must have a letter of support and sponsorship from a fulltime faculty member who is willing to serve as mentor for the project


The student’s project can involve research, design, development, field study, creative work or performance. The project should require a total commitment of 200-300 hours of the student’s time (i.e., 20-30 hours per week for 10 weeks) over the summer. The project will be structured so that the student can produce creative or scholarly output (e.g. a presentation, publication, exhibit, or performance) at the end of the award period. An important aspect of this program is the engagement of a faculty mentor to oversee the student’s effort. After agreeing on a particular project, the faculty member assists the student in writing and submitting a proposal, supervises the student’s scholarly activity, and assists in the construction of the student’s final project report. The award is intended to support projects which require both original intellectual and faculty – assisted input from awardees . Students requesting personal support as part of the proposal budget must be eligible for campus employment. Complete applications must be received by 5:00PM on March 16, 2018. Also, check out other summer opportunities below.

Academic Opportunities

 1) Summer Fellow Opportunity for Undergraduate Students

 The NSF Spatiotemporal Innovation Center (STC) is looking for 4 – 6 undergraduate research assistants to serve as NSF REU Summer Fellows in 2018. They will potentially work at George Mason University Site (Fairfax, VA), Harvard University site (Cambridge, MA), or University of California, Santa Barbara site (Santa Barbara, CA).

 This opportunity is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) I/UCRC and Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Programs which enable undergraduate students to obtain research experience and consider a career path in spatiotemporal domains (e.g., GIS, CS, Geosciences, etc.). NSF REU Student interns will work in a team with graduate students, postdocs, and faculty at one of the three center sites and will conduct research related to spatiotemporal issues. NSF fellows also have the opportunity to attend a professional conference to present their research results. Students may participate in various projects.

To know more about the center, please visit http://www.stcenter.net. Please refer to the “Projects” tab on this website for the brief introduction of the undergoing projects. Requirements:

  • Applicants must be undergraduate U.S. citizen or permanent resident status is required
  • Applicants should be able to work as NSF fellows for 7 weeks. Starting date is flexible.
  • NSF REU fellows will receive stipend and reimbursement for travel to a conference.
  • Applications from underrepresented groups are encouraged.

A complete application includes:

  • A CV
  • One page double spaced statement of interest.
  • Contacts (email and phone #) of two references.
  • Application Deadline: Review of application will begin on March 20, 2018 and end until the position is filled up. 

Submit your application at: stcenter.net/stc/REU2018. For more information about the NSF REU Fellow Opportunity contact Manzhu Yu (myu7@gmu.edu).

2) Summer Research Opportunity for Undergraduate Students

A group of interdisciplinary faculty at PSU are looking for undergraduate students who can work on a NSF sponsored REU project. The focus area of this REU site is computational modeling to serve and enhance the Portland metropolitan region as it grows and evolves. You will be involved in a cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary research project and trained in computational thinking across different disciplines and communities. You will learn the fundamental skills of computational modeling that will help you understand and solve complex problems in a complex world.

After a 2-week initial training, each student will work on an 8-week research project completed in a research lab under a mentor’s guidance and with the involvement of a community partner. At the end of the internship, you will present the research outcomes to the community partner. Weekly site meetings, seminars, site visits, and a final symposium will enrich the unique internship and provide you with an intellectual toolbox that has the potential to have a lasting impact on your career. 


  • Completed one or two years of college.
  • Majoring in a STEM or related discipline.
  • US citizens or permanent resident.
  • Students from institutions with limited STEM and research opportunities, such as 2-year community colleges, are encouraged to apply.

 Important dates

  • Mar 15, 2018: Application deadline for full consideration
  • Mar 30, 2018: Selected students will be notified
  • Jun 18 – Aug 24, 2018: Program dates (10 weeks)

 Participant benefits

  • $5,000 stipend
  • $1,200 meal allowance
  • Additional travel subsidy for limited non-local students
  • Free on-campus housing

 Application form: bit.ly/PSUREUComputingApplication. Application deadline: Mar 15, 2018. Contact: reucomputing@pdx.edu

REU site directors 

  • Dr. Christof Teuscher, Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science (MCECS), Portland State University.
  • Dr. Jay Gopalakrishnan, Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Portland State University, and Portland Institute for Computational Science (PICS).

3) MS in Geoscience- University of North Carolina Wilmington

The Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of North Carolina Wilmington is recruiting students to enroll in the MS in Geoscience program for Fall 2018. The MS Geoscience is an exciting, applied research program with three tracks (geology, earth processes, and geospatial science) and opportunities for personalizing the program to suit your career goals and research interests. Our program focuses on linking classroom experience with hands-on fieldwork in a multitude of geographic settings and sub-disciplinary or interdisciplinary frameworks. We pride ourselves with significant community engagement and collaborations including a thriving Internship Program with local, regional and federal partners where you can gain experience and apply your academic training. UNCW’s MS in Geoscience is intellectually challenging and rewarding, with collaborative projects among students, faculty and community partners. With our location on the Atlantic coast, there is plenty of opportunity to study coastal environments and resilience issues, yet our diverse faculty conduct research around the world!

Competitive funding in the form of graduate teaching or research assistantships are available. Applications are evaluated as soon as they are submitted so applicants are encouraged to apply by March 1st with a final deadline of April 15th deadline. Information about the MS Geoscience program can be found here: https://uncw.edu//msgeoscience/index.html

For more information about UNCW, feel free to peruse our web site: www.uncw.edu. For questions or additional information, please feel free to contact Dr. Joanne Halls, Graduate Coordinator, at hallsj@uncw.edu

4) Graduate Assistantships in Remote Sensing, GIS, and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State University

Applications are invited for MS/PhD graduate assistantships in environmental remote sensing, GIS, and ecosystem modeling (priority given to applicants for PhD), beginning Fall 2018, with Dr. Kaiguang Zhao in the School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), the Ohio State University. Dr. Zhao’s lab focuses on mapping, monitoring, modeling, and managing terrestrial environments across spatial scales via a  combination of observation and modeling toolsets. Self motivated individuals are sought, especially those with quantitative and computational skills who would like to address interdisciplinary environmental issues related to natural or human dominated landscapes. Successful applicants will have the flexibility to develop their own research topics in the general areas of remote sensing and environmental sciences, but the preference will be given to those interested in examining impacts of climate change and human activities in agriculture-dominated landscapes. The students are particularly encouraged to pursue research ideas through our newly funded projects. One project, funded by the Ohio Water Resources Center, is on the water-energy nexus issue in Ohio, seeking to answer how shale gas development affects landscape integrity and hydrological regime. A second project, funded by EPA, is to build a multi-scale hierarchical predictive tool for linking climate and land-use with river physicochemical gradients and ecological condition to predict and prevent harmful algal blooms in the upper Ohio River basin.

Another project, funded by USDA, is to identify adaptive strategies and policies that can mitigate the risks posed by climate extremes in the Eastern Corn Belt Region and help to achieve sustainable and resilient agroecosystem management, through an integrated modeling approach aiming to balance agricultural production with protection of critical ecosystem services. Through projects like these, there exist numerous opportunities to collaborate with physical scientists, ecologists, sociologists, and economists. Qualified backgrounds include hydrology, geography, ecology, forestry, environmental sciences, meteorology, agriculture sciences or related fields. Degrees in statistics, physics, and computer sciences are also acceptable, if with demonstrated good understandings of biophysical ecology and environmental sciences. Skills and experiences in math, programming (e.g., Fortran, C, & Matlab), and GIS&remote sensing are highly desirable. The successful applicants must also have a strong work ethic.

Financial support will be a combination of research and teaching assistantships. Prior to submitting your full application package, applicants should contact Dr. Kaiguang Zhao (zhao.1423@osu.edu) using “Graduate Assistantship” as the email subject. Please include a brief statement of your qualification, a CV, GRE a/o TOFEL scores, and unofficial transcripts if readily available. Review of applicants will begin immediately. See here for more information about our graduate programs and admission requirements – SENR: https://senr.osu.edu/graduate/admissions, and ESGP: https://esgp.osu.edu/prospectivestudents/admissions.

5) M.A. & M.S. assistantships at the University of North Dakota

The Department of Geography & Geographic Information Science at the University of North Dakota has a limited number of Graduate Teaching and Research Assistantships available for Fall 2018.  The department offers MA and MS degrees in Geography with a focus on geospatial applications in physical and human geography.  For more information contact Doug Munski, Graduate Director at (701) 777-4591, douglas.munski@und.edu.  Application information, please visit the website atarts-sciences.und.edu/geography/gradadmissions.cfm.

Job Opportunities

GIS Analyst, FHI 360, Durham, NC

GIS Technician, Progressive Recruitment, Philadelphia, PA

GIS Mapper, County of Blair, Hollidaysburg, PA

GIS Tech, EQT Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA

GIS Specialist, RCN Becocom LLC, Wilkes Barre, PA

GIS Analyst, System One Services, Allentown, PA

Seasonal GIS Mapping, City of Harrisonburg, Harrisonburg, VA

GIS Technician, Princeton Information, Richmond, VA

GIS Internship, Ohio Gas Company, Bryan, OH

Junior GIS Analyst, Willoughby, OH

GIS Intern, American Modern Insurance Company, Amelia, OH

GIS Technician, Randstad, Akron, OH

GIS Analyst, City of Upper Arlington, Columbus, OH

 Should you have any questions about any of these opportunities, do not hesitate to get in contact.


 The Geography Department​