Technical Internship Program (TIP)

The Earth Observing Laboratory's Technical Internship Program (TIP) provides unique experiences to prepare science and engineering/technical support focused students from two-year colleges and vocational/technical institutions for successful careers. TIP is dedicated to enhancing the diversity of future science support communities and the workforce.

Interns are hired to work hands-on with technical and scientific support mentors for up to 20 hours a week for 12 weeks. The Program provides a salary during the internship and is flexible to work with an academic schedule.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this on-site internship is contingent on NCAR's status to allow visitors and students on campus.

The next term of internships is dependent on the COVID-19 situation and the opening of the NCAR campus to visitors. Please check back for more information.

Check back for more information about the application status. 

TIP 2021 Internship Opportunites
TIP interns work on projects with EOL scientific, engineering, and science support staff to learn skills that will assist them in their career and academic advancement. During the internship, TIP participants are paired with mentors and develop knowledge to help them in future science support careers related to geosciences. Current TIP opportunities include the following:

Electronics Technician
With mentorship and training from a senior electronics technician, interns will work in an electronics lab for research instrument assembly to test electronic circuits and modules with advanced test equipment, and construct, modify, install, troubleshoot, and repair equipment.

Desired skills
General knowledge of electronic terms (Voltage, current, watts, resistance)
Experience with basic electronic test equipment, such as Digital Voltmeter (DVM), Power Supplies and Oscilloscope
Familiarity using hand tools (screwdriver, wire cutters, wire strippers, etc.)
Computer skills (such as MS Windows, Word, and Excel)
Basic soldering skills

Machinist/Instrument Maker
With guidance and training from a professional instrument maker, you will learn to operate and program a 3-axis CNC machining center to produce parts used within research instruments.

Desired skills
1 year of experience in the setup, fixturing, and machining of parts
Ability to operate and interpret standard inspection tools such as calipers and micrometers common in the machining industry
Elementary experience with Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software
Ability to read engineering manufacturing drawings and interpret them in the fabrication of parts and components
Willingness to work in a team environment
Currently enrolled in a Machining Certificate program or 2-year Associate Degree program in Precision Machining

What skills and experiences will the interns gain during the internship?
Interns will work in a highly supportive, professional setting gaining real-world, unique experience while broadening their understanding of the careers needed to support atmospheric research. Interns will also have the opportunity to enhance their professional development skillsets through a series of seminars on topics such as developing and delivering presentations and improving interview skills. Internships at EOL and NCAR provide the opportunity to build strong professional networks that can benefit interns as they transition into the professional working world.

What kinds of skills do Technical Internship Program interns need to have?
The skill sets required of TIP interns depend upon the specific projects available to take on an intern and the information submitted by candidates in their letter of interest. For example, an Entry-level programmer intern would need skills such as simple scripting skills in computer languages and the ability to work with users to improve documentation.

Interns will be mentored and provided with guidance and training on many skills. Complete skill sets are not required to apply, though a strong interest and desire to learn is essential.

What other requirements are there for Technical Internship Program interns?
TIP interns must be:

Enrolled in a two-year or vocational/technical college in the Boulder/Denver area
Authorized to work for any employer in the United States
Able to work up to 20-hours per week
Able to interact with mentors and peers in a manner that supports collaboration and inquiry
Able and willing to work within guidelines and policies of the organization and assigned workgroups



Electronics Technician
With mentorship and training from an EOL radar engineer, interns learned to construct, modify, install, troubleshoot and repair remote sensing equipment.

“The experience that I got from the TIP program was amazing. All I knew was a view through a "hole" until I got an opportunity with NCAR. They have taught me surface mount soldering plus many other things. It helped me figure out what I want in my career. I greatly appreciate everything that they have done for me.”

Machinist/Instrument Designer
With guidance and training from a design and fabrication mentor, interns learned to use machining centers to produce parts and components used within instruments.

“The TIP internship program has given my education a practical basis by allowing me to gain experience in a real-world atmosphere and allowing me to apply my knowledge to real-world design and fabrication problems.”

Computer Help-desk Support
Computer help-desk support interns learned how to support a variety of systems, from Macs to PCs to Linux workstations, in a scientific research environment. 

“For me, the TIP was a very convenient opportunity to be able to learn from some highly experienced people in my field. It was the first exposure I have had working in an enterprise environment. I believe it adds value to my resume, and I'm grateful for the people it was able to connect me to. In my experience, asking questions was invited, and the position allowed me to discover new things I had not learned before.”

Aircraft Mechanic
With guidance from aircraft mechanics, technicians and other staff, interns gained hands-on experience performing maintenance on the NSF/NCAR C-130 and the NSF/NCAR HIAPER Gulfstream V (GV) research aircraft.

“…the experience I gained with UCAR would be hard to find anywhere else, and I met some great people in the process. Opportunities like this are very hard to come by for someone in a “hands-on” field."



To apply*, visit the UCAR Opportunities site.  

*NOTE: All applicants MUST submit a not-to-exceed one-page cover letter clearly describing each of the following four items.  

  1. Your technical interests and skills
  2. Why you are interested in the program 
  3. How this program addresses your educational and career goals, and what you expect to gain if selected
  4. information on how your personal background and life experience (including social, cultural, familial, economic, educational or other opportunities or challenges) may help you make unique contributions to the program. 

This COVER LETTER is REQUIRED of all applicants in order to be considered for the program. Applicants who do not submit a cover letter that addresses the above four topics will be automatically disqualified from consideration for the program.

TIP is dedicated to enhancing the diversity of future science support communities and the workforce.

For questions about the internship, please email Alison Rockwell, EOL Project Manager.

For questions about the application process, please email Stefania Damiani, UCAR Talent Acquisition Coordinator.