PICS Organization Name
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
Silver Spring, Maryland
David Selwood '20, Christopher Chu '19
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency of the Department of Commerce
NOAA is an agency that enriches life through science. Our reach goes from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor as we work to keep citizens informed of the changing environment around them.
From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings, and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product. NOAA’s dedicated scientists use cutting-edge research and high-tech instrumentation to provide citizens, planners, emergency managers and other decision makers with reliable information they need when they need it.
Please note that you may apply to each of the following positions with a single PICS organization selection, however you must write a separate cover letter for each position for which you would like to be considered. Include all cover letters for this organization in ONE pdf document.
Position: Coastal Resilience Analyst
(Environment/ Data Analysis / Government / Public Policy)
“Coastal management” is a term that covers the decisions and actions taken to keep the natural environment, built environment, quality of life, and economic prosperity of our coastal areas in balance. The Coastal Zone Management Act is the guiding legislation for this purpose, and NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management is the federal agency tasked with implementation.
Coastal management issues are broad and challenging. Communities and the nation are constantly grappling with the best ways to address storm preparedness, erosion, development, habitat loss, sea level rise, public access, and threats to water quality, to name a few. As a scientific organization, NOAA provides access to the science and environmental intelligence communities need for these tasks.
Four major programs make up the Office for Coastal Management, and each counts on active partnerships with all sectors to be successful.
- National Coastal Zone Management Program – A unique federal and state partnership that provides the most direct implementation of coastal management policy. Thirty-four states have a federally approved coastal management program.
- National Estuarine Research Reserves – Leading the nation’s estuary science efforts, this program produces groundbreaking research and provides environmental health data. The network of 28 protected areas also contributes local, science-based training and education programs and provides unique recreational opportunities.
- NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program – Provides the sound science needed to preserve, sustain, and restore coral reef ecosystems.
- Digital Coast – This website is the go-to source for the coastal management data, tools, and training most needed by communities. This initiative takes it a step further, however, by bringing various user groups together (the Digital Coast Partnership) to address coastal issues.
The office will benefit from the intern's efforts by being able to analyze the current status of communities' engagement in the FEMA Community Rating System. This system helps communities reduce flood risk and NOAA needs to understand where they fall in the ranking to better target its efforts at such. We also benefit from the experience of having a new generation of perspective on work that many of us have done for decades. We found that having someone ask some of the basic questions about what we do, why we do it, and how we do it was very valuable.
The selectee will be part of a team of program managers, analysts, and technicians working to develop a strategy to provide services and products that will improve coastal community resilience to hazards. This position will improve OCM’s ability to communicate our role and positive performance in increasing resilience of communities along the U.S. coast to the impacts of climate and weather hazards.
Duties will include:
- Compiling and analyzing data from multiple sources including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), NOAA, US Bureau of the Census, US Army Corps of Engineers, and State and local governments.
- Identifying, contacting and gathering information from sources (including subject matter experts) inside and outside of NOAA regarding resilience to coastal hazards and products and services that further it.
- Describing NOAA capabilities on hazard resilience and cross-referencing with the Community Rating System employed by FEMA, which provides financial incentives to coastal communities to take actions that will reduce risk and increase their resilience.
- Helping to produce text, tabular, and graphical summaries of information using Microsoft software.
- Setting up and summarizing meetings between and among NOAA staff and key external contacts.
Ability to communicate with professionals in writing and verbally. Comfortable with handling large spreadsheets and analyzing numerical information. Familiarity with MS Word, Powerpoint, and Excel.
MS Access knowledge is a big plus. Knowledge of Geographic Information Systems helpful but not required.
Additional Information: The intern will have to provide two sets of fingerprints and two federally accepted forms of photo ID ahead of their arrival as part of a background check. Intern is responsible for associated costs. US citizenship is also required.
The previous intern was able to secure dormitory housing at George Washington University at a reasonable cost.
All work will be conducted during the office hours agreed to (8am-5pm). There will probably be an opportunity for a field trip that may begin and/or end outside of the office hours. There also may be an opportunity to travel at government expense.
Position: Coastal Zone Management and National Estuarine Research Reserve System
(Business Development / Data Analysis/ Communications / Engineering and Design / Government / Public Policy)
“Coastal management” is a term that covers the decisions and actions taken to keep the natural environment, built environment, quality of life, and economic prosperity of our coastal areas in balance. The Coastal Zone Management Act is the guiding legislation for this purpose, and NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management is the federal agency tasked with implementation. As a scientific organization, NOAA provides access to the science and environmental intelligence communities need for these tasks. Four major programs make up the Office for Coastal Management, and each counts on active partnerships with all sectors to be successful – Coastal Zone Management Program, National Estuarine Research Reserve System, Coral Reef Conservation Program, and Digital Coast. To read more, please see coast.noaa.gov
CZM and NERRS Program Foci and Integration
The Coastal Zone Management Act authorizes and appropriates funds to execute the National Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program and National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) for the management and protection of the nation's coastal resources. Both of these programs are federal-state partnerships. The focus of an intern would be several-fold:
- review the performance measure data for each program; identify stories that can be told with the information, identify gaps, and create a product(s) that illustrate the value of the programs
- look for synergies, areas of alignment, and shared future directions from the CZM and NERRS program strategic plans
- review CZM Section 309 assessments, which identify key priorities within the CZM program
- participate in site/field activities to support one or several CZM and/or NERRS programs
Qualification: Must be a U.S. Citizen. Background Investigation. Will need approximately 10 days processing time. Required: strong communication, analytical, and writing skills, interest in coastal and environmental policy and program support
Additional Information: Plenty of house/apt shares, university, and student opportunities in the DMV
Expected Start Time
8:00 - 9:00 am, unless otherwise specified by department
Expected End Time
4:30 - 5:00 pm, unless otherwise specified by department
June - August
Coastal resilience position will start June 4th
Meets Certificate Requirement
The service mission of NOAA is to create scientifically informed policy. I feel that this definitely is in line with what I personally hope to achieve with my own goals and values, and the experience reinforced these decisions. I learned that I working to support the scientific research, not just conducting the research personally, is a career path that I am interested in as well.
—Christopher Chu '19 (Office for Coastal Management Ecosystems Program)
The strengths of working in the government for NOAA is the large-scale impact you might have. As a federal administration, NOAA is far-reaching and is great for someone to help lots of people.
—David Selwood '20 (Coastal Resilience Analyst Project)