National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

2016 Summer College Student Volunteer Program

The Baltimore/Washington Forecast Office of the National Weather Service is accepting applications through January 25, 2016, for volunteer interns for the summer of 2016.  This program is designed for college students. This provides chosen students with the experience of performing a mentored meteorological/hydrological research project, presenting a briefing on their research, and assisting in operations at an NWS forecast office.  Students will be selected after a competitive application and interview process.

Students wishing to apply to the NWS Sterling volunteer program must submit 1) an application and 2) a resume and 3) an official transcript.  Applicants are asked to provide available work days and times in their application. Students are asked to include their name with each document sent (e.g. “Heather Jones Application,” “Joe Smith Transcript”). If your college will only mail transcripts please have these sent to:

Weather Forecast Office Baltimore/Washington
43858 Weather Service Rd.
Sterling, VA 20166

Attn: Andrew Woodcock

Duties: the students volunteer’s activities at NWS Sterling include:
• Volunteer for approximately 16-20 hours per week from late May through early August.
• Work on an assigned research project with a forecaster.
• Complete specified goals of both the school and the NWS.

In past summers NWS Sterling has hosted students from Ohio State, the University of Ohio, Millersville University, Valparaiso, Florida State, Virginia Tech, George Mason University, University of Virginia, Penn State, University of Miami, Tufts, California University of Pennsylvania, NC State, and SUNY Oswego.

Students will be required to complete a research project during their time at the office, with the goal of submitting their research to the 2016 National Weather Association annual conference.  Past student projects include:

“Tornado Climatology for the Sterling, VA Weather Forecast Area,”

“A Study of Small Craft Advisories on the Potomac and Upper Chesapeake Bay,”

“Location of Flash Flood Prone Areas,”

“A Study of a Major Washington DC Sleet Storm,”  

“Increased accuracy in predicting severe hail size using Doppler radar,”

“Sociological impacts in the Washington DC Metro Area resulting from the convective winter event of 26 January 2011”

“Total Water Level Forecasting in the Chesapeake Bay and Tidal Potomac”

Several of our past students have placed highly at the NWA conference.

Students will have opportunities to become familiar with NWS Operations, Policies and Procedures, Software and Computer Systems, and Hydrological/Meteorological Products.

This is a volunteer program; students will not be paid for their time at the office.  However, it may be possible for the student to earn class credit.  This can be determined by the school’s advisor or department head. 

The application form may be downloaded here.

Email the application, resume and transcript(s) to by Monday January 25, 2016.