National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


The National Weather Service (NWS) is the agency of the Federal Government charged with providing weather, water, and climate data, along with forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy. Achieving this goal is a team effort, requiring input from a numerous scientists and technical experts across the country. To maintain expertise within the agency we are always looking to foster interest and learning in the next generation of potential NWS employees. Thus we offer a variety of opportunities for interested students that range in complexity from a basic introduction to the NWS, to in depth on the job training.


 

Opportunities for students in the NWS fall into three main categories:

 

Job Shadowing

A good option for students who are interested in or undecided about a career in meteorology, hydrology, atmospheric science or climatology.

Student Volunteering

Suggested for college level students (junior standing or above) who are actively pursuing a degree or career meteorology, atmospheric science, hydrology, climatology, or engineering.

Paid Internships

An excellent option for those planning or seeking a career with the National Weather Service. These are highly competitive and are generally only offered to actively enrolled university or college students with a junior, senior or graduate level standing.

 


*It is entirely possible for a student to progress through all three of the options above on their way to a career in with the NWS. To get more details about each of the opportunities above, check out the tabs to the right.


 

For additional information or help with applying, please contact Jerilyn Billings Wright at  Jerilyn.Billings at noaa.gov


Job shadowing is the most basic program offered by the National Weather Service (NWS) in Hastings. It is aimed at students who are interested in a possible career in meteorology, hydrology, atmospheric science, climatology or engineering, with an emphasis on the operational forecast environment. As part of a job shadow, students receive a tour of our office, spend 1-6 hours with a NWS Hastings meteorologist observing the forecast process, and discuss career opportunities. Parents or guardians are welcome to join their students (encouraged for pre-college level students). There are three levels of job shadow available.


 

Level 1

A virtual option, this is a quick and straightforward way for students who are exploring career options in meteorology, atmospheric science, hydrology, climatology or engineering to learn more about careers with the National Weather Service (NWS). These meet and greet sessions with 1 to 2 NWS meteorologists generally last around 1 hour and afford students an opportunity to learn more about our job responsibilities and organization. Bring your questions and be ready to engage in a fun and valuable discussion. Times and dates for a job shadow of this kind are flexible. Total Approximate Time: < 1 hour

 

Level 2

This level is intended for pre-college students who intend to pursue a career in meteorology, atmospheric science, hydrology, climatology or engineering. It typically involves a tour of our office and approximately 1 to 2 hours shadowing an NWS meteorologist. This is intended to give the student a basic understanding of the job responsibilities of an NWS meteorologist, while allowing them time to ask questions of and discuss career opportunities with a current professional. While we are flexible on time, the best time for this level of job shadow is often during the day, but evenings are options as well. Total Approximate Time: 1 - 2 hours

Level 3

This level is intended for undergraduate or graduate students who are either enrolled in or considering a major in meteorology, atmospheric science, hydrology, climatology or engineering. As with Level 2, we provide a tour of our facilities for the student. Time allotted for discussion, job shadowing and asking career advice from one of our meteorologists is a bit more extensive at 2 to 4 hours. The student may also have time to meet with a member of the local management team to discuss future career options and the goals of the NWS. Times for a job shadow of this kind are flexible, but we generally recommend a period often during the day, but evenings are options as well. Total Approximate Time: 2 - 4 hours

 


 

 

 

For additional information or help with applying, please contact Jerilyn Billings Wright at Jerilyn.Billings at noaa.gov

 


The Student Volunteer Program at the National Weather Service (NWS) in Hastings is a step above the job shadow program, offering students an opportunity to spend 1-2 days a week in a professional setting during a spring, summer or fall semester. This program is fully volunteer (non-paid) and allows students to work one-on-one with members of the NWS Hastings staff, while gaining valuable work experience in an operational environment. This program is being offered as a fully in-person opportunity or a hybrid opportunity of in-person and remote work. The volunteer program is competitive, and provides students with mentoring and the opportunity to conduct a research project focused on local topics. Student volunteer positions are best suited for junior, senior or graduate level students who are actively majoring meteorology, atmospheric science, hydrology, climatology, or engineering.


 

Application Deadlines

  • Spring Semester 2023: October 24th, 2022
  • Summer 2023: March 15th, 2023
  • Fall Semester 2023: March 15th, 2023

 

Requirements

  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Undergraduate (going into junior or senior year) or graduate college student
  • Students should have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Successful completion of Sophomore Year Meteorology Courses
  • Be able to provide fingerprints and pass a background security investigation

 

Application Process

Students interested in applying to a volunteer position at NWS Hastings need to complete the following to be considered:

  • Application Form (Google Form)
  • Submit a 1-2 page resume
  • Submit a Cover Letter (Optional)
  • Submit a current college transcript (An unofficial transcript is acceptable, but we may ultimately need an official copy if you are selected)

Once the deadline for applications has passed, we will review all the submitted applications and make a selection. An interview by phone or Google Meet or even in person may be requested as part of the selection process.

If you are selected you will need to submit fingerprints and pass a background security investigation. This is required for all volunteers or potential employees at federal agencies, and can take 6-8 weeks. Once the background check is complete, we will contact you to discuss a schedule for your volunteer period.


Expectations & Duties

Goal: To gain experience and increase understanding about the National Weather Service and their daily operations. 

Options:

  1. Fully In-Person
  2. Hybrid Option - Part time Remote and Part time in-person


Fully In-Person Option:

  1. Time Commitment: Students should expect to spend 8-12 hours per week volunteering at the NWS Hastings
  2. Project: During the first weeks of the experience the student will identify a project that they can work on that is of interest to them with the expectation that the project can be completed and either presented or shared with the staff at the end of the volunteer period.  
  3. AFD Writing: Beginning Week 3 - students will be expected to write 2 AFDs per week focusing on the impacts and confidence, general weather pattern overview, and a deeper discussion of any uncertainty.  

Hybrid Option

  1. Time Commitment: Students should expect a schedule of alternating time spent remotely at their home/school and in-person at the NWS Hastings. Approximately 3 to 6 hours per week of volunteering time. 
  2. In-Person:
    1. It is recommended that the time for in-person volunteering be during the daytime hours of the work-week, we understand that that may not be possible.  
    2. We encourage at least one time during the session that the student be present during the daytime work-week hours for the best experience. 
    3. Approximately 4 to 6 hours for the in-person portion is encouraged depending on the schedule of the student and the drive time to Hastings. 
  3. Remote:
    1. It is recommended that this be the same time each week, but understand varying needs of the student’s schedule. 
    2. Virtual meetings will be harnessed to connect the student to the forecasters and learn different techniques and forecast processes.
  4. AFD Writing: Beginning Week 3 - students will be expected to write 2 AFDs per week focusing on the impacts and confidence, general weather pattern overview, and a deeper discussion of any uncertainty.  
  5. Project: During the first weeks of the experience the student will identify a project that they can work on that is of interest to them with the expectation that the project can be completed and either presented or shared with the staff at the end of the volunteer period. Remote or In-person time could be spent on the project. 

Additional Expectations

  • Students will become familiar with NWS operations, policies and procedures, software and computer systems, and hydrological/meteorological products
  • Assist meteorologists during severe weather operations
  • Students may join NWS staff for COOP visits and other NWS site visits (River Gauges, 88D-radar, etc.)
  • Opportunities to participate in post-event severe weather verification may occur
  • Students may be able to get college credit for their volunteer hours

 

For additional information or help with applying, please contact Jerilyn Billings Wright at  Jerilyn.Billings at noaa.gov


Paid internship positions within the National Weather Service (NWS) can be a challenge to find and are generally very competitive. They are not offered directly by local forecast offices (though local offices routinely host paid interns), but rather determined at the national level. That said, they offer one of the most in-depth and challenging introductions to a career with the NWS. It is highly recommended that anyone seeking a career with the NWS consider applying for these positions when they become available.

Paid internships with the NWS are offered through the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pathways Program. This program offers students an opportunity to work directly for the NWS while in school, and the chance to be converted to a full time employee upon successful completion of the program.


 

For additional information or help with applying, please contact Jerilyn Billings Wright at Jerilyn.Billings at noaa.gov