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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA's Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment


ABoVE Internship Opportunities

The Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems Office is seeking two interns to help with the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment activities for Summer 2021. Undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to apply for these paid virtual internship opportunities. Interested undergraduates and graduate candidates can learn more at, and apply here:

  • Applicants must be US Citizens
  • Applicants must be enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program at an accredited college or university.
  • Applicants must have at least a Cumulative 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Internships run approximately 6/7/2021 - 8/13/2021
  • The deadline for consideration is March 5th, 2021.


Climate change in the Arctic and Boreal regions is unfolding faster than anywhere else on Earth, resulting in reduced Arctic sea ice, thawing of permafrost soils, decomposition of long-frozen organic matter, widespread changes to lakes, rivers, coastlines, and alterations of ecosystem structure and function. NASA's Terrestrial Ecology Program is conducting a major field campaign, the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE,, which seeks a better understanding of the vulnerability and resilience of ecosystems and society to this changing environment through the intersection of field, remote sensing (airborne and satellite), and modeling research.

ABoVE Stakeholder Engagement and Research Needs -- Virtual

The area that lies within the ABoVE study domain is home to a number of ethnically and culturally distinct Indigenous and non-Indigenous people that have unique and significant political relationships with tribal, state, territorial and federal governments. The region contains important natural resources of economic, cultural, and aesthetic value, which provide a wide range of ecosystem services at local, regional, national, and international scales. Decision-makers and land managers at all levels recognize that improved scientific knowledge on the impacts of climate and environmental change, and an understanding of how society is responding to these changes, is imperative to inform the development of sound policies and management strategies. The ABoVE campaign seeks a highly motivated and organized individual working towards a bachelors or graduate degree in one of the following fields: environmental/earth science, anthropology, Indigenous studies, circumpolar studies, or environmental studies. The intern will conduct an evaluation of ABoVE science projects within the context of other research and monitoring activities to identify relevant existing and new stakeholders for ABoVE products. At the same time, the intern will assess stakeholder needs and data gaps that could potentially be filled by future ABoVE research activities. The successful candidate will have excellent interpersonal and communication skills and familiarity with issues surrounding knowledge co-production, decolonizing science, social networks, and stakeholder engagement.

ABoVE Airborne Campaign Data Fusion -- Virtual

Over the past three years, the ABoVE Airborne Campaign (AAC) surveyed over 4 million km2 in Alaska and northwestern Canada with instruments aboard multiple aircraft. The science strategy included coupling domain-wide sampling with L-band and P-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR), imaging spectroscopy (AVIRIS-NG), full waveform lidar (LVIS) and atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane (ArcticCAP) with more spatially and temporally focused studies using Ka-band SAR and solar induced chlorophyll fluorescence (CFIS). Additional measurements were coordinated with the NEON Airborne Observing Platform, the ASCENDS instrument development suite, the ATOM EV-S2 investigation, and G-LiHT (Goddard's LiDAR, Hyperspectral & Thermal Imager). Find links to available data, and maps of coverage, here: In addition to ground and airborne measurements, ABoVE has been active in tasking and making available high resolution optical imagery for researchers involved in the campaign (DigitalGlobe and Planet imagery). The ABoVE campaign seeks a highly motivated and organized individual working towards an undergraduate or graduate degree in an environmental/earth science discipline (or related field) to complete a data fusion project using at least two or more of the airborne and optical imagery data sets available from the summer 2017, 2018, or 2019 campaigns. Datasets will be made available to the student in the ABoVE Science Cloud (, and the student will be able to use the processing capabilities provided in this high performance-computing environment during the internship. Possible projects should address some of the science questions and objectives for ABoVE ( and can be tailored to the research interests of the successful candidate. The successful candidate will have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, experience with data manipulation, and experience with at least two of the types of data collected during the ABoVE campaign. The student should have experience with Linux and Windows systems, as well as open source analysis tools such as python, gdal, or R. Additionally, familiarity with geographic information systems (GIS) is desired, such as ArcGIS Desktop/Pro, QGIS, and/or IDL/ENVI. The student will create and present a poster showcasing their results at the annual GSFC Internship Poster Day, however additional opportunities to present research could also be possible.