An Overview

RESESS is an undergraduate internship and support program in the Earth sciences based in Boulder, Colorado, that is dedicated to increasing diversity in the geosciences.

The goal of the RESESS internship program is to increase the number of students from groups that are underrepresented in the geosciences relative to their proportions in the general population.

RESESS encourages applications from individuals who are members of a group that is historically underrepresented in the Earth sciences, including students who are Black or African American, American Indian or Native Pacific Islanders, Hispanic or Latinos, and others.

We introduce students to scientific research, prepare students for graduate school, and provide support and encouragement as students build skills and confidence. Students experience an authentic research experience and are encouraged to consider graduate school with an eye to a career in science, whether that is in research, teaching, or industry. Students can participate for up to three years, depending on when they enter the program.

Where: Boulder, Colorado
When: Late May - Early August

Frequently Asked Questions »


  • Salary for eleven weeks
  • Round-trip airfare to Boulder, CO
  • A shared furnished apartment at no cost
  • A research experience in the solid earth geosciences
  • An intensive communications course
  • Opportunity for participation in a national science meeting
  • Eligibility for scholarship money during the school year


Student interns get to work closely with a geoscience expert throughout the summer on a research project. We try to match the interests of the student with a relevant project. The student might work at the University of Colorado at Boulder, at the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, CO, or at UNAVCO in Boulder. In their second or third summer, interns can work elsewhere in the U.S. with a research group at another university, government lab, or at a petroleum company.

Potential topics of interest include:

  • earthquakes & seismology
  • geophysics (including plate tectonics and more)
  • hydrology and water quality
  • petroleum geology
  • glaciers
  • volcanoes
  • sedimentology
  • geomorphology
  • Quaternary geology
  • physics of the Earth

We also encourage students to consider and suggest projects based in their community.

RESESS Interns Shall:

  • Participate in leadership training during the first week of the summer program.
  • Conduct or contribute to an authentic research project and share progress reports and findings through public venues including the RESESS colloquium and poster sessions during the last week of the summer program.
  • Participate in scheduled RESESS program activities including, but not limited to: writing workshop, communications workshop, the geology field trip, and GRE prep course.
  • Attend and present (if accepted) research work at a scientific conference.
  • Contribute to the RESESS calendar publication.


We support our interns intensively in what is a challenging work experience. Each intern has a science mentor (or team of science mentors) who guides them on the research project and a communications mentor who works with the student on their research paper. Research shows that a multi-mentoring approach is important and fosters student success through providing help and encouragement.


New friendships and a strong sense of community are developed during the first days of the program, and strengthened throughout the summer. One day per week is reserved for the communications workshop and RESESS group activities such as geology field trips or workshops. Incoming interns also have a graduate assistant mentor to help enrich their experience.


RESESS is a bridge-to-graduate-school summer internship program that is dedicated to increasing diversity in the geoscience workforce. RESESS strongly encourages applications from individuals who are members of a group that is historically underrepresented in the Earth sciences. RESESS is funded by the National Science Foundation's OEDG program.

Eligible candidates are full-time undergraduate students who:

  • Have completed the equivalent of two years of college
  • Have at least one semester of college remaining after the initial summer program
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Have completed several courses in geology, physical geography, hydrology, environmental sciences, math, physics, geophysics, or engineering
  • Are interested in pursuing a career in the Earth sciences or a related science
  • Have U.S. citizenship or permanent-resident status
  • Are comfortable with all internship requirements [PDF] such as living in Boulder, Colorado, for the summer

What Makes RESESS Different from a Typical REU?

We provide substantial support and encouragement to each intern; we really take care of them. Good communication within the cohort and with science and communication mentors is encouraged, and each summer's group develops their own sense of cohesion.

Adventures and shared experiences throughout the summer help the students connect with each other and provide a feeling of mutual support. For example, we go on field trips to local geological sites, have workshops, and organize social events.

During the academic year, we provide our summer interns with scholarship money, advice on courses or graduate schools, and support in applying to graduate school.

Read more about a summer in the RESESS Internship Program!