10-week Stipend:

  • $7, 300 for Undergraduates
  • $9,000 for Graduate Students.

Explore semi-arid biodiversity with Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT) imaging spectroscopy data

Humans see only a fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum – wavelengths in the visible range, but NASA imaging spectrometers can now measure and distinguish continuous measurements across the spectrum, commonly referred to as hyperspectral imaging. This improvement in spectral resolution now allows space-borne sensors to identify on-the-ground material properties at fine scales, such as distinguishing among tree species based on differences in the reflectance spectra of pigments in leaves. NASA intends to use these hyperspectral observations to improve our understanding of fundamental drivers of biodiversity in the landscape and to inform future developments in land surface models.

We seek a student to work with hyperspectral observations from the Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT) mission https://earth.jpl.nasa.gov/emit/mission/about/, which successfully placed an imaging spectrometer onboard the International Space Station (ISS) and now returns daily retrievals over semi-arid landscapes since November 2022.

Specifically, the student will:

  • Survey bibliography & databases to obtain in-situ measurements of spectral reflectances
  • Learn to navigate NASA data portals for acquiring and processing satellite data.
  • Gain technical skills in satellite data analysis.
  • Apply analysis techniques to compare satellite-based observations with in-situ measurements.
  • Develop skills to create a poster explaining research findings, with potential to present at conferences.

Technical skills: programming familiarity with analysis and visualization software such as R, MATLAB and/or python, as well as netcdf file format are helpful, but not required; the student can gain/improve technical skills during internship.


Remote and/or D.C. Metro at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Logistics for housing can be provided, but rent must come from student stipend. Other logistics will be handled by supervisors and NASA Intern program.


What will your experience be like? Throughout the course of the internship, you will:

  • virtually attend lab meetings, lectures, and NASA workshops to build relationships with team members, learn about active research at NASA, and develop technical skills.
  • daily 1:1 virtual or face-to-face meetings (when applicable) with supervisors
  • receive weekly work plans tailored to your technical abilities; you will receive technical training, opportunities to learn new material to support your success.

10-week Stipend:

  • $7, 300 for Undergraduates
  • $9,000 for Graduate Students.

Requirements: Must be a US citizen. 

Opportunity Timeline: 

  • Application deadline – March 12, 2023 at Midnight. 
  • Selection deadline – March 17, 2023
  • Offer letter sent out by – April 3, 2023
  • Orientation – May 31, 2023 
  • Internship starts – June 5, 2023
  • Internship ends – August 11, 2023

For more information and to apply: https://www.esa.org/seeds/nasa/?utm_source=Informz&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=ESA&_zs=rXfEm&_zl=5tQS2