The Earth and Space Research – Summer Institute (ESR-SI) is a four-week summer research experience in which students engage in mentored research projects. Alongside ESR researchers and other professional scientists students work towards tangible, externally-visible outcomes (e.g., educational blog posts, presentations at regional and national conferences, peer-reviewed publications) in an authentic research setting.

The projects this year will be: 1) The Antarctic Cryosphere and Climate, 2) the Weather and Climate of Mount Baker, and 3) Evaluation of Solar Reflectance Geoengineering Interventions. Students will be mentored by Dr. Michael Town, a scientist at Earth and Space Research ( Students will be exposed to a mixture of state-of-the-art data analysis techniques (Python, Pandas, and Google Earth Engine), satellite data (e.g. Sentinel-2, LANDSAT-8), other weather and climate data products (e.g. ERA5). They will interact with other professional scientists at Earth and Space Research and the University of Washington. Students will experience field work during a one-day trip to the Mt. Baker Wilderness Area.

Who Should Apply: This experience is open to all rising Sophomore, Junior, and Senior high school students. Successful applicants are responsible, motivated students in good academic standing at their current institution. They will have demonstrated facility with data analysis (e.g., managing, plotting, and summarizing data) in Excel or Python.

How to apply: Interested students should apply by filling out the application google form by 19 April 2024. Acceptance letters will be sent by 10 May 2024. Payment for the experience will be required for enrollment upon acceptance. The application process asks for a few short-essay questions and two adults to act as academic references. The academic references will only be asked to answer brief questions via a 10-minute phone call or a short email. (NOTE: the original submission deadline was extended from 1 March 2024.)

This course will be offered in-person for Summer 2024 at the ESR Offices in the University District of Seattle. Online attendance is possible in extenuating circumstances. The course will move online in the case of COVID-related shutdowns. There will be one in-person event at the University of Washington, and one day-long field trip to the Mt. Baker National Recreation Area.



About the Instructor:

Dr. Michael Town is an experienced climate researcher and educator. He has many peer-reviewed scientific publications in the fields of polar meteorology and paleoclimate. He has also spent over 10 years teaching high school in the Greater Seattle Area (University Prep, TEC High School, and Lakeside School). He has a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Washington and a Masters in Teaching from Seattle University. Equity and social justice are at the center of his education and research practices.