Rapid Response Internship at SkyTruth

Rapid Response Internship

SkyTruth uses the view from space to motivate people to protect the environment. We utilize technology to identify and monitor threats to the planet’s natural resources such as offshore drilling and oil spills, urban sprawl, fracking, mountaintop removal mining, and overfishing of the oceans.

We believe better transparency leads to better management and better outcomes. By sharing our findings – stunning imagery and robust science-based data – with the public for free, we move policy makers, governments and corporations towards more responsible behavior in the environment. We arm citizen activists with the tools they need to be more effective advocates. We also provide researchers and scientists with critical data that can inform groundbreaking work – and, notably, aid in the effort to begin asking a new set of questions.

The focus of SkyTruth’s ‘Rapid Response’ internship will be to monitor and report on global environmental incidents like oil spills, storm inundations, deforestation events, or mine failures in near-real time to improve disaster response and keep the public informed.

The internship provides advanced undergraduates or graduate students exposure to a broad spectrum of geospatial tools and technologies (e.g., satellite imagery, geographic information systems), cultivates and sharpens technical and analytical capacity (e.g., scientific programming, statistical analysis, web development), and promotes project management skills by giving students ownership over the role. The person(s) in this role will work directly with SkyTruth’s CEO and founder, John Amos, to supply the public with imagery on breaking and / or time-sensitive environmental incidents.

Essential duties

Download, analyze, and provide basic annotation of imagery as it pertains to our offshore monitoring and incident response work.

  1. Daily monitoring of the Gulf of Mexico using Landsat and Sentinel satellite imagery.
  2. Regular imagery monitoring of marine pollution hot-spots around the world, including but not limited to:
    1. United Arab Emirates (UAE) coastal areas;
    2. the Taylor Energy site;
    3. the Caspian Sea – Oil Rocks;
    4. the Strait of Malacca; and
    5. the Gulf of Guinea.
  3. Regularly producing imagery of other issues, such as expansion of mining impacts, growth of oil and gas infrastructure, deforestation near the Tar Sands, or other environmental issues related to the intern’s specific thematic interests.
  4. Regularly producing posts for SkyTruth’s blog and social media accounts that (a) demonstrate the value of satellite imagery for global environmental monitoring, and (b) provide specific intervention points for the public to demand policy changes (e.g., tailings pond failures provide arguments against mining elsewhere).


We are looking for self-directed individuals, with a passion for using science to protect the environment.  Interns should have demonstrated GIS experience, strong research and analytical skills, a proven ability to work with people from a variety of backgrounds, a desire to learn new skills and solve complex conservation problems, and superior written and verbal communication. Interns should be available to work a minimum of 8 hrs per week (up to 20) at SkyTruth’s office in Shepherdstown, WV. Remote work may be considered for exceptional candidates. Interns can expect to earn $12 per hour.

Preferred qualifications

Other desirable attributes include:

  • Strong interest in Python for data management, statistical analysis, and visualization;
  • Geospatial analysis including work in QGIS, ArcGIS, and/or Google Earth Engine;
  • Strong interest in Javascript and relevant web mapping platforms (e.g., ArcGIS Online, Carto, Mapbox, Leaflet, Google Maps, and Google Earth Engine);
  • Experience with gathering and analyzing satellite imagery and other remotely-sensed data;
  • Graphics production skills and video editing; and
  • A background in Environmental Science or Policy, Ecology, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Natural Resources Management, Geography, Political Science, or a related field.

Website: https://www.skytruth.org/