The GeoCorps program helps geoscientists engage their skills in addressing the scientific and resource management needs of America's public lands. The program coordinates paid, short-term geoscience projects with professionals at the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, in order to complete geoscience-related work that might not otherwise be possible. GeoCorps projects offer unique experiences to grow professionally, complete meaningful work, and increase the number of geoscientists on the ground advancing the management, research, education and outreach, and stewardship of geologic resources nationwide.
- Increase the number of geoscientists conducting education, research, and resource management projects on America's public lands;
- Enhance the geoscience knowledge available to resource managers and policy makers so better decisions can be made regarding the management of natural resources and mitigation of geological hazards;
- Provide hands-on geoscience experience and internships for aspiring professionals who are working toward careers in industry, academia, or land management;
- Offer seasoned geoscientists the opportunity to share their knowledge with land managers and assist with onsite projects.
- Raise the public's knowledge and awareness of the value of geoscience resources on public lands;
- Instill a public land ethic in current and future generations of geoscientists by having the opportunity to learn and understand federal land management;
- Enhance the diversity of geoscientists working on America's public lands.
- Participants are chosen through a competitive selection process.
- GeoCorps participants receive a minimum pay rate of US$15.00/hour. Some locations offer free onsite housing, and some locations offer a higher wage if free housing is not available.
- In a few cases there is travel reimbursement for costs associated with traveling to and from the work site in an extremely remote location. The project description will include information on the amount of travel reimbursement when available.
- Although GeoCorps has no official program to assist with student loans, in certain circumstances participants may qualify for some level of loan deferment or forbearance during the months spent in GeoCorps. Please see the Federal Student Aid website for eligibility details.
Application and Selection Timeline
- Spring/summer opportunities are announced every December, and applications are due in February.
- Top candidates are interviewed by phone and selected by the supervisor who will manage the project on site.
- Offers are made by the Forest Service and BLM in March for spring/summer
- Fall/winter opportunities are occasionally hosted; they would be announced in May, applications would be due in July, and project offers would be made in August. Other opportunities are hosted off-season as they are received. The specific application deadline information for off-season GeoCorps projects will appear in the project description.
Opportunities take place in some of the most beautiful areas nationwide, and span a wide variety of geoscience-related fields: paleontology, caves and karst, geohazards, mapping and applied GIS, hydrology, fluid and solid minerals, soils, and more.
Most GeoCorps participants are relatively new geoscientists in the early phases of building or transitioning their careers, for whom it is beneficial to spend the summer at a National Forest or BLM Unit gaining on-the-ground experience in geology and geoscience-related work. Their knowledge and skills enable them to assist public lands in meaningful ways with important geoscience projects.
Many public lands also have higher-needs projects that require a specific background, level of expertise, or require a longer-term project that extends beyond a summer season. Public land managers are also able to submit geology and geoscience-related projects to GeoCorps that require up to one year’s time on site, and/or expertise within a specific geoscience field. Qualified candidates who meet the program eligibility criteria can apply for these opportunities.