An International Field Campaign Research Opportunity for Undergraduates

The NSF-sponsored Organization of Tropical East Pacific Convection (OTREC) field campaign will take place from August 5th to September 30th, 2019.  OTREC provides an opportunity for 4 U.S. undergraduate students to participate in an international research experience based in Costa Rica for 2 weeks during the campaign. The campaign takes place in the eastern Pacific Ocean and the southwest Caribbean, where diverse convective behavior is poorly understood compared to other tropical regions. Understanding this is of critical importance to tropical weather and climate research. OTREC will use NSF/NCAR Gulfstream V aircraft, the Hiaper Cloud Radar, radiosondes and over 600 dropsondes.

Participating students are expected to help with field operations and participate in public outreach events. They will gain research and communication skills that will prepare them for graduate school and future science careers.

Student participants will have all travel expenses covered, including airfare, lodging, per diem, and ground transportation.


Participation Requirements

  • Must be an undergraduate junior enrolled at a U.S. institution in good academic standing
  • Must be enrolled as an undergraduate student in Fall 2019
  • Must be a STEM major with interest in atmospheric or related sciences 
  • U.S. citizenship is not required, but applicant must have a valid passport
  • Be willing to travel internationally and collaborate with an international research team
  • Be amenable and adaptable to potentially difficult field conditions, including extreme weather
  • Must commit to engaging in meaningful research for the duration of the OTREC program
  •  Applications are highly encouraged from individuals who are members of a group that is historically underrepresented in the atmospheric and related sciences, including students who are Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Hispanic or Latino, female, first generation college students, and students with disabilities. The OTREC opportunity welcomes LGBT students.
  • Bilingual students are encouraged to apply


The application packet should include the following: 

  • Personal statement (500 word limit) to answer the question
    • Why would you like to participate in this field campaign? Speak specifically about what you hope to learn from this opportunity and what you would contribute.
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Unofficial university transcript (there is no GPA cutoff for this opportunity)

Interested students should send their application packet to ApplyOTREC@ucar.eduAll application materials must be received by 11:59 pm Pacific Time on 30 November 2018 for full consideration.  

If you have any additional questions regarding this opportunity, please email Dr. Zeljka Fuchs at