The Paul Edwin Potter Internship - 2024 Program

Dr. William Andrews with Potter interns at an outcrop

May 20 - July 26, 2024

Our program is designed to provide academic and professional development by equipping interns with the knowledge and resources required to excel in geoscience-related research. In addition to participating in projects led by KGS researchers, interns will be required to attend a weekly program of seminars and field experiences. These extracurricular activities will cover a wide range of topics including:

  • Data and physical sample management,
  • Respectful and safe fieldwork,
  • Responsible conduct of research,
  • Abstract writing and publication preparation,
  • Resume writing and mock interviews,
  • Networking and mentorship programs,
  • Academic and career development resources,
  • Social and interpersonal career coaching,
  • Research presentations and field experiences.

Apply Here!

Be sure to check out the FAQ page for more information about the program and application process.

Important Dates (2024):
  • December 18, 2023 - February 11, 2024: Application period open (apply here).
  • January 3 - February 11: Optional application review period open.* Send application drafts and questions to
  • Week of February 19th: Round One interviews.
  • Week of February 26th and March 4th: Round Two interviews.
  • Week of March 11th: Offer letters sent.
  • May 20 - July 26: Internship dates.
Eligible applicants are:
  • Undergraduate and master's level students enrolled at a higher education institution in Kentucky or surrounding area. This includes but is not limited to the University of Cincinnati, Marshall University, Hanover College, etc.,
  • Students interested in geoscience and related field such as environmental science, physics, engineering, public health, or geography.
  • Able to commit 40 hours per week for ten weeks.
  • Able to attend the program seminars and field experiences.

KGS places a high value on diversity of experience and cultural perspectives. Therefore, we encourage applications from all interested and eligible students. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) are fundamental principles that guide this program, KGS, and our mission to conduct research and provide unbiased information about geologic resources, environmental issues and natural hazards affecting Kentucky.

2024 Projects:

Auxier Ridge, Red River Gorge
Auxier Ridge in Red River Gorge, photo by Meredith Swallom
This year, we are planning to hire six interns to join a karst related research team that will investigate a specific section of the Red River Gorge Geological Area. The team will meticulously collect information on the area's karst, geomorphology, and related other features, including terrain characteristics, hydrological patterns, and historical changes. To ensure a valuable learning experience, each intern will be paired with a mentor who will guide them through the 10-week program, which includes a final presentation and poster session. The results of each project will contribute to a better understanding of geological processes in the Red River Gorge.

The interns will learn skills in:
  • Data management
  • Sample collection
  • Data modeling
  • Safe fieldwork
  • Laboratory analysis

Each week will consist of lab work, office tasks, and field exercises, focusing on a different aspect of the study area.

The Red River Gorge Geological Area is a nationally recognized area for its arches, large cliffs, and the federally designated Wild and Scenic Red River. Geologically, the gorge contains limestones, shales, and sandstones that span the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian geologic periods and is along the Pottsville escarpment, marking the western edge of the Cumberland Plateau.

KGS Paul Edwin Potter Internship Showcase
At the end of the internship, interns will present on their work. The goal of this showcase is to ensure interns have the opportunity to develop research products related to current and emerging KGS work. The poster session will give the interns an opportunity to network with future colleagues, sharpen their presentation skills, and learn to convey complex scientific concepts in a visually appealing and compelling way.

KGS staff learning about the 2022 Paul Potter Interns' projects
KGS staff at the 2022 intern showcase learning about the 2022 Paul Potter Interns' projects
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