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Meteorological Development Lab (MDL) Student Career Experience Program (SCEP)
"Develop and Implement Scientific Techniques into National Weather Service Operations"

(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 10:13:06 +0000 UTC)


  • News-Flash Image

    Posted April 15, 2013:  Due to budget issues, MDL will not be hiring students for the foreseeable future. We do look forward to resuming that. The Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) has been replaced by the Pathways Program throughout the Federal Government. You can read more about the Pathways Program at Future job offerings in MDL for students and recent graduates will be posted at the USAJobs web site (

What is the MDL SCEP?
  • The MDL SCEP is a co-op program which offers undergraduate and graduate students majoring in computer science, mathematics, meteorology, oceanography, physics, and statistics an opportunity to alternate full-time paid employment with periods of full-time study.  The full-time employment encompasses a total of 12 months at the National Weather Service (NWS) Meteorological Development Lab (MDL) in Silver Spring, Maryland.  While there, students will develop and implement computer based scientific techniques and may participate in the development of statistical algorithms, analysis of meteorological data, verification of forecasts, and use of interactive graphics programs.  Students should expect to make extensive use of computer technology and computer programming.

    For more information about the work underway in the MDL, please visit the MDL web site at
  • Student must be a U.S. citizen
  • If hired, the student and a representative of the student's institution (e.g., Department Chairperson or Co-op Coordinator) must sign and submit a NOAA/COOP agreement to the MDL SCEP Coordinator.
  • Student must have completed at least one year of college and be enrolled in a meteorology, oceanography, computer science, physics, or mathematics degree program.
  • Student must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 overall, with a 2.5 average in major
  • Student must be able to commit to 12 months of employment with an initial work period of at least 6 months, while enrolled in a meteorology, oceanography, computer science, physics, or mathematics degree program.
What happens next?
  • You may be contacted by MDL to set up an interview.  If you are unable to visit the work site for the interview (because of distance, for example), then an interview will be conducted by phone.  If selected, you will be contacted by phone and in writing.  The student will be responsible for making any housing arrangements.  However, the MDL SCEP Coordinator may be able to supply the student with the names of MDL staff members willing to share information regarding housing in the area.

    If you need additional information, then contact the Student Career Experience Program Coordinator

    Attn:  David Rudack
    Phone:  (301) 713-0023 x125
    Fax:       (301) 713-9316
Salary and employee benefits
  • SCEP salaries range from GS-4 to GS-9, depending upon whether or not the student is an undergraduate or graduate student and also depending upon the student's classification (e.g., junior, senior, 1st year graduate student, etc.)
  • Promotion to the next pay grade is possible, after completion of work session and additional courses, if the student maintains good academic standing
  • Paid travel between school and work site at the start and end of the work session
  • Government contribution to life and health insurance
  • Possible 120-day work period, after graduation and possible conversion to career-conditional appointment, depending upon the availability of positions
  • A two-page tri-fold pocket pamphlet describing the SCEP is available for download at:
Student Benefits
  • Helps the student consolidate career decisions and focus on specific career interests
  • Provides the student with professional work experience, prior to graduation
  • Allows the student to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to real-world challenges
  • Helps the student to build on his/her self-confidence and leadership skills
  • Provides an opportunity for the student to make contacts for potential employment opportunities, after graduation
Employer Benefits
  • Serves as an effective way to recruit potential new employees
  • Reduces training time and costs because the student is already familiar with the organization and its basic procedures and terminology
  • Motivates existing professional staff to continue learning in order to respond to the student's questions
  • Brings new ideas into the organization
  • Enhances the relationship between the government and the academic community

  National Weather Service
Office of Science and Technology
Meteorological Development Laboratory
Last Modified : April 16, 2012
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