Internship Programs

Internship Final Report
Internship Final Report

The Atmospheric Resource Board administers two internship programs during the North Dakota Cloud Modification Project (NDCMP). The Pilot Internship Program (PIP) and the Meteorology Internship Program (MIP) are designed to prepare qualified students for a professional career through participation in a summer intern position with the North Dakota Atmospheric Resource Board (NDARB) during the North Dakota Cloud Modification Project (NDCMP).

The Atmospheric Resource Board in cooperation with the University of North Dakota’s John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences (UND) have long recognized their shared roles in providing appropriate experience for students and young professionals. Each NDCMP season, several qualified young people work as interns on a full-time basis from the NDCMP base locations. The NDARB internships are an important milestone for the students, enabling them to gain unique insight and experience and to have important responsibility directly in their field of interest. The ARB constantly seeks to improve its training process and the entire internship experience. The knowledge and skills acquired by the students enhance the development and stature of an emerging workforce.


The Pilot Internship Program (PIP) began in 1974 with a $274,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to the University of North Dakota for an "experimental project for training pilots in weather modification". The program was instantly successful, enrolling 70 students through the fall semester of 1976. That year, the ND Weather Modification Board (now NDARB) entered into contract with UND to employ 14 interns on its summer cloud seeding program. By the mid-1980’s, the Bureau of Reclamation ceased to fund the program. The NDARB continued funding the program until 2003, when funding was no longer available. The Board did continue the program by making internships available, however, only on a volunteer basis. Funding was restored for the program during the 2005 Legislative Assembly.

A Memorandum of Understanding between NDARB and UND outlines the responsibilities of both entities to create an opportunity to prepare students for a professional career through participation in a summer intern position. Specific criteria are required to be eligible for the PIP. At the completion of the 2023 program, the program has provided training and experience for 407 pilots.

The NDCMP Meteorology Internship Program began in 1996 and to date has provided hands-on radar, operations and forecasting experience for 73 meteorology undergraduates and graduates.


Pilot Internship Program
Pilot Internship Program

The PIP includes the following areas of involvement and responsibility:

  • Duties of a regular crew member, both on the ground and in the air.
  • Record keeping of all seeding events, times, and materials expended.
  • Maintenance of seeding equipment and materials.
  • General aircraft maintenance.
  • Conduct of seeding missions according to project guidelines.
  • Visual surveillance of the weather.
  • Representing the project to the public.
  • Other duties as required to meet project objectives.

The MIP includes the following areas of involvement and responsibility:

  • Assist radar meteorologists in the direction of cloud seeding operations from radar field offices located in Bowman and Stanley, ND, and prepare daily convective forecasts.
  • Operation of a 5-cm digital Doppler weather radar equipped with IRIS and TITAN software.
  • Direction of seeding aircraft.
  • Use of two-way radio.
  • Use of data recording software.
  • Making daily convective forecasts.


Candidates for the MIP must be at least an undergraduate pursuing a degree in meteorology or atmospheric sciences. Applicants must apply and are scored and rated for selection by NDARB.

Candidates for the PIP must be at least an undergraduate pursuing an aviation-related degree at UND. Applicants must apply and are scored and rated for selection by NDARB and UND.

Selection criteria for the PIP includes:

  • Ratings: Students must have their multi-engine rating by April 30th, prior to the start of the internship.
  • Motivation: class attendance, extra credit work, and overall enthusiasm for fieldwork.
  • GPA: Complete UND's AtSc 252 Applied Weather Modification for preference in hiring.
  • Flight hours: total and multiengine time.
  • Related work experience.

Intern Stories

Generations of Weather Modification Pilots

Father & Son

Article in ND Aviation Quarterly
Gravesens in ND Aviation Quarterly

Recently, two former weather modification pilots were featured in the North Dakota Aviation Quarterly newsletter, published by North Dakota Aviation Council.

Mark Gravesen flew weather modification on the NDCMP in 1977 and 1978. He was supposed to be an intern in Tioga, but was needed as a pilot-in-command (PIC) instead. In 1978, he flew as PIC out of Kenmare.

His son, Chad Gravesen, was an intern on the project in 2010 and was also PIC in 2011, both years in Kenmare. Chad has also been an occasional relief pilot for Weather Modification Inc. while living in the Kenmare area.

Uncle & Nephew

Daniel Sieh
Daniel Sieh

Terry Nyquist flew on the NDCMP for 3 seasons. In 1979, he was an intern co-pilot in Tioga. He flew as a pilot-in-command (PIC) in 1980 and 1981 out of Sidney, MT. All three years, he flew in Turbo Twin Comanches.

Terry also flew a project in Thessaloniki, Greece for Atmospherics Inc. that ran from April to October 1982. That was in a Turbo Aztec.

In 2013 Terry's nephew, Daniel Sieh, became an intern co-pilot on the NDCMP. He flew out of Minot in a Cessna 340.

Daniel also flew as a PIC of a Seneca II out of Watford City in 2015.

Both pilots are proud graduates of the University of North Dakota's Department of Aviation. Terry graduated in 1980 and Daniel in 2014.