CPO Welcomes Talented Group of Lapenta Interns

  • 29 June 2021

CPO is pleased to welcome an excellent group of seven Lapenta interns who joined the office on June 7th and will conduct a variety of projects over the next 10 weeks. These students represent a wide range of degree programs and geographically diverse universities.

One of the primary goals of the Lapenta program is to lay a solid foundation for the interns’ future careers, particularly if their path leads to NOAA service. In addition to their research project, students will participate in a robust program of professional development activities and sessions which provide a broad overview of many of NOAA’s programs. Interns are also directly connected to NOAA staff whose interests and career paths align with their own to gain advice and expand their professional networks. With the Conservation Corps Act and other Direct Hire Authorities in place, the hope is that many interns will choose to bring their knowledge and talents to NOAA in the future.

Nicole Hilton, Quinn Bustos, and Lauren Navarro Crane are working with the Communication, Education, and Engagement (CEE) Division’s Frank Niepold on the development of the U.S. Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) initiative. Nicole is an Army veteran who completed her B.S. degree in communication at the University of North Florida and is currently pursuing an M.S. degree in geography at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Quinn is a rising senior in technical communication at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Lauren is entering her senior year at the University of Michigan majoring in climate and space engineering.

Carina Rodriguez is completing her degree in environmental science & policy with a minor in sociology at California State University, Long Beach. She is working with Ginny Selz and Knauss Fellow Noura Randle in the Climate Observations and Monitoring (COM) program, analyzing downstream use cases of climate observation datasets.

Madeline Statkewicz is entering the fourth-year of her Ph.D. program in atmospheric science at the University of Houston and earned her B.S. in applied mathematics at the University of South Alabama. She is working with Monika Kopacz in the Atmospheric Chemistry, Carbon Cycle, and Climate (AC4) program examining sea surface temperature anomalies in the Gulf of Mexico and the coastal Atlantic Ocean.

Anna Sitzman is working on strengthening the resilience of vulnerable communities in the Great Lakes Region under the mentoring of Nancy Beller-Simms in the Adaptation Sciences (AdSci) program. She is a senior at Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana majoring in environmental studies with a concentration in social sciences. 

Laura Cabrera-Rivera is co-mentored by Ariela Zycherman and Sean Bath in the Climate and Societal Interactions (CSI) division focusing on strengthening NOAA's regional climate science-to-action network. She is currently a first year doctoral student pursuing a degree in environmental Health at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus.





DEIA Working Group

The Climate Program Office (CPO) seeks to advance scientific understanding, monitoring, and prediction of climate and its impacts to enable effective decisions. It is our vision that CPO reflects and leverages the talent and diversity of its employees to ensure people, businesses, and the environment continue to thrive in the face of climate impacts.

CPO’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Working Group was formed in the summer of 2020 in response to civil rights movements across the country. CPO leadership recognized the importance of acknowledging the pain of the nation (and staff members) and of taking action to improve DEIA initiatives and direction within the Climate Program Office. The CPO DEIA Working Group was subsequently formed. The DEIA Working Group developed a 4-year, 20-page, strategic plan to address issues within the office as well as improve outreach, targeted recruitment, and DEIA training opportunities across CPO.

Read the CPO DEIA Strategic Plan »



Outreach and Volunteer Efforts

CPO continues to look for opportunities to give back and contribute to our local area. Past examples of our efforts include:

CPO ‘Giveback’ Drives

    Winter 2020: CPO staff donated over 100 food and hygiene bags to the Bowie Interfaith Works Food Shelter as well as a $200 money order for the DC Central Kitchen soup kitchen and shelter.

    Summer 2021: CPO staff donated approximately $700 to Covenant House DC.

Earth Day Clean Up

CPO staff donated their time to clean up the Anacostia Watershed, a wetland area within an urban park that feeds into the Northwest branch of the Anacostia.

CPO staff holding food and hygiene bags

CPO Staff prepared and delivered 100+ food and hygiene bags to Bowie Interfaith Works Food Shelter




NOAA & NOAA Research Resources

CPO is a part of the NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR). OAR’s unique role in NOAA’s mission of science, service and stewardship demands a diverse workforce to reflect, understand, and respond to the varied communities and stakeholders we serve. Equally important is an equitable and inclusive work environment that enhances organizational performance. OAR’s sustained commitment to strengthen diversity and equity, and nurture a culture of inclusion, is critical to the success of the preeminent research required to support weather and climate forecasting, understand and predict Earth systems, promote sustainable economic uses of America’s oceans, Great Lakes and coasts, and support communities and ecosystems so they are resilient to inevitable change.

If you'd like to learn more about NOAA and OAR efforts to increase and improve knowledge and understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion issues, please follow these links for additional information:




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Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather.