The CUNY CREST Institute offers several programs aimed at providing students with research experience and increasing diversity in STEM fields. HIRES provides NYC high school students with STEM research opportunities, REU offers undergraduates research experience in Remote Sensing, CiPASS aims to increase underrepresented minorities studying STEM at City College, JPSS SPARKS is a workforce development initiative for graduate or upper-level undergraduate students in satellite science, and Weather Camp is a two-week program for high school students focused on meteorology. All programs offer hands-on learning experiences and opportunities to work with scientists and mentors in their respective fields.

HIRES (High School Initiative in Remote Sensing of The Earth Systems Engineering And Sciences)

Director: Dr. Shakila Merchant

HIRES is a program within the CUNY CREST Institute which offers high school students an opportunity to work closely with scientists in the field and in labs, collect and analyze data, present at conferences, and more! It’s aim is to provide NYC high school student research experience especially in STEM. We leverage our connections and resources to increase student recruitment, share experiences and expertise, and identify specific opportunities, challenges, and strategies for effectively supporting students in developing science research skills and competencies. HIRES is part of the NYC Science Research Mentoring Consortium funded by the Pinkerton Foundation. HIRES focuses on STEM education which is an increasingly important part of the today’s workforce and economy. HIRES provides and encourages high-quality science and technology activities and initiatives in after-school programs.

REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates)

Director: Reginald Blake

This unique NSF REU program provides opportunities for undergraduate students of the City University of New York (CUNY) to become active participants in Remote Sensing research at the CUNY CREST Institute. These opportunities combine the advantages of the stimulating, multi-disciplinary, environment of a NOAA Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing with the guidance provided by mentor-oriented researchers who are committed to the education and the encouragement of women, underrepresented minorities, and students with disabilities. As a newly designated NSF Model Replication Institution (MRI), the proposed City Tech REU site and its CUNY CREST Institute partnerships will serve as an effective catalyst, enabling us to establish a formal program for students interested in Remote Sensing at NOAA and to develop more NOAA-funded opportunities, in addition to those opportunities funded by NSF awards.

CiPASS (City College Initiative to Promote Academic Success in Stem)

Director: Jorge E. Gonzalez

The CIPASS Program will increase the number of underrepresented minorities studying STEM at The City College of New York, assist them during their studies, and provide opportunities for them to gain the experience that will make them valuable employees. The five key elements of CiPASS are: (1) A summer STEM Bridge Program to improve the readiness and academic self-confidence of entering students; (2) Online instruction to support math skills development; (3) Real-time performance assessment with individualized academic intervention; (4) Experiential and entrepreneurial learning; and (5) Recruitment and support for transfer students in partnership with CUNY Community Colleges.


Director: Dr. Shakila Merchant

JPSS is the Joint Polar Satellite System, and represents NOAA’s latest generation of polar orbiting environmental satellites. SPARKS is Students Professional and Academic Readiness with Knowledge in Satellites, and serves as a pathway for students to learn job skills and satellite science from IMSG staff and NOAA experts, and later transition into mentorships alongside NOAA and IMSG staff. JPSS SPARKS is in student workforce development initiative in NOAA JPSS mission sciences created in 2016. This is a synergistic partnership between Academia CUNY-CREST; Federal NOAA and Private Sector to engage CUNY CREST graduate students in direct hands-on training within the NOAA facilities in College Park, MD. Graduate students or upper-level undergraduate students with a background in an environmental science or engineering background are welcome to apply to JPSS SPARKS Program. Computer programming experience in multiple languages is encouraged, and will serve as a foundation for training with GPA 3.0 and above .

Weather Camp

Director: Brian Vant-Hull

The Weather-camp at the City University of New York is a two week program for high school students from the New York City metropolitan area, and has been offered free of charge to 6-12 students selected via an application process since 2009. It generally begins in the last week of July or first week of August, depending on staff scheduling. The first week is a day camp on the campus of the City College of New York. Concepts of meteorology are demonstrated by hands-on activities whenever possible and applied to weather observations both locally and around the country. Experts on such topics as severe storms and climate will speak and answer questions. We also visit a local broadcast meteorologist and see how a live forecast is put together. During the second week, the schedule involves combination of forecasting in the computer lab at City College and a visit to the local National Weather Service (NWS) office located on the campus of Brookhaven National Laboratories. The camp location will be within walking distance of a beach on the north shore of Long Island, and each morning will go to the National Weather Service office (NWS) for in depth study of weather phenomena, with the afternoons devoted to field observations of the sea breeze effect, the urban heat island, the surface environment and clouds.

Teachers Training (NYCDOE)

The CREST Institute offered a teacher training program aimed at providing NYC teachers with hands-on training and support to teach students about Earth System Science and engineering fields with an emphasis on remote sensing technologies. The program was funded by the NYCDOE and is designed to help teachers develop a deep understanding of Earth System Science and engineering fields, as well as the latest remote sensing technologies and their applications. This allows them to bring these concepts into their classrooms, providing students with exciting and engaging learning experiences. The hands-on training and support provided by the program can help teachers develop innovative and effective teaching strategies, ultimately leading to better outcomes for students in NYC schools.

STEM ELL Initiative (NYCDOE)

The CREST Institute offered two other programs: the STEM ELL Initiative in partnership with the NYC Department of The STEM ELL Initiative was a program offered by the CREST Institute in partnership with the NYC Department of Education. It aimed to provide support for English Language Learners (ELL) in STEM subjects. The program provided professional development for teachers and curriculum resources for classrooms, with a focus on engaging and supporting ELL students in STEM education. The program aimed to increase the participation and success of ELL students in STEM subjects, ultimately leading to greater access and opportunities for these students in STEM fields.

City College Academy of Arts – Bridge to College Program

The City College Academy of Arts Bridge to College Program was a program offered by the CUNY CREST Institute, aimed at preparing high school students for college-level training. The program aimed to increase access and success for underrepresented student populations in college-level arts programs, ultimately leading to greater diversity and representation in the arts.