Nasa's Planetary Geology and Geophysics Undergraduate Research Program (PGGURP): The Value of Undergraduate Geoscience Internships
Approximately 30% of the undergraduate PGGURP participants continue on to graduate school in the planetary sciences. We consider this to be an enormous success, because the participants are among the best and brightest undergraduates in the country with a wide range of declared majors (e.g., physics, chemistry, biology, as well as geology). Furthermore, those students that do continue tend to excel, and point to the internship as a turning point in their scientific careers.
The NASA PIs who serve as mentors agree that this is a valuable experience for them, too, and many of them have been hosting interns annually for well over a decade. The PI obtains enthusiastic and intelligent undergraduate, free of charge, for a summer, while having the opportunity to work closely with today's students who are the future of planetary science.
Encourage your students to apply to this, and other NASA-sponsored internship programs: everyone benefits. See http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~tgregg/pggurp.html (PGGURP) and http://www.lpi.usra.edu/lpiintern/ for another NASA-sponsored internship at the Lunar and Planetary Science Institute in Houston, TX.