Grant: $429,449 - National Science Foundation - Jun. 26, 2009
100% voted satisfied - 0% voted not satisfied - 2 vote(s) cast
Award Description: The collaboration between JPL and Los Angeles urban colleges enables the CURE REU site to recruit approximately 18 mostly minority and women students per year for research experiences in cutting-edge projects in astronomy, astrophysics, and planetary science. Over the past nine years of existence and four more of preparation through one-time NASA grants, CURE served over 150 students who developed practical technical skills and overwhelmingly transferred to and graduated from engineering and science majors. The program has careful selection and mentoring component in support of work in high intensity JPL environment. CURE students as a group are immersed in joint activities and presentations with other JPL summer outreach programs, such as Caltech SURF. The scientific goals of CURE projects are part of the larger research projects as defined by the JPL research mentors, often within the context of ongoing or planned NASA space missions. CURE students are immersed in science at the JPL Oak Grove facility, at the JPL Table Mountain Observatory, and, occasionally, at Caltech. They help design and build experiments, take data, analyze data and present results. The students have access to the research mentors and facilities that are beyond the reach of their home institutions, and are exposed to the science community at JPL and at professional conferences. They learn science by doing it, through seamless extension of education to training and research. The objective of CURE is to provide research experience for minority students and women, who are underrepresented in the science workforce and in higher education, and to thereby encourage them to select science or engineering as a career. The students learn to work as part of a skilled and highly motivated NASA team; operate in a nonacademic, professional environment; develop a professional attitude and become valued colleagues; develop responsibility to their projects, to their mentors and to themselves; think logically, critically and clearly to solve research problems; and learn good scientific communication skills. The experience has shown that the impact on the advancement of science of a more diverse community of scientists is very positive. A fraction of CURE students are employed by the JPL in other programs as a result of the knowledge, experience and contacts they gain through CURE. Students use their new knowledge, experience and confidence to enrich their home schools? scientific endeavors, especially visibility and expansion of astronomy curriculum and facilities. The students are positive role models to their peers in the community and the new students follow in their steps to CURE and transfer to science and engineering majors.
Project Description: CURE program was granted renewed funding for 2009-2012 and it started on July 1, a month later then originally planned due to the delay in implementation of the NSF funding through ARRA. Nevertheless, thanks to the well established network of advisers at participating colleges and the just as well established network of the JPL mentors we were able to carry out planned 10 week summer program. These 9 projects were carried out for 10 weeks of summer at the facilities of the JPL Main campus in Pasadena, CA (projects 2 and 4-9), and at the JPL Table Mountain Observatory near Wrightwood, CA, about 72 miles from Cal State LA campus. Students presented the final project reports were at the JPL Seminar Day held on Aug 18-20. This manifestation also included students from all other JPL based NASA and Caltech funded student research programs which provided additional insights and experience for CURE students. Five of these presentations (1,2, 4, 6, 8) will be also presented at the 2009 Southern California Conference for Undergraduate Research, to be held on November 21 at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Project 10 took about three weeks. It was an opportunity to provide valuable experience for engineering bound student and at the same time to make further progress in outfitting the telescope that will play the major role in future Cal State LA astronomy program. Project 11 was exceptional opportunity for CURE students to gain experience with 2.3m telescope of the Wyoming Infrared Observatory. During intense observing week students learned to carry out near infrared observations with large telescope.
Jobs Summary: Principal Investigator and Evaluator @ 0.25 FTE, Consultant @ 6.0 FTE, and Student Participants @ 10.50 FTE. The following is the list of recruited students, college affiliations, projects, and research mentors for Summer 09: 1. Tzitlaly Barajas, Los Angeles City Colleges, and Amanda McAuley, Cal State LA 2001 FE90: An Elongated and Rapidly Rotating Near-Earth Asteroid Mentor: Michael Hicks, Science Division, JPL 2. Ivan Bernal, Victor Valley College, Testing a Design for a Compact Doppler/Magnetograph Mentor: Neil Murphy, Science Division, JPL 3. James Foster, Cal State LA 1999 AP10: Constraining Asteroidal Spin-State Evolution via Thermal Effects Mentor: Michael Hicks, Science Division, JPL 4. Leonard Dauksza, Pasadena City College Preparing for Cassini Instrument Operations in XXM via Process Automation Mentor: Paul Andres and Susan Linick, Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem, JPL 5. Christen Gerhart, Los Angeles Valley College Cassini Science Planning: Where Aerospace Engineering and Astronomy Meet Mentor: Kelly Perry, Cassini Science Planning, JPL 6. Sirajam Marzia, Cal State LA Application of Radon Transform Technique on BATSE Earth-Occultation Database for Soft Gamma-Ray Tomographic Imaging of Gamma-Ray Sources Mentors: James Ling and Martin Lo, Science Division, JPL 7. John Palombi, Victor Valley College Meteoroid Stream Modeling in the Inner Solar System Mentor: Kevin Grazier, Science Division, JPL 8. Stephanie Zajac, Cal Poly Pomona Doppler and Magnetic Field Measurements in the Sun's Chromosphere Mentor: Neil Murphy, Science Division, JPL 9. Eva Zaykova, Pasadena City College Monte Carlo simulations of Astrophysical Phenomena Mentor: Robin Dumas, Instrumentation and Information Systems Division, JPL. We had additional opportunity to carry out two shorter term projects this summer: 10. Agustin Lee, Los Angeles City College T-point analysis of 0.75m Stony Ridge Observatory telescope Mentor: Milan Mijic, Physics and Astronomy, Cal State LA 11. Tzitlaly Barajas, Los Angeles City Colleges, and Amanda McAuley, Cal State LA Infrared Observations of Blazars Mentors: Jay Norris, University of Denver, and Jerry Bonnell, CRESST/UMCP/GSFC (Total jobs reported: 17)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Jun. 26, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.