Students Selected for 2011 NASA Student Airborne Research Program
Twenty-nine advanced undergraduate and early graduate students from across the United States have been selected to participate in the 2011 NASA Student Airborne Research Program (SARP).
Now in its third year, SARP is a unique summer internship program that enables students to acquire hands-on research experience in all aspects of an airborne scientific campaign. The 29 students will work in multidisciplinary teams in three general research areas: atmospheric chemistry, evapotranspiration from agricultural crops in California, and ocean biology along the California coast. They will assist in the operation of instruments onboard the NASA DC-8 aircraft to sample atmospheric gases and to image land and water surfaces in multiple spectral bands. Along with airborne data collection, students will also participate in taking measurements at field sites.
Outstanding faculty, mentors, and staff are drawn from several universities and NASA centers, as well as from NASA flight operations and engineering. Program faculty will present detailed information on their research. Faculty and mentors will then guide participants through instrument and flight preparations, data analysis, and interpretation. Students will give final presentations of their results and the conclusion of the program. In addition, several students will go on to present their results at the American Geophysical Union fall meeting in San Francisco.
SARP 2009 was featured in an NPR piece entitled “Earth Science From the Sky: The Next Generation,” by Jon Hamilton.
The 2011 SARP students hail from 28 universities and colleges in 20 states. The majors of the students in this interdisciplinary group cover a wide range of scientific, mathematical, and engineering disciplines. Students were competitively selected based on their outstanding academic performance, future career plans, ability to work in teams, and interest in Earth system science. One of the great strengths of SARP is that students from different disciplines learn from each other and work together toward common research goals. Students also form lasting personal and professional relationships that they will carry into their future careers.
SARP is managed by the National Suborbital Education and Research Center at the University of North Dakota with funding form the NASA Airborne Science Program. For more information and updates on SARP 2011, visit www.nserc.und.edu/learning/SARP2011.html.