Logan Switzer posing outside on campus

Oregon Space Grant Consortium 2022-23 STARR Awardee, Logan Switzer, To Research The Mysteries Of The Universe

When Logan Switzer ’25 started his college career, the journey was a short drive from his Forest Grove home to the campus of Pacific University.

This summer, Switzer’s educational journey takes him from the laboratories of the Strain Science Center to the laboratories of one of the most prestigious scientific campuses in the world.

Switzer is one of 15 students from the United States selected this year to participate in the Research for Undergraduates Program at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Administered through the University of Michigan, the nine-week internship program runs June through August on CERN’s campus near Geneva, Switzerland.

“This is an absolute dream,” said Switzer, who is a double major in math and physics. “This is an absolute dream for people in grad school or doing post-doctorate work or anyone just having a career in physics in general. And here I am as an undergraduate, a junior in college who already gets to have this phenomenal experience.”

Read the full article on the Pacific University webpage.

Author Credit: Blake Timm

Image Credit: Pacific University Oregon

USRA Announces 2023 Distinguished Undergraduate Award Winners Recognizing Academic Excellence

Arizona Space Grant Consortium Student, Shae Henley, Wins 2023 USRA Award

Washington, D.C.–December 11, 2023.  Universities Space Research Association (USRA) proudly unveiled today the winners of the prestigious 2023 USRA Distinguished Undergraduate Awards. Far from mere accolades, these awards are a testament to the boundless potential that the future of science and engineering holds.

USRA’s commitment to excellence reflects itself in these prestigious awards which recognize outstanding undergraduate students across diverse majors. These exceptional individuals have been selected through a rigorous and highly competitive process, celebrating their innovative problem-solving abilities, leadership qualities, dedication to promoting diversity science and engineering, and their potential to make significant contributions to their respective fields.

Dr. Jeffrey Isaacson, President and CEO of USRA stated, “These students serve as an inspiration to all. As we recognize their achievements, we look forward to witnessing the transformative contributions they will make to their fields and to the advancement of science and technology. Congratulations to the 2023 Distinguished Undergraduate Award winners!“

Read the full article on the Arizona Space Grant Consortium Website.

Author Credit: University of Arizona / AZSGC

Image Credit: USRA / AZSGC

Original Post Date: Dec. 11, 2023

Kristen Saban standing outdoors with greenery and coastline in the background

Arizona Space Grant Consortium Alumna Named “Outstanding Senior” in UA College of Engineering

This fall, each department in the University of Arizona’s College of Science nominated an outstanding senior who went above and beyond during their time as a Wildcat. We are pleased to share their stories as they reflect on their time at UArizona. Our final Outstanding Senior is Kristen Saban in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, who was also named the Outstanding Senior in the College of Science.

Kristen Saban

Hometown: Jericho, New York

Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
College of Science: Why did you choose your area of study? 

Saban: I was born and raised on Long Island, New York, where I didn’t have much exposure to completely natural landscapes. When I first started my journey at the University of Arizona, I was surrounded by unique cacti, shrubs, and lizards for the first time. I was fascinated by the biodiversity that surrounded me throughout the Sonoran Desert, and I found it fascinating to think about how anything was able to thrive in the harsh environment. These experiences filled me with questions of evolution and adaptation to novel environments, which pointed me in the direction of the Ecology & Evolutionary Biology department. I have absolutely loved my time exploring these questions further through coursework and research in EEB.

Read the full article on the Arizona Space Grant Consortium Website.

Author Credit: Adam Gonzales

Image Credit: Kristen Saban / Arizona Space Grant Consortium / University of Arizona

Original Post Date: Dec. 13, 2023

UND ballooning team poses outdoors on a university campus with one of their weather balloons

North Dakota Space Grant Consortium Supports Eclipse Ballooning Team

It’s been one month since the total solar eclipse and while many people traveled to the path of totality to witness the awing alignment of the sun and moon, a group from the University of North Dakota made the trip to do science for NASA surrounding the solar spectacle.

Every day the National Weather Service launches two weather balloons from nearly 100 different locations across the United States to gather weather data as the balloon flies up through the atmosphere.

And leading up to the April 8th eclipse, NASA teamed up with 75 colleges and institutions for the Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project to release this same type of weather balloon to gather weather data.

Nationwide Eclipse Learning Project Principal Investigator Angela Des Jardins explains the process, “They fly the same sensors, but they flew them once an hour every hour, 24 hours before the Eclipse and six hours after to really understand how the atmosphere is changing in response to the cold dark shadow of the eclipse.”

Read the full article on Inforum.com.

Author Credit: Jesse Ritka

Image Credit: UND Atmospheric Sciences Team

Original Post Date: May 8, 2024

Members of the Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project preparing for launch. Image courtesy NASA Space Grant Consortium

Arizona Space Grant Consortium Supports Eclipse Ballooning Teams

In 2022, Arizona State University students got the chance of a lifetime when ASU took the helm as the lead institution for the statewide team on the Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project (NEBP). The project, funded by NASA, aims to analyze atmospheric data during eclipses, which is collected via high-altitude balloon systems.

Last fall, ASU students traveled with the statewide team to Roswell, New Mexico, to launch their balloon during the Oct. 14, 2023, annular solar eclipse. The flight was successful but had a few missteps, which the team has been working to correct for the upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8, for which they will travel to Uvalde, Texas.

“We are excited to travel to Texas for this event. Our teams have worked very hard to prepare for this mission, and we have the added bonus of witnessing a total solar eclipse,” said Thomas Sharp, associate director of the ASU/NASA Space Grant and a professor in ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, who directs the statewide team.

Read the full article on Arizona State University – ASU News.

Image Credit: Arizona Space Grant Consortium

Author Credit: Kim Baptista

Original Post Date: April 5, 2024

Several people viewing the total solar eclipse through eclipse glasses

Arkansas Space Grant Consortium Engages Thousands in Total Solar Eclipse

The Arkansas Space Grant Consortium, based at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, has made it its mission to help tens of thousands of people experience the wonder of the Great North American Solar Eclipse on April 8.

With the solar eclipse’s path of totality covering 53 counties in Arkansas, Dr. Constance Meadors, interim director of the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium (ASGC), said the organization is doing everything possible to provide Arkansans with diverse viewing opportunities, educational and family activities, and free solar eclipse glasses to enjoy the day.

Read the full article on the UA Little Rock website.

Author Credit: Angelita Faller

Image Credit: National Park Service

Original Post Date: April 1, 2024

Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium Logo

Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium Awards Undergraduate Research Award

Physics student Lucas Peterson ’25 was selected as a 2023-24 Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC) Undergraduate Research Award recipient.

Lucas has been awarded a $5,000 Educational Experience Stipend for his summer research project, “Using Machine Learning to Speed Up Terrestrial Flashes-Ray Bur,” from a statewide pool of applicants as a part of a competitive selection process. With this award, Lucas gains an invitation to attend the 34th Annual Wisconsin Space Conference hosted by University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in August.

Read the full announcement on the Carthage College website.

Author Credit:

Image Credit: WISGC

Dr. Angela Des Jardins. MSU Photo by Kelly Gorham.

Montana Space Grant Consortium Director Earns Prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award

BOZEMAN – Dr. Angela Des Jardins, an associate research professor in the Department of Physics at Montana State University, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award in physics and will travel to Zambia for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Des Jardins will collaborate with the University of Zambia’s physics department to help implement its newly established master’s degree in space science and applications. The University of Zambia is a leading institution in southern Africa, and the degree program is supported by the Ministry of Technology and Science of the Government of the Republic of Zambia and the European Commission’s project Focus on Africa in Space Science and Technology for Future.

Read the full article on the MSU news page.

Author Credit: MSU News Service

Image Credit: Kelly Gorham

Original Publication Date: May 7, 2024

Ritisha Das

Arizona Space Grant Intern, Risha Das, Earns Prestigious Brooke Owens Fellowship

The Brooke Owens Fellowship—a nationally acclaimed nonprofit program recognizing exceptional undergraduate women and gender minorities with space and aviation internships, senior mentorship, and a lifelong professional network—announces its Class of 2024 Brooke Owens Fellows

The Class of 2024 marks the eighth class of “Brookie” Fellows. The 47 Fellows were selected through a fair and extremely competitive application process involving written and creative submissions, interviews with the Fellowship’s leadership team and its close network, and interviews with leading aerospace employers from across multiple sectors in the U.S. aerospace industry. Over 450 promising and talented students submitted their applications, coming from Ivy League universities, major research universities, historically black colleges and universities (HBCU’s), liberal arts colleges, community colleges, and major international universities. The Fellows were selected based on their incredible talent, desire to pursue a career in aerospace, stand-out creative abilities, record of leadership, and most importantly commitment to their communities.

The Brooke Owens Fellows will each be matched to an executive-level mentor in the aerospace industry who will support and work with the Fellows to help launch their careers in addition to a Brookie Alumni Mentor. This summer, the Fellows will start their internships and come together in July for the annual Brooke Owens Summit in Washington, DC. The Class of 2024 will also become part of the network of almost 350+ Brookie alumni spanning all aspects of space and aviation including engineering, scientific research, policy, journalism, and entrepreneurship.

Ritisha (Risha) Das is a senior and Flinn Scholar enrolled in the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University, double majoring in mathematics and mechanical engineering with an emphasis in computational mechanics. Falling in love with the magic of space and stars ever since she read the children’s book “Amanda Visits the Planets”, Risha has dreamed of working on satellites and helping design other vehicles for space. That is why she is so excited to have received the Brooke Owens Fellowship where she will be interning with Airbus US Space & Defense as a systems engineer.

Read the full article on the Arizona Space Grant Consortium website.

Author Credit: Brooke Owens Fellowship

Image Credit: Ritisha Das / Brooke Owens Fellowship

Brooke Owens Fellowship Page (Jan. 30, 2024)

Team of COSGC workshop participants with child in a modified toy electric vehicle

Go Baby Go! – Colorado Space Grant Consortium’s Latest Newsletter

Space Grant at Colorado Mesa University supports several hands-on projects where students apply the skills they learn in their courses.  One such project is Go Baby Go.

Go Baby Go is a gateway project intended to broaden the population of CMU students engaged ih hands-on projects, allowing college students an opportunity to engage in STEM while serving the local community. CMU students modify small electric ride-on cars for local children with limited mobility. The students at CMU work with pediatric therapists to wire the foot pedal to a button for better hand access, add PVC structures for physical support, and add custom seating and harness systems to meet the individual needs of each child. An introductory soldering workshop is being held with this month-long project. The 2024 project included ~40 participants from CMU and ended on March 9, 2024. Scholarships are awarded to students involved in the project who took on extra responsibilities such as leading a team, holding design help sessions, and conducting the soldering workshop for other Go Baby Go participants.  CMU students who participate in this gateway project are recruited to join other Space Grant projects on the CMU campus.

Read each of the stories in the latest newsletter on the Colorado Space Grant Consortium webpage.

Author Credit: NASA Colorado Space Grant Consortium

Image Credit: NASA Colorado Space Grant Consortium