An undergraduate student with an internship at PARI engages in experiential learning by conducting field studies in science, technology, engineering, or math. Undergraduate interns are provided housing on the PARI campus, meals during onsite high school programs and a stipend of $2,500.
This summer PARI offered five research experiences for undergraduates (REU) internships. The internships begin during the first week of June and last eight weeks.
In addition to the field studies associated with each project, the interns assisted with high school summer resident education programs, including the Duke Talent Identification Program Summer Field Study in Astronomy, Physics, and Astrobiology. Interns also helped with public outreach programs involving science education programs for all ages.
The five REU internships for 2017 at PARI are:
J. Donald Cline Scholarship:
Polaris and North Field Study – Instrument Upgrades and Observations
Andrew Gavin, Cornell University, conducted observations and data reduction, and will present his findings at the fall 2017 North Carolina Astronomers Meeting and at the 231st Meeting of the American Astronomical Society in January 2018. Duties include mounting a new camera on the Polaris telescope and conducting observations with data reduction and analysis.
Jo Cline Internship
Megan Houck, Davidson College, presented astronomy and astrobiology educational materials to teenagers, particularly female students. Her primary role was to work with students during two summer camps lasting two weeks each, beginning June 18 and continuing through July 1, and then July 9 through July 22. Outside of those dates, Megan worked with the education department in areas of program development, presentation preparations and classroom setup. She also also received training on telescopes and instruments.
Jim Falls Internship
Optical Astronomy Projects
Sam Frederick, Davidson College, worked with PARI’s optical telescopes to ensure they are functioning properly. His primary task was to continue and complete the automation of PARI’s solar observatory and prepare, test and rehearse an observation plan for the August 2017 solar eclipse. In addition, Sam used telescopes in the West and South observatories to collect and analyze data for projects such as light curve analysis and super nova survey.
Ron Kelly Internship
Radio Astronomy Projects
Kristin Brady, Whitman College, conducted tests and verification of PARI’s four radio telescopes. Kristin developed, tested and rehearsed an observation plan for the instruments for use during the August 2017 solar eclipse.
DELL/EMC IT Internship
Information Technology Data Center Development
Samantha Creech, UNC- Asheville, worked directly with PARI’s Chief Technology Officer on upgrades to the PARI Data Centers, the hubs for research data generated by the PARI astronomy and earth science instrumentation.