Undergraduates Arrive in California for NASA Airborne Science Research Mission

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OnSunday June 9, thirty-two undergraduate students from across the United States willarrive in California for the fifth annual Student Airborne Research Program(SARP). The thirty-two students hail from thirty-two colleges and universities in twenty-two states andPuerto Rico.

The majors of the students in thisinterdisciplinary group cover a wide range of scientific, mathematical, andengineering disciplines.   Students were competitively selected based ontheir outstanding academic performance, future career plans, ability to work inteams, and interest in Earth system science.  One of the great strengthsof SARP is that students from different disciplines learn from each other andwork together toward common research goals.  Students also form lastingpersonal and professional relationships that they will carry into their futurecareers. 

Thefirst two weeks of the program will take place at the Dryden Aircraft OperationsFacility (DAOF), where students will be introduced to NASA’s Earth Scienceresearch programs by NASA scientists, engineers, and program managers and by universityfaculty members.  Students will then flyonboard NASA’s DC-8 airborne laboratory where they will measure pollution andair-quality in the Los Angeles basin and in California’s Central Valley, anduse remote sensing instruments to study forest ecology in the Sierra NevadaMountains and ocean biology along the California coast. In addition to airbornedata collection, students will take measurements at field sites.

Thefinal six weeks of the program will take place at the University of California,Irvine where students will analyze and interpret the data they collectedonboard the aircraft.  At the conclusionof the program, each student will deliver a final presentation on his/herresults and conclusions.  Many studentsin the past have gone on to present their research at conferences such as theAmerican Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

Forfrequent updates on the program throughout the summer, check out the NASA SARPblog at