Success Stories

OSIRIS REx PI Dante Lauretta Talks About his Journey

OSIRIS-REx PI Dante Lauretta Talks About his Journey

We think it's really cool that OSIRIS-REx PI and 1992 Arizona Space Grant Undergraduate Research Intern Dante Lauretta, is blogging about his educational and career path! It's not only interesting but inspirational! We in Space Grant could not be prouder that our program played a pivotal role in his meteoric career!

My Journey to the Asteroid Frontier – Part 1
Seven Questions for Dante Lauretta, Leader of UA's Biggest Space Mission
Space Grant Fellow Michelle Coe Brings Biosphere 2 to Manzo Elementary

Space Grant Fellow Michelle Coe Brings Biosphere 2 to Manzo Elementary

FY 2013 Space Grant Fellow Michelle Coe helped form a successful new program at the Manzo Elementary School involving the LEO project from Biosphere 2! Working with the fourth graders from the school, students built minature versions of LEO and placed them in a humid greenhouse. The students had a positive experience with this startup project that will hopefully see its proliferation to other schools in the district.

Learning Through Landscapes
Glendale CC's Arizona Space Grant ASCEND! Team

Glendale CC's Arizona Space Grant ASCEND!

Glendale Community College students in Space Grant mentor John Schneeg's special-projects engineering class successfully built and launched a satellite prototype on a weather balloon through the Arizona Space Grant Consortium's ASCEND! program.

Engineers and Space Scientists of the Future: To the universe – and beyond!
Barron Orr Named 1885 Society Distinguished Scholar

Barron Orr Named 1885 Society Distinguished Scholar

Congratulations to Space Grant Associate Director, Barron Orr, for being named a 1885 Society Distinguished Scholar! The 1885 Society Distinguished Scholars Award was created in 2012 to acknowledge outstanding mid-career faculty whose leadership, research, scholarship and creative contributions promise to catapult their disciplines to new levels of innovation.

After a rigorous review at the college and University level, Barron Orr, associate specialist, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, received the esteemed recognition.

Four Faculty Members Named 1885 Society Distinguished Scholars
Lunar Greenhouse Story with Erica Hernandez

Lunar Greenhouse Story with Erica Hernandez

Congratulations to FY 2012 Space Grant Intern, Erica Hernandez, for being featured in a great Lunar Greenhouse spotlight with Dr. Gene Giacomelli! Incorporating a bioregenerative process, scientists and engineers are researching how to grow sustainable food crops in outer space with sustainable greenhouses.

Lunar Greenhouse: Eating salad in space or growing it on Earth
Congrats on 2nd place in AIAA Student Team Papers Competition

Congrats on 2nd place in AIAA Student Team Papers Competition

FY 2012 UA Space Grant Intern Brian Franz led a senior design team to a Second Place win in the AIAA Region IV Student Paper Competition Team Division!  The competition, held March 28-30, 2013 in Salt Lake City, featured 55 students from 11 Colleges and Universities. Congratulations, Brian and team!

AIAA Foundation Announces Winners of Its Region VI Student Paper Competition
Melissa Merrick Awarded in 2013

Melissa Merrick Awarded in 2013

Roger Hungerford Graduate Student Award

The Roger Hungerford Award is given to a student who, while attending an Arizona college or univer-sity, made significant contributions to the management and conservation of Arizona's wildlife and/or habitat. Contributions are in the areas of wildlife research, education and training, management, conservation, or law enforcement. The Award is given in memory of one of Arizona's finest research biologists, Roger Hungerford.

This year, the Roger Hungerford Student Award was presented to FY 2010, 2011 Space Grant Fellow, Melissa J. Merrick, Doctoral Stu-dent University of Arizona. Melissa provides a combination of a truly innovative and important project with broad implications for forest ecology and management, professional drive and produc-tivity, passion to learn, dedication to conservation issues, and an enjoyable personality are not com-mon and will serve her well in the future.

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2013 Joint Fire Science Program Graduate Research Innovation (GRIN) Award

Melissa Merrick has been selected to receive a 2013 Joint Fire Science Program Graduate Research Innovation (GRIN) Award!

The purpose of JFSP GRIN awards is to enhance graduate student’s exposure to and interaction with fire and fuels managers, to develop appreciation and understanding of fire and fuels managers information and research needs, and to augment already planned research to develop information and/or products useful to managers. JFSP recognizes that graduate students of today are the managers, scientists, and leaders of tomorrow. These awards allow graduate students to conduct research that will supplement and enhance the quality, scope, or applicability of their thesis or dissertation, and to build skills needed for independent inquiry.

Working in collaboration with Dr. Koprowski and Coronado National Forest Safford District fire managers, biologists, and silviculturist Craig Wilcox, I will assess how past burn severity and current fuel reduction treatments in the Pinaleño Mountains influence natal dispersal movements of juvenile Mt. Graham red squirrels.

Intern Heads to the Bottom of the World!

Intern Heads to the Bottom of the World!

Lane Patterson, UA/NASA Space Grant Undergraduate Intern from 2003 to 2004 for Gene Giacomelli and recent Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering graduate, is moving south. Way south! His Space Grant internship enabled him to work with the South Pole Food Growth Chamber. Due to the hazardous conditions of the South Pole, including below zero temperatures and absence of soil, researchers at the South Pole rely on frozen food stores for the 8 month periods that they live in isolation. A recent initiative by the National Science Foundation put it upon the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center to develop a state-of-the-art growth chamber. Lane’s involvement and contributions on this project (which is also intended to be used on Mars as the Mars Inflatable Greenhouse) has allowed him the chance to head to the South Pole in order to continue working with the South Pole Food Growth Chamber. Congratulations Lane! Lane is currently working towards a Master's degree in ABE.

South Pole Greenhouse proves bountiful
View the latest Winter 2013 update from Lane Patterson
View Lane's 2003 UA/NASA Undergraduate Research Internship Program Symposium presentation
View Lane's first trip to the South Pole to work on the "Greenhouse"
View Lane's second trip to the South Pole to work on the "Greenhouse"
Graduate Student Award for Pacifica Sommers

Graduate Student Award for Pacifica Sommers

Congratulations to FY 2012, 2013 Space Grant Fellow, Pacifica Sommers, for her Graduate Student Award! Each department in the College of Science honors three graduate students a year for their achievements in scholarship, teaching, or service. These awardees also serve as the nominees for the overall College of Science awards in each category. I was recognized by the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department for the Service award, in large part due to activities and collaborations related to my Space Grant Fellowship project. This category is for "attention to broader impacts and involvement in activities outside of academic responsibilities that benefit the department, university and the larger community. For example, this student may represent graduate student interests on councils or committees, organize graduate student events, assist departmental recruitment, participate in K-12 outreach, etc."

Centennial Achievement Award!

Casey Kahn-Thornbrugh awarded with Centennial Achievement Award!

During his Ph.D. program, FY 2011, 2012 Space Grant Fellow, Casey Kahn-Thornbrugh, went to work as an adjunct geography instructor at Tohono O’odham Community College (TOCC) on the Tohono O’odham Nation. While being an Alfred P. Sloan Indigenous Graduate Fellow and a NASA Space Grant Graduate Fellow, he has spent much of his time mentoring Tohono O’odham college students at TOCC.

Casey’s goal is to continue working with Native communities to develop geography and environmental science curricula that is reflective of tribal/community values and culture, and prepares students for working in their communities, nationally, or internationally.

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