The University of Arizona Success Stories

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!

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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 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.

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Graduate Student Award for Pacifica Sommers

Graduate Student Award for Pacifica Sommers

Congratulations to 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, Casey 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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Classroom on the Mountaintop

Classroom on the Mountaintop

Congratulations to Pacifica Sommers, Space Grant Fellow, for leading a pilot project with Inner City Outings and the Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter! Sommers created a series of activities and games as part of an over night field trip for elementary and middle school students at the SkyCenter. This program gave many students a first time journey outside of Tucson city for a hands-on, science education experience.

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Governor’s 2012 Excellence in Economic Development Award

Governor’s 2012 Excellence in Economic Development Award

The Arizona Space Grant Consortium is proud to announce that our Ralph C. Steckler Space Grant Phase 2 Lunar Greenhouse development program and associated outreach, has received a Governor’s 2012 Excellence in Economic Development Award!

The University of Arizona Controlled Environment Agriculture Center’s Lunar Greenhouse and Teaching Module:  Reaches K-12 STEM students across Arizona, students at the University of Arizona and graduate students, with support from NASA, demonstrating that vegetables can be grown in space and can be incorporated into the diet of astronauts working on long-term missions.
Jake Turner Helps Discover Possible Tropical Lakes on Titan

Jake Turner Helps Discover Possible Tropical Lakes on Titan

Jake Turner, Space Grant Intern 2010-2011, was one of the team members that helped to discover and characterize the first tropical methane lakes on Saturn's moon Titan using the Cassini spacecraft.

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UA Students Take Three Udall Awards

UA Students Take Three Udall Awards

Congratulations to Irene Liang, 2011 Space Grant Intern and 2012 Space Grant Intern Advisor, for being awarded the Udall Scholarship from the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation. In honor of the legacy of the Udalls, UA alumni, the foundation grants up to $5,000 in funding for each scholar – all students who have proven records of leadership and are committed to working in fields that center on the environment, health-care or tribal public policy.

Liang plans to study microbial methods used to monitor and treat water, which are currently expensive. With the UA Soil, Water and Environmental Science Club, Liang implemented a water-harvesting infrastructure and worked on erosion control to enable re-vegetation and reclamation of land. She also helped cleaned up trashed beaches in Mexico.

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Chris Lewicki, President of Planetary Resources

Chris Lewicki, President of Planetary Resources

Former Space Grant Intern Chris Lewicki is leading the development of a new space industry centered around the mining of near-Earth asteroids. Chris Lewicki, formerly JPL's flight director for the Mars Exploration Rovers and the Phoenix Mars Lander, is now the president and chief engineer of Planetary Resources.

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