Success Stories

UA Space Grant Intern Honored with 2013 Arizona Centennial Achievement Award

Arizona Space Grant Intern Honored with 2013 Arizona Centennial Achievement Award

Marianna Yanes, a two-year Arizona Space Grant Intern/Intern Advisor, and a first-generation college student, was one of only two University of Arizona (UA) undergraduate students selected to receive a prestigious Arizona Centennial Achievement Award at the Fall 2013 Commencement ceremony on December 21, 2013.  Awardees are selected for their “integrity, achievements and contributions to their families and community.” 

Marianna, who received her BS degree in Biosystems Engineering, grew up in Sonora, Mexico, and moved to Arizona when she was seventeen.  In the United States, she attended a high school where all classes were taught in English—a monumental challenge.  With perseverance, she mastered class content, graduated, and was admitted to UA.   At UA she found a home in Space Grant; many of her notable university achievements were gained through her two-year participation in the Undergraduate Research Internship Program, where she found her niche and passion working on the UA/NASA Space Grant Steckler II Lunar Greenhouse (LGH) Development team.  She was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the LGH system’s performance and energy balance studies, the daily remote monitoring of operations of the LGH-Outreach Teaching Module while it was on display at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (July 2012-January 2013), and served as an Intern advisor to two LGH Space Grant Interns from Pima Community College and others. In addition, she led countless LGH tours for schools, community groups, scientists and other interested individuals--and was able to provide tours in both English and Spanish.  Marianna has been offered a full scholarship to graduate school at the UA and has received similar offers from other universities.  She plans to enter graduate school in the fall of 2014 and ultimately build on her Space Grant LGH experience and start her own greenhouse company to help fight hunger on Earth in a sustainable, environmentally responsible way.

Photo Caption:

Pima Community College Space Grant Intern Caitlyn Hall (left) and Intern Advisor Marianna Yanes work in UA/NASA Space Grant Steckler II Lunar Greenhouse Prototype at The University of Arizona.

Coe Segment: Arizona Illustrated Interview

The Arizona Space Grant Consortium is proud to support this impressive STEM education program at Tucson’s Manzo Elementary school through the efforts of FY 2013 Space Graduate Fellow, Michelle Coe. Michelle speaks about her program with Manzo students in a PBS AZPM video segment.

Video from "Local Kids Benefit from Nationally Recognized Ecology Program" by Mitchell Riley

Local Kids Benefit from Nationally Recognized Ecology Program
UA Space Grant Intern Developed Web Facility for Enhancing Cometary Comae Images with AZSGC Partner Planetary Science Institute

N.H. Samarasinha, S.M. Larson, and M.P. Martin (left to right) in front of a display showing the results from the web facility.

FY 2012 Space Grant Intern, M. Patrick Martin, has developed a web facility to allow both professional and amateur astronomers to digitally enhance images of cometary comae. Patrick, a University of Arizona junior majoring in mathematics, computer science, linguistics and Spanish, worked with Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist Nalin H. Samarasinha and University of Arizona Senior Staff Scientist Stephen M. Larson to implement this web-interface.

The Planetary Science Institute is hosting this facility and it can be accessed at the URL . This will enable one to digitally enhance coma images of comets using five different image enhancement techniques.

During the testing phase of this project, a number of amateur astronomers have used this facility to enhance their images of comet ISON, a comet that evoked great interest not only among the astronomers but also among the public. The NASA Planetary Atmospheres Program and the Planetary Science Institute provided additional support for this work.

Enhancing Comet Images
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 FY 1992 Space Grant 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
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"