Student Projects

Sarah Peacock at the SETI Institute, summer 2012

Sarah Peacock is a senior undergraduate in physics and astronomy at the University of Virginia.  During the summer of 2012 she was an intern under SETI Institute’s NSF-sponsored REU program (PI, Cynthia Phillips).  Sarah worked with spectroscopic data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and Infrared Telescope facility to investigate dust, ices and extinction in the Perseus molecular cloud.  She will be presenting her results a the upcoming American Astronomical Society meeting in January 2013.


Tin Tran at the Anchorage AAS meeting, summer 2012

Tin Tran is a senior at San Jose State University majoring in Physics. He was supported by a joint SETI Institute/San Jose State undergraduate research program, Undergraduate Research at SETI Institute in Astrobiology (URSA), funded by NASA EPOESS (PI, Cynthia Phillips), and is currently supported by NASA’s ADAP (PI, Jean Chiar). Tin is working on assessing the presence of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons as evidenced by their absorption features  in star-formation regions.  He is making use of the Spitzer Space Telescope archive and the NASA Ames PAH Database.  He recently presented his project at the June 2012 American Astronomical Society meeting.


Ross Cawthon at the SETI Institute, summer 2011

Ross Cawthon completed a B.A. in physics and astronomy at Carleton College in June 2012.  He was a summer intern supported by the SETI Institute’s NSF-sponsored REU program (PI, Cynthia Phillips).   Ross worked on Spitzer Space Telescope data of the Pipe Cloud to investigate the changes in the characteristics of ice, silicates and extinction in two of the most dense pre-stellar cores in our Galaxy.  He is now a graduate student in the Astronomy and Astrophysics Department at the University of Chicago.

Rosie Malsberger

Rosie Malsberger at January 2009 American Astronomical Society Meeting in Long Beach, CA

Rosie Malsberger completed a B.S. in Physics at Grinnell College in 2009.  She was my 2008 summer intern supported by the SETI Institute’s NSF-funded REU program (PI, Cynthia Phillips).  Rosie worked on spectroscopic data from the Spitzer Space Telescope.  The data were of diffuse regions of interstellar space where we detected evidence of absorption due to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.  Rosie presented her project at the winter 2009 AAS meeting in Long Beach, CA.  Rosie is now a senior programmer at Mathematica Policy Research and is attending Harvard University to obtain an MS in epidemeology.


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