For 10 weeks in thesummer of 2007, 16 students came to the SETI Institute as part of our ResearchExperience for Undergraduates program. In an excellent example of cooperationbetween two government agencies, 11 of the students were funded by the NationalScience Foundation, and 4 were funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI).We also had an international student from England who was funded by a series ofBritish grants to participate in our program. The other students came from allover the country, from New York to Hawaii, and from big schools like Cornelland MIT and small schools like King College (in Tennessee). The NSF-fundedstudents were each paired with a researcher from the SETI Institute's Carl Sagan Center or Center for SETI Research. The NAI-funded students were paired witheither a member of the SETI Institute's NAI Team, or the NASA Ames NAI Team.
The students lived inhousing at NASA Ames, where they met hundreds of other summer students fromother programs at Ames. They participated in field trips to places like LickObservatory and the California Academy of Sciences. A highlight of the summerwas the week-long field trip that included a visit to Hat Creek RadioObservatory to do a project using the AllenTelescope Array, led by Jill Tarter, and a visit to Lassen Volcanic National Park to study hot springs and extremophiles, led by RoccoMancinelli.
The students alsoparticipated in research projects that ranged from mapping features on thesurface of Mars, to designing an instrument to use to observe meteor showersfrom a private Gulfstream Jet (and then using the instrument in two separateobserving campaigns). Students presented their work in a series of talks at theend of the summer, and some will (or have already) present their work atprofessional meetings throughout the year.
The REU program willreturn again in 2008 — applications are now open on our website at:
There you will find afull list of the 16 research projects being offered for 2008, as well as moreinformation about the program and the online application. Applications for the2008 program are due on February 1st.
- All About SETI
- VIDEO: Figure the Odds of E.T.!
- How I Spent My SETI Summer