Winds of Change - Fall 2017 - 59

NASA/JPL-CAL TECH

From the NEOWISE
mission: an artist's
rendition of a celestial
object discovered
orbiting the sun

for life outside Earth. That work led to an
internship at the Goddard Space Flight
Center in Greenbelt, Md., during the
summer of 2016. Then in 2017 I applied
for and was accepted into a NASA-JPL
internship program.
What did your internship entail? I worked
with the NEOWISE team tracking asteroids

and other near-Earth
objects. This entailed
regularly processing
data from a near-Earthobject telescope
orbiting the earth. The
telescope takes a
picture of the sky every
11 seconds, then a
computer program
detects objects it thinks
it sees in multiple
frames. We reviewed
that data for reasonable
candidates for asteroids
and comets that had
already been identified,
or new objects not detected before. The
NEOWISE instrument has detected more
than 158,000 asteroids and other objects, so
it was a massive amount of data. We were
also constantly working to refine the
computer program.

What made this internship experience
particularly valuable for you? They set

me up with a mentor right away. You get
to follow what this person does in the field
on a daily basis, and see what their life
looks like. And they really do want to be a
mentor - that's the word to describe
them. It's not like a boss relationship.
They're really trying to help you become a
better researcher and a better scientist, and
you're there to learn from them, in
addition to helping them and the team. It's
a great experience for figuring out what
you want to do.
How has your internship experience
influenced your plans? The internship

has guided me a lot in what I want to do
with the next couple of years. I'm
definitely going to grad school after Penn
State, and that goal is the result of my
experience with mentors at NASA.
They've really helped me navigate what
can be a complicated and scary thing -
going about the beginning of your career.
I hope to get my PhD and I would really
like to work at NASA and continue that
relationship.
ยป

EMPOWERING

NATIVE AMERICANS
Our Native students are empowered to
achieve their potential in STEM degrees
through a hands-on education. With
an active Native American community
and Student Council, you can find your
place here.
Learn how USU can empower you,
contact our Native American program
coordinator 435.797.9096.

applynow.usu.edu

aises.org

FALL 2017 * WINDS OF CHANGE 59


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Winds of Change - Fall 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Winds of Change - Fall 2017

Contents
Winds of Change - Fall 2017 - Intro
Winds of Change - Fall 2017 - Cover1
Winds of Change - Fall 2017 - Cover2
Winds of Change - Fall 2017 - Contents
Winds of Change - Fall 2017 - 2
Winds of Change - Fall 2017 - 3
Winds of Change - Fall 2017 - 4
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Winds of Change - Fall 2017 - Cover3
Winds of Change - Fall 2017 - Cover4
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