Internships

All N3 interns have been paired with a Subject Matter Expert (SME) from NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Individual SMEs have expertise in at least one of the following areas: Astrobiology, Astrophysics, Earth and Environmental Science, Heliophysics, and Planetary science and exploration. To learn more about each intern or SME, click on the photo to see available biographical information.

Profile image for Tony Alcocer

Tony Alcocer
SME

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Nyss Fairchild
Intern

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Benjamin Snyder
Intern

Tony, Nyss, and Benjamin will be working with Sonoma State University in building a small rocket with an Arduino payload.


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José J. Hernández Ayala
SME

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Anthony Mao
Intern

Anthony and Dr. Hernández Ayala will be working on a research project titled “Application of NASA & NOAA precipitation datasets to examine the extreme rainfall climatology of the western United States”. They will explore trends in extreme rainfall patterns across the western United States and identify areas that have experienced changes in their precipitation patterns.


Profile image for Bram Boroson

Bram Boroson
SME

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Thomas H.
Intern

Many star systems that emit X-rays change their brightness over days, months, and years. The X-rays come from gas falling onto a neutron star or black hole from a companion star. Sometimes these flows are unstable or change periodically. Dr. Boroson and Thomas are going to download observations from space X-ray telescopes that monitor the sky and search for and classify more of these variabilities. If any are found, they will try to confirm with follow-up observations.


Profile image for John Doty

John Doty
SME

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Ronald Ji
Intern

Ronald and Dr. Doty will use a Raspberry Pi and an antenna analyzer to import spacecraft antenna test data into Mathematica, analyze it, and find ways to improve the antenna design for CubeSats.


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Matt Fillingim
SME

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Zachary Fung
Intern

Earth's upper atmosphere "leaks out" and helps populate the region around Earth dominated by Earth's magnetic field - the magnetosphere. Dr. Fillingim and Zachary will be analyzing data from the THEMIS-ARTEMIS spacecraft which are orbiting the Moon to look for charged particles from Earth's upper atmosphere as they stream away past the Moon. These measurements will help quantify how much of Earth's atmosphere is leaking away and what paths these charged particles take as they stream away from Earth.


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Garrett Jernigan
SME

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Trevor Hoffman
Intern

With Dr. Jernigan, Trevor will learn about mathematical tests of goodness of fit (between models and data) including the Kolmagorov-Smirnov (KS) test, write software to implement the KS test in one dimension, and write software to generate space filling curve. Finally, if possible, they will combine both concepts to generate an entirely new algorithm for multi-dimensional KS tests.


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Kevin McLin
SME

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Daniel Cheng
Intern

Daniel and Dr. McLin are using an internet-controlled robotic telescope to observe an asteroid over several weeks. These observations will be used to precisely determine the position of the asteroid in the sky during each of these observations, and these positions will in turn be use to find the orbit of the asteroid. The procedure employed can be accomplished with a minimum of three observations taken over a period of about two weeks. Daniel hopes to gain a deeper understanding of gravity and orbital dynamics through this project, as well as to begin to learn some of the computer programming skills that are useful for such a campaign.


Profile image for Juan Carlos Martínez Oliveros

Juan Carlos Martínez Oliveros
SME

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Kian Miranda-Rodriguez
Intern

In this project Kian will learn about the physics of solar and stellar flares, their phenomenology and their impact in everyday life. Also, Dr. Martínez Oliveros and Kian will analyze solar flare data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and RHESSI (Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager ) missions to classify white light flares according to different morphologies.


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Gordon Spear
SME

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Charlie Crain
Intern

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Andrew Fazzio
Intern

Charlie, Andrew, and Dr. Spear will use an internet-controlled telescope to acquire images and timing information about different types of targets, including: planets orbiting other stars, supermassive black holes in the centers of distant galaxies, and tremendous stellar explosions that can be used to measure the size of the Universe.


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Angela Speck
SME

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Alexandra C
Intern

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Olivia Wheeler
Intern

Working with Dr. Speck, Alexandra and Olivia will learn about cool luminous giant stars that make new elements and throw them off into space. They will model these dying stars using data from a variety of sources, including space telescopes and observations from the ground, as well as lab experiments. The modeling will be done using an existing program that can calculate the effects of dust on the light that the star emits.


Profile image for Dave Thompson

Dave Thompson
SME

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Jordan O'Kelley
Intern

Jordan and Dr. Thompson will be working this summer to develop new ways to visualize the properties of neutron stars and black holes. These exotic cosmic objects are so extreme that using comparisons to known objects will help non-experts appreciate their nature.


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Warren Wiscombe
SME

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Aaron C
Intern

Aaron and Dr. Wiscombe will work on the multifaceted issue of geoengineering, in particular how clouds might be modified to reduce global warming, why this is a good idea (or not), the economics of the idea, and whether it could be implemented at global scale in order to have a useful effect.


Profile image for Kent Wood

Kent Wood
SME

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Noah K
Intern

Noah and Dr. Wood will investigate the gamma-ray excess near the Galactic Center which may be due to dark matter. They will model the excess using simple models for dark matter and compare the results to alternative models that rely on unresolved millisecond pulsars and low-mass x-ray binaries. They will then compare the predictions of the models to Galactic Center emission at other (longer) wavelengths to see which models fit best across the electromagnetic spectrum and cosmological time.