Spring 1998 Undergraduate Fellowships
The Hawai'i Space Grant Consortium awarded
undergraduate fellowships in the Spring of 1998 to students at the University
of Hawai`i at Manoa and Community Colleges. At Manoa, the
awards were given for space-related research and provided a stipend of
$2500 per semester to each recipient. At the Community Colleges, Fellows received
stipends that depended on the scope of the projects.
University of Hawai'i at Manoa:
Leeward Community College:
- Jessica Hiraoka, a senior in Mechanical Engineering, will work on "Computer Aided Testing (CAT) of a Piezoelectric Active Strut for Space Structures using Labview Software." Working under mentor Dr. Mehrdad Ghasemi Nejhad of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Jessica's objective is to develop software for automatic application of voltage during testing and operation of three miniature active struts designed and fabricated by former Space Grant Fellows.
- Dan Sakata, also a senior in Mechanical Engineering, will perform final trouble-shooting of the intelligent-composite active struts tested initially by previous Space Grant Fellows. His work, titled "Trouble-Shooting, Assembly, and Testing of a Piezoelectric Active Strut for Space Structures," will be carried out under the guidance of mentor Dr. Mehrdad Ghasemi Nejhad of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
- Melinda McKinney, a junior majoring in Physics and Mathematics, will continue her research on a mathematical model and computer simulation of the fractal nature of lava flow margins. Melinda's project, titled "Are Lava Flows in a State of Self-Organized Criticality?"may lead to a better understanding of the internal dynamics of lava flows on Earth and other planets. Her mentor is Dr. G. Jeffrey Taylor of HIGP and the Department of Geology & Geophysics.
- Casey Law, a junior in Physics, will continue researching the relative age of globular cluster M71
with respect to other thick disk clusters in our Galaxy in his project called, "Examining the Relative Ages of Thick Disk Globular Clusters." Working under the direction of his mentor, Dr. James Heasley of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Casey is using photometric data obtained at telescopes on Mauna Kea and Kitt Peak National Observatory in his efforts to better understand the evolution of the Milky Way.
- Daniel Sherwood, a junior in Meteorology is studying "Optical Depth Variability in the Central Pacific." Serving as mentor for this project is Dr. Anthony Clarke of the Department of Oceanography. Daniel will use photometric data collected at sea level and at the Mauna Loa Observatory to assess the temporal changes in aerosol optical depth in the atmosphere within and above the Pacific Marine Boundary Layer. This information would benefit satellite remote sensing studies of the oceans, atmosphere, and climate.
- Tuan Ha, a junior in Electrical Engineering, will be using the VHDL programming language to design a decoder system for research on high-speed communications over satellite channels. His project, titled "Design of a Decoder System for Reliable High-Speed Satellite Communication," will be conducted under mentor Dr. Gregory Uehara of the Department of Electrical Engineering.
- Tilan Copson, a junior in Physics, will be using an acoustical microscopy technique to examine the microstructure of high-temperature materials. Her project, called "Determination of Elastic Moduli of Ceramic Composites at High Temperatures," has applications to aeronautical propulsion technology and the development of high-temperature engine materials. Tilan's mentor is Dr. Murli Manghnani of HIGP and the Department of Geology & Geophysics.
- Lisa Chau, a junior in Zoology, will study "Variations in Chlorophyll in the Ross Sea as Deter-mined by Direct Measurement and Satellite Imagery." She will use sea-surface chlorophyll data provided by NASA's SeaWiFS ocean color sensor and high-performance liquid chromatographic analyses of phytoplankton samples collected by ships in the Ross Sea. The work relates to the evaluation of the role of the Southern Ocean in global climate change. Lisa is working under the guidance of mentors Dr. Robert Bidigare and Mi-ok Park of the Department of Oceanography.
- Leslie Cotton, a junior in Biology, will be researching phytoplankton abundance in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands using remote sensing data from SeaWiFS and TOPEX/Poseidon satellites and high-performance liquid chromatographic analyses of phytoplankton samples from leeward eddy regions. Leslie's project, titled "The Hawaiian Islands Leeward Cyclonic and Acyclonic Eddies: Physical Processes that Effect Phytoplankton Biomass and Primary Production," is being conducted under mentors Dr. Robert Bidigare and Mi-ok Park of the Department of Oceanography.
- Mitchell Groth, a senior in Journalism, will continue his evaluation of educational methods in "Classroom Testing of Hands-on Space Science Resource Activities." Mitchell's work supports NASA's educational goals to increase understanding and the broad application of science and technology. In addition, teachers involved in this study will acquire new activities for their classrooms consistent with national and state science education goals and standards. His work is being conducted under mentor Dr. Karen Meech of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Maui Community College:
- Patty Mata and Roy Smith, both sophomores in Computer Science, will be observing the Moon, nebulae, and galaxies at the Leeward Community College Observatory in conjunction with Bishop Museum Planetarium programs. Working with mentor, Dr. Fritz Osell of the Astronomy Department, Patty and Roy's project, called "LCC and Bishop Museum: the Astronomy Connection," will provide newly acquired images to enhance the presentation of planetarium programs.
- Brian Africano and Becky McCartney, both sophomores in Liberal Arts, and Cynthia Cater, a sophomore in Computer Science, are working together on "Automated Astronomical Observations Using the RAVEN System at the Maui Research and Technology Park." Their work looks at the feasibility of using automated, smaller telescopes for observing, data collection, and analysis in placeof larger, more expensive research telescopes. Mentors for this project include Drs. John Africano, Dave Talent, Daron Nishimoto, Paul Sydney, Dan O'Connell, and Amor Angara.
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Spring 1998 Undergraduate Traineeship Program
The Hawai'i Space Grant Consortium awarded undergraduate traineeships in the Spring of 1998 to students at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. The awards provided laboratory training and practical experience
in any space-related field of science, engineering or math. Trainees
received a stipend of $750 per semester.
University of Hawai`i at Manoa:
- Sahnybel Tan, a junior in Zoology, will work as an undergraduate trainee under the direction of mentor Dr. Ernest Reese of the Department of Zoology. Following her interests in marine biology, Sahnybel
will receive training in the behavioral ecology of coral reef fishes.
- Sheldon Kono, Liberal Arts freshman, will work as an undergraduate trainee in the field of meteorology. He will develop a data base to study the occurrence of flash flooding in Hawaii. His mentor is Dr. Steven Businger of the Department of Meteorology.
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Spring 1998 Graduate Fellowship Program
The Hawai`i Space Grant Consortium awarded graduate fellowships to students at the University of Hawai'i, Manoa for 1997-98. The awards were given for space-related research and provided nine-month stipends and additional funds for travel and supplies to each recipient.
University of Hawai`i at Manoa:
- Julie Field, Master's degree student in Anthropology, is researching "A New Perspective on Warfare: Remote Sensing and GIS in Fiji." Julie is using digital image processing techniques on high-resolution, multispectral satellite images along with aerial photographs to build a database of topography, vegetation, and archaeological sites in the Sigatoka Valley of Viti Levu, Fiji. With this GIS database, she is analyzing relationships between geography, human expansion, and inter-group aggression and competition. Her mentor is Dr. Terry Hunt of the Department of Anthropology.
- Kathleen Moore, PhD student in Physiology, is investigating the effects of sodium intake on
bone morphometry, bone strength, and blood pressure. Her research project, called "The Effect of Dietary Salt in Genetically-Defined Unloading Model," is being conducted under mentor Dr. Martin Rayner of the Department of Physiology. Kathleen's laboratory analyses may ultimately lead to better understanding of the effects of salt intake on human bone fragility and, in turn, improved health for astronauts on long-duration space missions.
- Lewis Pinault, JD candidate at the Richardson School of Law, brings together his interests in natural science, space remote sensing, and environmental law in his project, "Law and Policy Aspects of Remote Sensing for Natural Hazards." He will examine remote sensing data from Mt. Pinatubo, Philippines and use this as a case study to analyze how satellite images can inform and impact people affected by natural hazards. Lewis will create law and policy guidelines for using and communicating remote sensing data about natural hazards which may ultimately lead to more practical mitigation plans. His mentor is Dr. Pete Mouginis-Mark of HIGP & the Department of Geology & Geophysics.
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