Welcome, Students!

Welcome to the Virginia Tech SuperDARN Student Interest Page. Here you will find information important to prospective, current, and future VT SuperDARN students, as well students with a general interest in Space Science. This includes information about the lab, news items of interest to students, and important training and policy information. If you have interest in SuperDARN or space related studies, please contact either Dr. Mike Ruohoniemi or Dr. Jo Baker.

The Virginia Tech SuperDARN radar group conducts research on Earth’s space environment using HF radars and allied instrumentation and operates the U.S. component of the international SuperDARN collaboration as an Upper Atmosphere Facility for the National Science Foundation. The activities of the group are student-centered and involve all facets of research, including hardware design, operations, data analysis, and collaborative support for the scientific community. The group is a component of the Space@VT research center within the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech.


Useful information
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Archive of Student Items
Please visit our Archive of Student Items page for important information such as research ethics training and other important information all SuperDARN students need to know.

News Items of Student Interest
Many of the news items below represent excellent opportunities for interested students at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
The NASA Directorate of STEM Enjgagement has announced opportunities for professional development. To be eligible to submit a proposal, candidates must be U.S. citizens or a national who hold a bachelor's degree earned before Aug. 31, 2021; candidates must be enrolled in a master's or doctoral degree program no later than Sept. 1, 2021, and intend to pursue a research-based Masters or Ph.D. program in a NASA-relevant field. For each Fellow, his or her institution receives up to a $55,000 annual award ($50,000 for Master’s student and $55,000 for Doctoral student), pending available Congressional funding.
Note: MSI - Minority Serving Institution
Proposals are due:
June 30, 2021 for ​APPENDIX L: Program Element Two: MSI and Non-MSI Fellowship 2021
July 19, 2021 for APPENDIX M: Program Element Three: MSI and Non-MSI Fellowship 2021 Part 2
For full program details, visit: https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary!init.do?solId=%7b24E3CA0D-F71B-03FF-AD0E-AB283B3B1050%7d&path=open(external link)

NASA Postdoctoral Program Accepting Applications (Opportunity: July 1)

By: miker  on: Fri., June 04, 2021 05:40 PM EDT  (495 Reads)
The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) provides early-career and more senior scientists opportunities to share in NASA's mission. NASA Postdoctoral Fellows work on 1 to 3 year assignments with NASA scientists and engineers at NASA centers and institutes to advance NASA's missions in earth science, heliophysics, planetary science, astrophysics, space bioscience, aeronautics, engineering, human exploration and space operations, astrobiology, and science management. For eligibility requirements see 'Read More'.

For complete details see the NPP website at https://npp.usra.edu/(external link)

Deadline for Applications: July 1, 2021 6:00 PM U.S. Eastern Time

UCAR Next Generation Fellowship Application Open (Opportunity: June 15)

By: miker  on: Tue., May 18, 2021 12:01 PM EDT  (495 Reads)
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is accepting applications for the 2021-2023 Next Generation Fellowships. Three awardees will receive financial support and two summer visits. Graduate students working on a masters or doctoral degree in Earth system science are encouraged to learn more about the fellowship online. For a listing of specific fellowship opportunities click on 'Read More'. Full fellowship details are available at: https://www.ucar.edu/opportunities/fellowships/ucar-next-generation-fellowships(external link)

Application and two referral letters must be received by Tuesday, June 15, 2021.
Awards announced: August 3, 2021
Awards begin: Fall semester 2021
Summer visits begin: May/June 2022 & May/June 2023

For undergrads: Space Weather Coffee Talk - Thursday, April 15 4:00 - 4:45 PM

By: miker  on: Thu., Mar. 18, 2021 12:33 PM EDT  (4683 Reads)
An informal on-line conversation will be held Thursday, April 15 4:00 - 4:45 PM on behalf of undergrads with interests in space science and engineering. The event is sponsored by the NASA DRIVE Center for Geospace Storms and involves several universities including Virginia Tech. A panel of young researchers will describe their paths into this field and offer insights on how today's undergrad can get involved.

See 'Read More' for information on how to attend. There is an optional registration that will connect you to receive emails about student opportunities in this field.

2021 Incoherent Scatter Radar Summer School, July 19-24, 2021

By: miker  on: Sun., Mar. 07, 2021 12:41 PM EST  (1135 Reads)
The 2021 Incoherent Scatter (IS) Radar Summer School will be held virtually July 19-24. The school provides students with experience in designing and running experiments on IS radars. These large and powerful facilities are used to study the ionosphere and space weather by providing critical measurements of ionospheric plasma and the upper atmosphere. IS radars operate in the equatorial, mid-latitude, and high-latitude regions. The IS Radar summer school is suitable for graduate and advanced undergraduate students and attendance is limited. Apply using the summer school web site: https://amisr.com/school(external link)
The deadline for application submission is extended to March 12, 2021.

Photo: Poker Flat Incoherent Scatter Radar (PFISR) located in central Alaska

Information about STEM summer research & fully funded graduate programs (Opportunity: Open)

By: miker  on: Sun., Feb. 07, 2021 09:44 PM EST  (1373 Reads)
The Institute for Broadening Participation (IBP) designs and implements strategies to increase access to STEM education, funding, and careers, with special emphasis on diverse underrepresented groups. Towards this end, the IBP has created the website www.PathwaysToScience.org(external link) as a resource to help students find paid summer research programs and fully funded STEM graduate programs. The website currently lists
· 630 paid summer research programs for undergrads and grad students, including opportunities funded by NSF, NASA, NOAA, etc.
· 138 fully funded STEM masters programs
· 160 fully funded STEM PhD programs
The website includes a search tool to help identify opportunities.
The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) Undergraduate STEM Research Scholarship Program provides awards of up to $8,500 to rising juniors and seniors who are enrolled full-time in a program of study in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) and have a specific faculty-mentored research project that has NASA or aerospace relevance. Application deadline is January 29, 2021. See https://vsgc.odu.edu/undergraduatescholarships/(external link)

The VSGC Graduate Research STEM Fellowship Program provides fellowships of $6,000 in add-on support to graduate students to supplement and enhance basic research support. Applicants must be Student at NASA enrolled full-time in a program of study in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) and have a specific faculty-mentored research project that has NASA or aerospace relevance. Application deadline is January 29, 2021. See https://vsgc.odu.edu/graduatefellowships/(external link)

For a complete listing of posted student internships click on the menu item 'Student Opportunities' or directly on http://vt.superdarn.org/tiki-index.php?page=Student+Interest(external link)

HAO: Newkirk Graduate Research Fellowship

By: miker  on: Tue., Jan. 12, 2021 11:22 PM EST  (914 Reads)
The High Altitude Observatory (HAO) of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) located in Boulder, Colorado announces the availability of Newkirk Fellowships. The Newkirk Fellowship provides financial support to graduate students for research visits to HAO, allowing for 3 to 6 months per year in a single visit. The total supported length is 9 months, which can be spread out over up to 3 years. Newkirk Fellows will work with guidance from HAO scientists and engineers on projects related to their thesis, qualifying exams, or other research projects within the scope of HAO research including study of the Earth's upper atmosphere, solar physics and solar-terrestrial physics through observation, theory and instrumentation.To be eligible for the fellowship, the student must be enrolled full-time in a university graduate program having common interest with HAO research goals. Application deadline for fellowships starting in 2021 is March 1, 2021. Program website: https://www2.hao.ucar.edu/partnerships/visitor-program/newkirk-fellowship(external link)

The 2021 NCAR Earth System Science Internship (NESSI) program

By: miker  on: Fri., Jan. 08, 2021 10:07 AM EST  (868 Reads)
The NCAR Earth System Science Internship (NESSI) is accepting applications from undergraduate and graduate students interested in conducting research in the Earth system sciences with NCAR scientists. Research topics include but are not limited to atmospheric science, computational science, engineering, and solar & space physics. The NESSI program is hosted by the NCAR office of Education & Outreach. The program is designed to support and promote Earth system science through research, mentoring, and community building. The application deadline is February 7, 2021.

Program website: https://ncar.ucar.edu/what-we-offer/education-outreach/undergraduate-graduate-programs/nessi(external link)

NOAA / NASA data science competition: Predict the Dst index! Cash prizes available

By: miker  on: Fri., Jan. 01, 2021 05:16 PM EST  (796 Reads)
NOAA is sponsoring a competition with support from NASA involving prize money to "better forecast changes in Earth's magnetic field", specifically the disturbance-storm-time index, Dst, which is a measure of the severity of geomagnetic storms. In the words of the announcement, "..we seek solutions that work on the raw, real-time data streams and are agnostic to sensor malfunctions and noise." The sources of real-time data are NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite and NASA's Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) satellite. Prize money varies from $15k for first place to $2k for fourth place. The competition announcement can be found at https://www.drivendata.org/competitions/73/noaa-magnetic-forecasting/page/278/.(external link) The deadline for submissions is Feb. 12, 2021 11:59 PM
Art credit: NOAA MagNet website

Go to the Student News Archive.