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Summer Research Program

Are you an undergraduate student looking for a Summer research experience at one of the world’s leading radio observatories? Then apply for the GBO/NRAO Summer Student Research Assistantship and select Green Bank as a preferred site on your application!

Summer 2024 applications will open in early December, and they will be due on February 1, 2024.

The Overall NRAO Program
The Green Bank Summer Student Program is one of three sites for the GBO/NRAO Summer Student Research Assistantships. To apply to be a GBO summer student, you must apply through their portal and select Green Bank as one of your preferred sites. The other two sites are at the NRAO headquarters in Charlottesville, VA and at the Very Large Array (VLA) in Socorro, NM.

All GBO/NRAO Summer students (including those in Charlottesville and Socorro) will spend one week in Green Bank for a Summer Student Bootcamp at the beginning of the Summer. In this program, students get to meet their peers from the other sites, learn the foundations of radio astronomy, tour the GBO facilities, and take data with some of our telescopes. Later in the summer, GBO students will take a weekend trip to the NRAO headquarters in Charlottesville.

The GBO Site
Green Bank Summer students typically do their day-to-day research from the Jansky Lab on site, home to most of our scientific, software, and engineering offices. The nature of said research will depend on the project, but we will provide frequent workshops, talks, and check-ins to ensure that everyone has the skills and support they need.

The Green Bank Summer research program has two primary funding sources: The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program and GBO’s Physicists Inspiring the Next Generation (PING) program. Students admitted to GBO for PING will have the same experience as the GBO REU students except that for 2 weeks of the summer, they will pause their research activities to do full-time mentoring for the PING attendees (rising 9th graders). You will indicate on your application if you would like to be considered for a PING-funded position.

More information about the Green Bank program can be found on our site-specific page of the NRAO website.

Green Bank is situated in two radio quiet zones which minimize Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) for our telescopes. Although this means we don’t have cell service or WiFi, people here can still connect to the internet! If you come here, you’ll just need to bring Ethernet adapters so your devices can connect to our wired internet. We also get GPS signals, so you can use Google Maps provided you load the route beforehand.

Summer students live together in a large house about a mile away from the observatory. There are typically 2 students per room. The house is equipped with Ethernet, landline phones, and a kitchen complete with dishes and cooking utensils.

The student house is within walking distance of both the observatory and a small grocery store. However, having access to a car becomes a necessity for traveling anywhere else. We will provide transportation to and from the airport, but beyond that, day-to-day transportation is up to the students. Typically, a few students drive to Green Bank instead of flying and will use their car to carpool to work, the grocery store, etc. Most staff members would also be happy to help if asked, so you’ll be just fine if you don’t have a car here.

We cannot provide a list of available projects in advance. In your personal statements, we encourage you to tell us what general work at GBO interests you. You are welcome to identify individual GBO staff members you would like to work with, but we cannot guarantee any particular person’s participation at this time.

All 2023 GBO/NRAO Summer Student projects can be found here.

StudentMentor(s)TopicFinal Report
Vincent AndrewsJim JacksonStar-Forming Clouds
Samuel BartonVictoria Catlett & Kasey PurcellCharacterizing Local RFI Sources in GBT Data
Charles BurtonLarry Morgan & Natalie Butterfield (NRAO)Examining Galactic Bar Dust Lanes in the Milky Way
Lauren DyzarzAnika SchmiedekeGas Kinematics of Young Star-Forming Regions
Suzanne EisenbergVictoria Catlett & Kasey PurcellCharacterizing Local RFI Sources in GBT Data
Mary RickelEmily MoravecInvestigating Radio-AGN in Merging Galaxy Clusters
Lukas SummersSteve White & Jason RayGBT IF Bandwidth Expansion
Mahpara TasnimPedro SalasThe GBT L-band Drift Scan Survey
Kasey WeiThomas ChamberlinInteractive Dashboard for GBT Archive Data

All 2022 GBO/NRAO Summer Student projects can be found here.

StudentMentorTopicFinal Report
Amara GreenWalter KlaholdSolar Energy Science Center Exhibit
Corvus KoithanPedro SalasLooking for the Largest Bound Atoms in SpaceReport
Elizabeth LoweThomas ChamberlinInteractive Dashboard of Green Bank Telescope Antenna DataReport
Hugo NegrelWill ArmentroutDetecting Distant Star-Forming Regions in the Galactic Warp
Mary RickelEmily MoravecRadio-Loud Active Galactic Nuclei Activity in Merging and Non-Merging Galaxy ClusterReport
Alex SeidmanKasey PurcellAdding Relevant Annotations to the Green Bank Telescope’s Radio Frequency Interference Graphics User InterfaceReport
Nathan SparksChris De Pree & Will ArmentroutThe Impact of Satellite Constellations on Radio Telescopes: GBTReport
Lucy SteffesJesse BublitzMapping Neutral Carbon Across the Outer Layers of the Helix Nebula with the Atacama Compact ArrayReport
Catalina ZamoraAnika SchmiedekeNeutral vs Ion Line Widths in the prestellar core L1544Report

All 2021 NRAO Summer Student projects can be found here.

StudentMentorTopicFinal Report
Rob ColemanWill ArmentroutPopulation Synthesis Modeling of the Milky Way’s HII Regions
Claire CookTapasi Ghosh & Chris SalterHI Detection in High-Z, Type 2 QuasarsReport
Claire FinleyLarry MorganStar Formation in Bright-Rimmed Cloud SFO 14Report
Daniel HancockCharles RomeroPressure Profiles from Improved Noise QuantificationReport
Laura LeyzorekCarla Beaudet & Jason RayDesign of RFI Enclosures for RF-Noisy ElectronicsReport
Rebekah PolenPedro SalasTracing the CO-dark Molecular Gas Toward Cassiopeia AReport
Julian RamosCharles RomeroCorrelations between Weather Variable and Recorded DataReport
Lucy SteffesJesse BublitzThe Chemical Composition of the Helix Nebula GlobulesReport

All 2020 NRAO Summer Student projects can be found here.

StudentMentorTopicFinal Report
Lulu AgazieRyan LynchPlanning Next-Gen GBT Pulsar SurveysReport
Savannah CaryJay LockmanIdentifying and Simulating Hydrogen in the Galactic Center OutflowReport
Genna CromNatalie ButterfieldMeasuring Gas Temperatures in the ‘Sticks’ CloudReport
Maile HarrisSteve WhiteModeling Quartz Window Efficiency for an Ultra-wideband Receiver for the GBTReport
Isabel HuntNathaniel SizemoreCLEO to pyCLEO: Software for GBT Astronomers and EngineersReport
Alex JohnsonWill ArmentroutLocating Massive Stars in the Outer Milky WayReport
Daniel JohnsonHanna SizemoreRefactoring and Expanding Matlab Mars Ice Modeling SoftwareReport
Laura LeyzorekRamon CreagerGeneral GBT Monitoring System
Max MasonPedro SalasSurface Scan Masking with LASSIReport
Efrain Rodriguez-ArzagaRyan LynchExploring New RFI Excision TechniquesReport
Olivia YoungAndrew SeymourRanking Pulsar Plots using Coherence MeasuresReport

Please direct your questions about the overall GBO/NRAO program to sstudents[at]nrao[dot]edu. Questions specific to the GBO site may go to Will Armentrout at warmentr[at]nrao[dot]edu.

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