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SaSaStudent Airborne Science Activation Program

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    The Student Airborne Science Activation (SaSa) program invites highly motivated early-career undergraduates (first- and second-year students) at eligible universities to participate in an 8-week summer research experience.

    Student Airborne Science Activation (SaSa) program

    For SaSa details, visit:

    The SaSa program will draw on NASA SMDís (Science Mission Directorateís) unique assets (aircraft, aircraft sensors and experts) to create an effective learning environment, where students will take part in a paid summer internship for eight weeks (years 2-5). They will receive experiential learning experience delivered by NASA subject matter experts and guest lecturers, covering different topics such as basic remote sensing principles, basic atmospheric thermodynamics, atmospheric stability, and data analysis. Students will also receive professional development training including scientific abstract writing, comprehensive literature review, networking and professional presentations (oral and poster). More importantly, students will be connected to bridge programs (e.g., NASA internships, NASA Pathways, and NASA Student Airborne Research Program (SARP), and receive guidance and science counseling to keep them motivated and engaged in the Earth Science field through graduation, and ready to take the next step, including proceeding to a graduate school or taking up a STEM career.

    SaSa's main objectives:
    • To create a student geoscience learning ecosystem to enable effective student engagement with NASA scientists & engineers, academic advisors, peers, and the local communities.

    • To provide students with new skills to work with NASA science equipment and real data from field/airborne campaigns and satellites.

    • Provide students with problem solving skills in the areas of instrument development, operation and mathematical tools and methods to analyze field data.

    • Provide research, mentoring, and networking opportunities for early-career undergraduates to address the shortage of individuals from historically underrepresented groups graduating with STEM degrees from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and a need to prepare these students to enter STEM graduate programs as well as the NASA and research workforce.

    Payload Information/Instruments
    CAR (Cloud Absorption Radiometer)
    NASA Langley Aerosol Research Group Experiment (LARGE)
    4STAR (Spectrometers for Sky-Scanning, Sun-Tracking Atmospheric Research)
    IR Camera- Multispectral Infrared Camera (MS350)
    Long-wave infrared (LWIR) channeled spectropolarimeter (IRCSP)
    Continuous Flow Diffusion Chamber - Ica Activation Spectrometer (CFDC-IAS)

    Project Management
    Charles GatebeNASA ARCPrincipal Investigator
    Samiah MoustafaNASA ARCProgram Manager
    Lin ChambersNASA HQDeputy Program Director
    Barry LeferNASA HQProject Scientist
    Melissa MartinNASA HQAirborne Science Program Science Lead
    Torry JohnsonNASA HQSTEM Project Manager

    Participating Institution Leads and Collaborators
    Dong WuNASA GSFCInstitution Principal Investigator
    Ali OmarNASA LaRCInstitution Principal Investigator
    Jiru MintesinotCoppin State UniversityInstitution Principal Investigator
    John AndersonHampton UniversityInstitution Principal Investigator
    Charles IchokuHoward UniversityInstitution Principal Investigator
    Belay DemozUniversity of Maryland Baltimore CountyInstitution Principal Investigator
    Paulinus ChigbuUniversity of Maryland Eastern ShoreInstitution Principal Investigator
    Richard DamoahMorgan State UniversityInstitution Principal Investigator
    Kavita MittapalliMN Associates, Inc. (MNA)Independent Evaluator

    Instrument Teams
    Stephen BroccardoNASA ARCCo-Investigator/4STAR; member/CAR
    Kristina PistoneNASA ARCMember/4STAR
    Roy JohnsonNASA ARCMember/4STAR
    Dong WuNASA GSFCCo-Investigator/CAR
    Mariel FribergNASA GSFCMember/CAR
    Kurt RushNASA GSFCMember/CAR
    Rajesh PoudyalNASA GSFCMember/CAR
    Jaclyn JohnNASA GSFC/University of ArizonaCo-Investigator/IRCSP
    Richard MooreNASA LaRCCo-Investigator/LARGE
    Luke ZiembaNASA LaRCCo-Investigator/LARGE
    Eddie WinsteadNASA LaRCMember/LARGE
    Claire RobinsonNASA LaRCMember/LARGE
    John BarrickNASA LaRCMember/LARGE
    Ryan Bennett NSRCCo-Investigator/Navigational and Meteorological Measurements
    Ruben DelgadoUniversity of Maryland Baltimore CountyOn-site PI; Remote Sensing and Ground Lead
    Ricardo SakaiHoward UniversityGround Lead at Beltsville Campus
    Antony KinyuaMorgan State UniversityCo-Investigator
    Michael ShookNASA LaRCData Manager
    Gao ChenNASA LaRCMember/Data Management
    Selene WillisNASA HQEducation Specialist
    Kassandra PerlongoNASA ARCScience Communication Specialist
    Kelly GriffinNASA GSFC/WFFP-3B Flight Manager
    John BaycuraNASA GSFC/WFFP-3B Pilot

    Graduate Student Mentors
    NameOrganizationResearch Group
    Emily FaberUniversity of Maryland Baltimore CountyAtmospheric Physics - Modeling
    Kylie HoffmanUniversity of Maryland Baltimore CountyAtmospheric Physics - Meteorology
    Alicia HoffmanUniversity of Wisconsin MadisonAir Quality Modeling
    David MooreUniversity of California, Los Angeles Tropical Cyclone
    Maurice RootsUniversity of Maryland Baltimore CountyAir Quality & Remote Sensing Observations

    Undergraduate Student Mentees
    NameOrganizationResearch Group
    Annalyse BeltonCoppin State UniversityTrace gases (Grad Mentor: Maurice Roots)
    Shanell BushHampton UniversityClouds, Aerosols, and Radiation (Grad Mentor: David Moore)
    Romina Cano VelasquezMiami Dade CollegeAir Quality (Grad Mentor: Emily Faber)
    Muyang ChungaCoppin State UniversityTrace gases (Grad Mentor: Maurice Roots)
    Neima DedefoUniversity of Maryland Eastern ShoreAir-water-land interface (Grad Mentor: Alicia Hoffman)
    Isaiah DornelusMorgan State UniversityAir-water-land interface (Grad Mentor: Alicia Hoffman)
    Eric EkeyUniversity of Maryland Baltimore CountyTrace gases (Grad Mentor: Maurice Roots)
    Trisha Joy FranciscoUniversity of Maryland Baltimore CountyMeteorology/Planetary Boundary Layer (Grad Mentor: Kylie Hoffman)
    Michelle GarciaUniversity of California - DavisAir-water-land interface (Grad Mentor: Alicia Hoffman)
    David GobaUniversity of Maryland Baltimore CountyTrace gases (Grad Mentor: Maurice Roots)
    Jonathan HaleUniversity of California, DavisMeteorology/Planetary Boundary Layer (Grad Mentor: Kylie Hoffman)
    Daniel HarrisonMorgan State UniversityTrace gases (Grad Mentor: Maurice Roots)
    Camila HernŠndez PedrazaUniversity of Puerto Rico - CayeyAir-water-land interface (Grad Mentor Alicia Hoffman)
    Vanessa HuaUniversity of California, RiversideAir Quality (Grad Mentor: Emily Faber)
    Kailyn HymanHampton UniversityClouds, Aerosols, and Radiation (Grad Mentor: David Moore)
    Tochi IwujiCoppin State UniversityTrace gases (Grad Mentor: Maurice Roots)
    Mya JohnsonUniversity of Maryland Eastern ShoreAir Quality (Grad Mentor: Emily Faber)
    Daniel KhanUniversity of California, RiversideClouds, Aerosols, and Radiation (Grad Mentor: David Moore)
    Stephanie Marie Ortiz RosarioUniversity of Puerto Rico - MayaguezMeteorology/Planetary Boundary Layer (Grad Mentor: Kylie Hoffman)
    Sophia RamirezCalifornia State Polytechnic University - PomonaAir Quality (Grad Mentor: Emily Faber)
    Angelica StewartHoward UniversityAir Quality (Grad Mentor: Emily Faber)
    Ananda TurnerHampton UniversityAir-water-land interface (Grad Mentor: Alicia Hoffman)
    Kennedi WhiteHoward UniversityMeteorology/Planetary Boundary Layer (Grad Mentor: Kylie Hoffman)
    Kiara WilsonVirginia State UniversityMeteorology/Planetary Boundary Layer (Grad Mentor: Kylie Hoffman)

    NASA - National Aeronautics and Space
    Curator: Ali Aknan
    NASA Official: Dr. Gao Chen

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