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Center for NASA Research & Technology

South Carolina State University

Impacts of the MURCEPI 2000 Grant

Minority University Research and Education
Partnership Initiative in Space Science
(NRA 00-OSS-02)

South Carolina State University (SCSU) has completed a highly successful three years of developing a comprehensive approach to research and education in space science. Work under this award from the Office of Space Science (NAG 5-10145) included a significant number of new and exciting collaborations and activities in faculty research, undergraduate student research, curriculum development, teacher training and public outreach.

Impact on the Faculty at SCSU 2001- 2003
  • A new-hire faculty position in astrophysics was created and filled
  • 11 Funding proposals submitted (6 funded, 3 declined, 2 pending)
  • $1.9 million in leveraged funding from proposals
  • OSS, Space Telescope Science Institute, Space Grant, DOE
  • 4 Observing proposals: 1 Palomar accepted, 2 HST declined, 1 Spitzer pending
  • 2 Peer-reviewed journal articles published
  • 1 Non-peer-reviewed journal article published
  • 3 Professional conference talks
  • 5 Faculty seminar talks
  • 10 Professional conference posters
  • 1 pending application to the NASA Faculty Fellowship Program
  • Curriculum enhancement in space science
  • New course on cosmology for non-majors created
  • Existing space science lecture & lab for non-majors enhanced
  • New graduate education course created for in-service teachers
  • Partnerships established in field of radio astronomy
  • Charter membership in the Minority Institution Astrobiology Collaborative (MIAC)
  • Postdoc support and interference filters purchased for the Robotically Controlled Telescope (RCT), giving SCSU guaranteed access to a ground-based observatory in support of future proposals to NASA missions and projects
Undergraduate Research Program in Astrophysics (URPA)
  • Designed as an REU experience
  • Students recruited nationally
  • On-site for 10-12 weeks
  • Sites of research

  • - Goddard Space Flight Center
    - Lawrence Livermore National Lab
    - Kitt Peak National Observatory
    - Planetary Science Institute
    - University of South Carolina
  • Topics for research

  • - Analysis of STIS spectra of Eta Carinae
    - Analysis of STIS spectra of quasars
    - Photometry of a globular cluster
    - Classifying light curves from MACHO
    - Developing cryogenic CCDs
    - Solar prominence motions
    - Searching for asteroids, KBOs
  • Presentations at

  • - AAS meeting January 2003
    - National NASA PAIR meeting
    - NASA/NSF/TSU Student Research Symposium
    - South Carolina Academy of Science
    - Student Research Day at Local Institutions
  • Student Publications

  • - Kucera, et. al., 2003, Solar Physics, 212, 81
    - AJ article in preparation
K-12 Students & Teachers

SCSU partnered with Carver-Edisto Middle School to successfully compete at the national level to become one of only 50 NASA Explorer schools in 2003.

A total of 599 teachers participated in workshops and courses from 2001-03

A total of 29 teachers completed an intensive 1-week summer, graduate education course for in-service teachers entitled “Space Science for Teachers”

Workshops for teachers covered a range of topics and experiences including astrobiology, the five space science themes of NASA and a hands-on experience controlling a radio telescope remotely over the Internet.

Two South Carolina teachers completed the “Hands On Universe” course at Western Kentucky University in the summer of 2002

Over 300 K-12 students and teachers participated in the South Carolina Junior Academy of Science Winter Workshop held at SCSU on February 8, 2003, which focused on space science activities.

Over 400 K-12 students and teachers plus others attended talks by former astronaut Charles Bolden on June 19, 2003.

Faculty and Research Collaborators

T. Gull, T. Kucera, M. Mumma and J. Thieman at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
C. Runyon at the NASA OSS Broker/Facilitator SERCH and the College of Charleston
K. Cooke, S. Friedrich, K. Reed and S. Labov at Lawrence Livermore National Lab
R. Green and K. Mighell at Kitt Peak National Observatory
D. Davis, M. Everett and S. Howell at Planetary Science Institute
V. Kulkarni and K. Lacey at University of South Carolina
M. Castelaz, D. Cline and C. Osborne at Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
J. Raddick at Johns Hopkins University
M. SubbaRao at University of Chicago & the Adler Planetarium
S. Austin, L. Johnson at Medgar Evers College
E. Richards at Talladaga College
M. Carini, D. Barnaby, R. Gelderman and C. McGruder at Western Kentucky University
T. Tobin at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College
S. Watts of Carver-Edisto Middle School

Final Report