2005 NRAO Charlottesville Summer Student Information

TIP Last Update: JeffMangum - 6 July 2005

Table of Contents:

General Information

Most information presented here can be found at:

The presentation given at Orientation by Roy Norville from Human Resources is available in PDF format.

Who and Where are the CV REUs?

There are nine summer students at NRAO-CV this year. Seven are at our Edgemont Road offices, and two at the NRAO Technology Center (NTC). You are:

Travel Reimbursement

You should have received a reimbursement form when you picked up your paycheck. If not, do one of the following:
  1. Get one from either Tavia Dillon (Rm ER-263) or Cathy Burgess (Rm NTC-211).
  2. Fill-out the Travel Reimbursement Form online.

There is a maximum reimbursement of $500 for travel and $200 for temporary accommodations while you located local housing. Include receipts up to that amount. See Summer Student Travel and associated documents for further details. Fill out form and give to Tavia or Cathy.

Car/Bike Sign-Out

We have AUI and Government cars and a single mountain bike available for sign-out. Government cars are only available for observatory business (e.g., trips to Green Bank). AUI cars are available for short-term sign-out for e.g. grocery runs. Cars needs to be arranged directly with Patrick Merricks mailto:pmerrick#64nrao.edu pmerrick#64nrao.edu; receiving room, on the first floor of the Edgemont Road building). The bike is kept there and can be signed out if the key is there. Keep it locked up, and use the available helmets. Do not abuse these privileges, or we will loose them. For daily transportation, UVa has an extensive, and free, bus system.

Computer Concerns

You should be set up with a computer, computer account, and NRAO username. To see how to set up to read email for your NRAO username, set up a webpage, print out to NRAO printers, log in from home, etc., see the Gold Book. For computer requests use the Help Desk.

For Mentors: See Summer Student Computing Overview for general information on allocation of computing resources.

Work Expectations

From http://www.nrao.edu/students/NRAOstudents_summer.shtml#Research:

"Your project adviser will have told you the topic of your research prior to your acceptance. You will spend 10-12 weeks over the summer working on this research project. You are expected to conduct your research during the normal weekly operating schedule. Justifiable alternatives can be discussed with your adviser. If you require a break in your research schedule, and your adviser agrees, a brief period of absence can be negotiated. Students who fail to report regularly, perform poorly, or who violate NRAO rules or regulations may lose their research appointment without notice."

Summer Lecture Series

Lectures will be held at various dates and times throughout the summer in Conference Room 230 of the Edgemont Road building (this room), starting on June 8th and probably ending on August 3rd. The schedule is posted and maintained on the Charlottesville Summer Student Calendar. You can add items to this schedule, but will need to set up a wiki account to do so.

It is generally considered rude to sleep through people's presentations. A good way to stay alert is to ask lots and lots of questions. Feel free to request specific topics.


Feel free to use the canteen facilities (fridge, microwave, etc) at the ER or NTC facilities. There are several semi-regular lunch activities which you may like to participate in:

  • Monday: We will order-in pizza for a "Student/Staff Pizza Lunch" in the ER library. Students eat free! This is a good opportunity to hold impromptu discussions with the staff on topics of interest to the students. Possible topics are:
    • Astropolitics
    • Careers
    • Effective Communication of Science Results
    • Current Topics in Astronomy
  • Tuesday: We sometimes have informal brown-bag (i.e., BYOL) lunch talks, dubbed Tuna Lunch, in ER-311 by visiting or local astronomers.
  • Thursday: Various members of both NRAO and UVa astronomy have pizza lunch together at Anna's Pizzeria, off of Alderman road before Fontaine Avenue. I'll try to get a map to link to here. A group usually starts walking from NRAO-ER at about 11:50pm. We encourage you to join us. Greasy pizza or Italian subs are the menu. It costs about $6-$7/person.

Other Weekly Activities

Green Bank Visit

The summer student field trip to Green Bank will be coupled with the Green Bank Observing Project, on June 24-27. Green Bank is ~2hr 40min drive west. You will have a tour of GBT and the GB NRAO facilities and the Visitors Center. Use the rough itinerary for this trip as a guide. Other things to do near GB: Cass railroad; Snowshoe mountain. Its worth looking into before the trip, in case you want to make a side trip. You may also want to return to Green Bank for the Green Bank Picnic on August 6. These events are listed on the Charlottesville Summer Student Calendar.

Green Bank Telescope Observing Project

We have been able to arrange for you to have some observing time on the GBT, the largest fully steerable telescope in the world. The observations will start on the evening of June 26, from 21:30 to 07:00 on June 27 (LST ~ 15hr to 24hr). Suggested projects are posted on the SumProj05 wiki. You will have several lectures discussing the observational goals, set-up, and data reduction. You will travel to Green Bank for the weekend to observe, then come back to Charlottesville and analyze the data. In the past some projects have resulted in important results.

See SumProj05 and SumProjAns05 for further information.

Visit from Green Bank Students

We will host a visit from the Green Bank summer students on July 7-8. Generally, the Green Bank students will arrive for Pizza Lunch on Thursday, we'll have an afternoon session where GB students and CV students briefly present their summer projects to each other. On Friday morning, all students will tour the UVa and NTC labs. The weekend is open, and you are encouraged to be social with the GB students, showing them CV.

The schedule for this visit is currently:
  • Thursday 1:00pm, GB students arrive at ER
  • Thursday 1:00-2:00pm, Summer Student project presentations (Mangum; CV230)
  • Thursday 2:00-3:00pm, Tour of UVa Astronomy (David Rosario; UVa Astronomy)
  • Friday 10:00-12:00am, Tour of UVa-EE (Lichtenberger; UVa Engineering)
  • Friday 12:00-1:00pm, Lunch at NTC (Bryerton)
  • Friday 1:00-2:00pm, Tour NTC (Bryerton)

Other Summer Activities

Give me suggestions and I'll list them here. Here are some activities that previous students have done (these must be arranged on your own, and must not involve NRAO vehicles!).

  • Trip to DC (2hrs northeast)
  • Rafting on the James River (30min south)
  • Trip to Kings Dominion/Water Country (70min east)
  • Trip to Williamsburg/Busch Gardens/Jamestown (3hrs east)
  • Hike Appalachian trail (8mo, GA to MA. Or parts of it 45min W)
  • Drive Blueridge Parkway and/or Skyland Drive (beware motorhomes)
  • Visit many Civil War battle fields (Manassas, Bull Run, Appomattox, Brandy Station, Fredericksburg, Front Royal, Lynchburg, Spotsylvania Court House, Waynesboro, etc, etc). Heck, you could probably take part in a historical reenactment.
  • Trip to Baltimore (4hrs), Philadelphia (6hrs), or NYC (7.5hrs)

End of Summer Presentation (Oral and Written)

Near the end of your appointment, you will give a short (~15min) lunch talk to the scientific staff about your research, and will write up a short project summary. You can look at examples of past year projects and summaries to give you an idea as to what is required. You will also produce a short (~4 page) report outlining your summer research, and present this to me or Rich Bradley by the end of September (HTML or PDF versions encouraged). You MUST hand in your written report on time if you want any hope of getting financial support to attend the January AAS meeting (see below).

ALERT! Charlottesville Summer Student Calendar ALERT!

All NRAO 2005 Summer Students and Projects

Attending the January AAS Meeting

You may apply for financial support to present the results of your summer project at the January AAS meeting (to be held Jan 8-12 2006 in Washington D.C. Matching funds from your host institute are usually expected. An application is required. See information at http://www.nrao.edu/students/NRAOstudents_summer.shtml#AAS. Funds are mostly for REU-funded students, so many of you may have a reduced chance. But we rarely have all students apply, so some funds are generally available.

Email Aliases

How to Change Your Distribution List Email Address

Once you arrive at your designated NRAO site, you will be given an NRAO email address. You should change the address to which email distribution list messages are sent to this NRAO address. This is done as follows (where I use the cvss distribution list as an example):
  1. Go to the appropriate list information page. For example, http://listmgr.cv.nrao.edu/mailman/listinfo/cvss.
  2. Scroll down to the "subscribers" area of the page and enter your current subscription email address and password.
  3. Click on your address to visit your subscription options page.
  4. Change your email address (and any other information you desire) in the "changing your membership information" section.


Don't hesitate to ask myself, Jeff Mangum (mailto:jmangum#64nrao.edu jmangum#64nrao.edu), Rich Bradley (mailto:rbradley#64nrao.edu rbradley#64nrao.edu), or any NRAO staff member if you have questions.

-- JeffMangum - 06 Jul 2005
Topic revision: r1 - 2006-03-15, JeffMangum
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