2009 NRAO Charlottesville Summer Student Information

TIP Last Update: JeffMangum - 13 August 2009

Table of Contents:

ALERT! Charlottesville Summer Student Calendar ALERT!

General Information

Most information presented here can be found at:

Who and Where are the CV REUs?

There are 8 summer students at NRAO-CV this year, 7 at our Edgemont Road offices and an 8th at the NRAO Technology Center (NTC). The NRAO-CV summer students are:

Bin Chen

Michael Lam

Missy Louie

Patrick McCauley

Brian Roper

Francillia Samuel

Jennifer Shitanishi

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 Fonda Bryant (Rm ER-263) or Mary Mayo (Rm NTC-211).
  2. Fill-out the Travel Reimbursement Form online.

There is a maximum reimbursement of $800 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 Fonda or Mary.

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 Richard Bishop mailto:rbishop#64nrao.edu rbishop#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.


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 using NRAO printers, log in from home, etc., see the Gold Book. For computer requests use the Help Desk.

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, starting on TBD and probably ending on TBD. 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.

Past summer student groups have generally thanked the summer student lecturers with lots of questions. Feel free to request specific topics.

As presentations become available I will post them on the CV Summer Student Presentations wiki.


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/Tuesday: 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-230 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

Green Bank is ~2hr 40min drive west of Charlottesville. You will have a tour of GBT and the NRAO GB facilities and the Visitors Center. Use the itinerary for this trip as a guide. Other things to do near GB: Cass railroad; Snowshoe mountain. Its worth looking into these 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. 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 2009/07/05. Observing projects are posted on the GBT Summer Student Observing Project wiki page. You will have several lectures discussing the observational goals, set-up, and data reduction. You will travel to Green Bank for the observing period to observe, then come back to Charlottesville and analyze the data. In the past some projects have resulted in important results.

Visit from Green Bank Students

We will host a visit from the Green Bank summer students on 2009-07-24. We will have a session where GB students and CV students briefly present their summer projects to each other. Probably in the afternoon all students will tour the NTC labs. The afternoon is open, and you are encouraged to be social with the GB students, showing them CV.

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 JeffMangum by the end of September (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).

All NRAO 2009 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 3-7, 2010 in Washington, DC. Matching funds from your host institute are usually expected. An application is required. See information at http://www.nrao.edu/students/NRAOstudents_aas.shtml. 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.

End of Summer Questionaire

To help us assess the research experience provided by the NRAO Summer Student Program, we would like to get your input regarding your summer research experience. In addition to any comments that you might have about the program and your experience, this year we are trying out a survey developed by a group of science educators called the Undergraduate Research Student Self-Assessment (URSSA). I have attached a FAQ describing URSSA.

To complete the survey, please follow these instructions on or after July 23, 2009:

Your responses to this survey are confidential. We will be able to tell whether you have responded, but we will not be able to tell which answers are yours.

Please note that all questions are optional, and that they have been developed by SALG to track science education development. We have added some questions specifically related to the NRAO summer student program. Let me know if you have any questions.

Twiki Account Registration

Many scientists and engineers use wiki pages to communicate. If you would like to use this medium to post information about your summer project, you can register as a user by going to the TWikiRegistration self-serve topic. There is also a 20-minute TWikiTutorial available if you would like to learn how to use this communication medium.

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.

Topic revision: r15 - 2009-08-13, JeffMangum
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