2014 NRAO Charlottesville Summer Student Information

TIPLast Update: AlisonPeck - 25 March 2014

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 Students?

There are 16 summer students at NRAO-CV this year, 14 at our Edgemont Road offices and 2 at the NRAO Technology Center. The NRAO-CV summer students are:

Travel Reimbursement

You can find the necessary form to request your travel reimbursement in one of two ways:
  1. Get one from either Jessica Utley (Rm ER-351) or Mary Mayo (Rm NTC-211).
  2. Fill-out the Travel Reimbursement Form online.
There is a maximum reimbursement of $900 for travel and $300 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 Jessica, Mary, or Alison Peck. Note that if you have requested direct deposit of your stipend payments that your travel reimbursement will also be direct deposited.

Car Sign-Out

We have AUI and Government cars 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 reservations need to be arranged directly with Richard Bishop (receiving room, on the first floor of the Edgemont Road building). Do not abuse these privileges, or we will lose them. For daily transportation, UVa has an extensive, and free, bus system, and the Charlottesville Area Transit buses are only $0.75 each way, or $20 for a month pass. Note that none of the buses go out to the NTC, so it is advisable to have a car or a plan for sharing rides if you need to work there.

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 around June 11 and probably ending on August 1. The schedule will be posted and maintained on the Charlottesville Summer Student Calendar. You can add items to this schedule, just send an email to Alison. Past summer student groups have generally thanked the summer student lecturers with lots of questions. Feel free to request specific topics!


You will be set up with a computer, computer account, and NRAO username as soon as you arrive. 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 when you have a password. For additional computing assistance, use the Help Desk.

ALERT! You will be enrolled in a Cyber Security program called "Securing The Human" shortly after your account is set up. This is hosted on vle.securingthehuman.org and is a set of short videos for you to watch. Also, there will be an in-person cyber security orientation the day after you arrive in Charlottesville; attendance is required.ALERT!

IDL Usage Policies

Since many summer students use IDL or GBTIDL, we would like to point out that there is a limited number of floating licenses for this package.See our IDL usage policies and best practices for information on IDL license usage.

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.

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.


Feel free to use the canteen facilities (fridge, microwave, etc) at the ER or NTC facilities. There are a few places to buy lunch within walking distance of ER, including the Observatory Hill Dining Hall.

There are also 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:
    • 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. See the map 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, veggie options are available. It costs about $6-$7/person.

Other Weekly Activities

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!).
  • Visit Monticello
  • 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)
  • Visit the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton (1hr west)
  • Trip to the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton (1hr west)
  • Hike Appalachian trail (8mo, GA to MA. Or parts of it 45min W)
  • Drive Blueridge Parkway and/or Skyland Drive to find lots of good hiking (beware motorhomes)
  • Visit many Civil War battle fields (Manassas, Bull Run, Appomattox, Brandy Station, Fredericksburg, Front Royal, Lynchburg, Spotsylvania Court House, Waynesboro, etc, etc).
  • Various events and festivals around the state
  • 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 will also produce a short (~4 page) report outlining your summer research, and present this to Alison Peck 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 (more info on that later).


Don't hesitate to ask Alison Peck (apeck at nrao dot edu) or any NRAO staff member if you have questions.

-- AlisonPeck - 2014-03-24
Topic revision: r11 - 2014-06-03, AlisonPeck
This site is powered by FoswikiCopyright © by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding NRAO Public Wiki? Send feedback