2019 NRAO Charlottesville Summer Student Information

General Information

Useful links:

Who are the CV Students?

The NRAO-CV summer students are:

  • Undergrads and recent grads
    • Erica Behrens (OSU) is working with Rachel Friesen and Laura Fissel
    • Jesse Han (UVa) is working with Jim Braatz
    • Shane Bechtel (ASU) is working with Bjorn Emonts and Ilsang Yoon
    • Camryn Phillips (UVa) is working with Scott Ransom
    • Mihika Rao (Agnes Scott) is working with Dana Balser
    • Elizabeth Teng (Haverford) is working with Ryan Loomis and Patrick Sheehan
    • Samantha Garza (Dallas) is working with Amanda Kepley
    • Adrienne Hembrick (VCU) is working with Aaron Evans and Loreto Barcos Munoz
    • Logan Ramsey (UVa) is working with Morgan McLeod at CDL

  • Grad students
    • Sasha Plavin (Lebedev) is working with Bill Cotton
    • Samer El Abd (UVa) is working with Crystal Brogan
    • Rebecca Charbonneau (Cambridge) is working with Ken Kellermann and Ellen Bouton
    • Maryam Hami (Innsbruck) is working with Tony Remijan (September start)

  • NINE program participants
    • Heather Harbin (Texas Tech) is working with Brian Kent
    • Alejandro Saravia (Universidad Nacional de Honduras) is working with Brian Kent

Orientation Slides

Summer Lecture Series

We will have a weekly science lecture delivered by an NRAO staff member, mostly held on Tuesday afternoons. Check the calendar for exact times each week. All students should attend. We will also have a number of invited outside speakers presenting a variety of topics for career development.

  • June 11: Urvashi Rao (DSOC) "Imaging and deconvolution" slides
  • June 18: Brian Kent (CV) "Computing tools" slides
  • June 25: Laura Fissel (CV) "Star formation"
  • July 02: Natalie Butterfield (GB) "Molecular clouds" slides
  • July 09: Ryan Lynch (GB) "Pulsars"
  • July 16: Nithya Thyagarajan (DSOC) "Epoch of Reionisation"
  • July 23: Aaron Evans (CV) "Galaxies and galaxy evolution" slides
  • July 30: Rick Perley (DSOC) "Radio galaxies and AGN"


You will be set up with a computer and an NRAO computer account when you arrive. If you have problems or questions with computing, first try to resolve it with your fellow students or advisor, and if that fails you should write to the computing helpdesk: helpdesk-cv@nrao.edu

Travel Reimbursement

See JJ Utley (Rm ER-351) for assistance with travel reimbursement.

There is a maximum reimbursement of $900 for travel and $300 for temporary accommodations while you locate local housing. Include receipts up to that amount. See Summer Student Travel and associated documents for further details. Note that if you have requested direct deposit of your stipend payments that your travel reimbursement will also be direct deposited.


For daily transportation, UVa has an extensive, and free, bus system, and the Charlottesville Area Transit buses are inexpensive. 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.

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.


Feel free to use the kitchen facilities (fridge, microwave, etc) at the ER or NTC facilities. If you put something in the fridge, put your name on it. There are a few places to buy lunch within walking distance of ER, including the UVa Corner and Frys Springs areas. We have food trucks at NRAO a couple of times each week - watch for announcements.

There are also several semi-regular lunch activities which you may like to participate in:
  • Tuesday: We sometimes have informal brown-bag (i.e., BYOL) lunch talks, dubbed Tuna Lunch, in the auditorium or 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 meets in the lobby at NRAO-ER and starts walking at about 11:50pm. We encourage you to join us. Pizza or Italian subs are the menu, veggie options are available. It costs about $8 to $10 per person.

Other Weekly Activities

Green Bank Visit

We will make a trip to the Green Bank Observatory on June 3-7 for a Radio Summer School. Green Bank WV is a ~2.5 hr drive west of Charlottesville. We will have lectures about radio astronomy, a few workshops, some observing time, and we will tour the Green Bank Telescope (GBT), the NRAO GB facilities and the Visitors Center, and the historic telescopes located on the Green Bank site. This will also be an opportunity for you to meet the Socorro and Green Bank summer students.

Other Summer Activities

Here are some additional activities you might want to explore on your weekends:

  • Visit Monticello
  • Trip to DC (2 hrs northeast)
  • Rafting on the James River (30 min south)
  • Trip to Kings Dominion/Water Country (70 min east)
  • Trip to Williamsburg/Busch Gardens/Jamestown (2 hrs east)
  • Visit the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton (1 hr west)
  • Trip to the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton (1 hr west)
  • Hike Rivanna trail, Monticello trail, Sugar Hollow, Humpback Rock, Old Rag, Appalachian trail
  • Drive Blueridge Parkway and/or Skyland Drive to find lots of good hiking
  • Visit many Civil War battle fields (Manassas, Bull Run, Appomattox, Brandy Station, Fredericksburg, Front Royal, Lynchburg, Spotsylvania Court House, Waynesboro).
  • Various events and festivals around the state
  • Fridays after 5
  • https://www.cvilleescaperoom.com/

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. You will also write a report, which should be 4 pages minimum, outlining your summer research. Present your written report in PDF format to Jim Braatz by the end of August. You must hand in your written report on time to get financial support to attend the January AAS meeting (more info on that later).


Don't hesitate to ask Jim Braatz (jbraatz at nrao dot edu) or any NRAO staff member if you have questions.

-- JimBraatz - 2019-05-20
Topic revision: r8 - 2019-07-25, JimBraatz
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