2015 NRAO Charlottesville Summer Student Information

TIPLast Update: AlisonPeck - 10 May 2015

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 19 summer students at NRAO-CV this year, 4 Grad students, 10 at our Edgemont Road offices and 5 at the NRAO Technology Center. The NRAO-CV summer students are:

  • Jonathan Barnes is a recent graduate of Norfolk State University. Jonathan is working with Dana Balser on "Metallicity Structure in the Milky Way Disk"
  • Lauren Bittle is a graduate student at the University of Virginia. Lauren is working with Remy Indebetouw on "The physical properties of the ISM in IC 10"
  • Keith Boehler is studying at the University of Texas at Brownsville. Keith is working with Morgan McLeod and John Effland at the NTC on "Practical Research in Cryogenic Technology for Low-Noise Radio Receivers"
  • Shawn Booth is a rising senior studying astronomy and chemistry at the University of Virginia. Shawn is working with Tony Remijan and Mark Rawlings on "The distribution of metal oxides in VY CMa"
  • Amanda Desouza is a graduate student at Queens University. Amanda is working with Amanda Kepley on "Investigating the Polarized Radio Continuum Halos of Galaxies"
  • Klaus Dollhopf is a rising senior studying astronomy and physics at the University of Virginia. Klaus is working with Brett McGuire and Jennifer Donovan Meyer on "The unexpected chemical complexity in the shocked outflow L1157"
  • Ryan Ellingson is a rising sophomore studying computer science at George Mason University. Ryan is working with Morgan McLeod at the NTC on "ALMA Front End Test Systems Software"
  • Aldo Fonrouge is studying at the University of Texas at Brownsville. Aldo is working with Rich Bradley at the NTC on "Thermal Control of a Compact Receiver Front-End"
  • Andrés Hernández Barocio is studying at the University of Texas at Brownsville. Andrés is working with Bill Shillue at the NTC on "ALMA Front End Electronics Lab"
  • Brittney High is a rising senior studying physics, philosophy and math at the University of Puget Sound. Brittney is working with Tony Beasley and Alison Peck on "Searching for Binary Super Massive Black Holes (SMBHs) in VLBA Calibrator Survey Data"
  • Bridget Kayetisi is a rising sophomore studying physics and math at Hamilton College. Bridget is working with Drew Brisbin and Amanda Heidermann on "Molecular Clouds In our Neighborhood and Beyond"
  • James Murray is studying at the University of Texas at Brownsville. James is working with Matt Morgan at the NTC on "The Efficient Serial-Output Analog-to-Digital Converter Architectures"
  • Michelle Nowling is a rising junior studying physics at the University of Houston. Michelle is working with Drew Brisbin on "Probing the ionized gas in high redshift galaxies"
  • Arnab Pramanik is a graduate student studying electrical engineering at the University of Texas at Dallas. Arnab is working with Anish Roshi at the NTC on "Analysis of Higher Order Waveguide Modes in a Horn Antenna"
  • Linnea Saby is a studying environmental engineering at the Piedmont Virginia Community College, having completed her degree in environmental studies. Linnea is working with Lory Wingate on "Project Management - PMI"
  • Beverley Thackery-Lacko is a rising senior studying physics at Cal State San Bernardino. Beverley is working with Kartik Sheth and Sabrina Stierwalt on "Why do some galaxies have trouble forming stars?"
  • Alison Towner is a graduate student at the University of Virginia. Alison is working with Crystal Brogan on "What Can Class I Methanol Masers Tell Us About Massive Star Formation?"
  • Adam Trapp is a rising senior studying astrophysics at the University of Virginia. Adam is working with Carol Lonsdale on "Pressures and Lifetimes of Young Radio Jets from Obscured Quasars"

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 Government cars available for sign-out. Government cars are only available for observatory business (e.g., trips to Green Bank). GSA cars may be available for short-term sign-out for e.g. grocery runs; use for entertainment, to the movies, for example, is not permitted. 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 3 and probably ending on August 5. 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 UserRegistration self-serve topic.There is also a 20-minute TwentyMinuteTutorial 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:
  • 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

Green Bank Visit

We will make a 5 day trip to our Green Bank facility on 2015-06-08 for a Radio Summer School. Green Bank WV is ~2hr 40min 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 Green Bank summer students.

Visit from Green Bank Students:

We will host a visit from the Green Bank summer students from 2015-07-28 to 2015-07-30. We will have a session where GB students and CV students briefly present their summer projects to each other. We'll also have a tour of the NTC and UVML labs.

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 - 2015-07-23

This topic: Main > TWikiUsers > JeffMangum > SummerStudents > CVSummerStudents > CVSummerStudentsB2015
Topic revision: 2016-05-27, LyndeleVonSchill
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