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Research Experience for Undergraduates 2020: Applications are Open!

Research Experience for Undergraduates 2020: Applications are Open!

Group photo of the REU class of 2019
Last Summer's REU Students

The application process for the SETI Institute’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program 2020 is now open. Applications will close on February 1, 2020.

The SETI Institute’s REU program is for highly motivated students who are interested in research related to astronomy, astrobiology, and planetary science. During the 10-week program, students will work with scientists at the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center. Research topics span the field of astrobiology from microbiology to planetary geology to observational astronomy.

The program includes a week-long field trip to Hat Creek Radio Astronomy Observatory in Northern California and to nearby Lassen Volcanic National Park. At Hat Creek, students will engage in a collaborative radio astronomy project focused on the SETI Institute’s Allen Telescope Array.  At Lassen, a field experience studying hydrothermal systems will give students an opportunity to consider habitability and other topics in astrobiology.

Students will also participate in local field trips to historic Lick Observatory, the NASA Ames Wind Tunnel facility, and other nearby locations of scientific interest.  They will attend seminars, lectures, and discussions on astronomy, astrobiology, and planetary science. Students will live in dormitory housing at nearby NASA Ames Research Center. At the end of the summer, students will give presentations on their research projects and many will be funded to present their research at various national scientific conferences.

The SETI Institute particularly encourages REU applicants who are from communities that are underrepresented in astronomy and other STEM fields, including Black, Native, or Latinx students, as well as veterans, students with disabilities, and students who are part of the first generation of their family to attend college.  We also welcome students who are part of the LGBTQ community.

The 2020 scientist mentors will be:

  • Chloe Beddingfield: Thermal properties of Saturn’s moon Rhea
  • Janice Bishop: Remote detection of aqueous minerals on Mars as indicators of the geochemical environment
  • Kathryn Bywaters: New flight hardware for monitoring microbial growth
  • Ann Marie Cody and Douglas Caldwell: Finding the youngest stars in the sky with TESS data
  • Cristina Dalle Ore: A study of ice on Rhea as a tool to measure the age of Saturn’s icy satellites
  • Peter Jenniskens: How the comet crumbles
  • Pascal Lee: Pits and caves on the Moon and Mars: Science potential and significance for astrobiology and human exploration
  • Alex Pollak and Andrew Siemion: Instrumentation development for radio technosignature searches at the ATA

More information about the REU mentors and their work can be found here:

For details about the 2020 REU program and eligibility requirements, and the application process, click here:

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