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NASA Student Airborne Research Program

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Academic Level:
Undergraduates - Junior
Undergraduates - Senior

The NASA Airborne Science Program announces the opportunity for highly motivated rising senior undergraduates to participate in an 8-week summer internship program in Earth system science using its DC-8 flying laboratory.

The NASA Student Airborne Research Program (SARP) will take place in Southern California with research locations based at the University of California, Irvine and at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California.

Participants will acquire hands-on research experience in all aspects of a scientific campaign, including flying onboard the NASA DC-8, a highly-specialized research aircraft used for studying Earth system processes. Participants will work in four multi-disciplinary teams to study surface, atmospheric, and oceanographic processes. Participants will fly onboard the NASA DC-8 and assist in the operation of instruments to sample and measure atmospheric gases. They will also use remote sensing data collected during the program from the NASA ER-2 high-altitude research aircraft to image land and water surfaces in multiple spectral bands. Along with airborne data collection, students will participate in taking measurements at field sites.

Mission faculty and research mentors will guide participants through instrument operation, sample analysis, and data reduction. Each student will develop an individual research project from the data collected and will deliver a final presentation on their results. Many students in the past have gone on to present their research at national conferences.

Applicants must have a strong academic background in any of the physical, chemical, or biological sciences, or engineering and an interest in applying their background to the study of the Earth system. We especially encourage applications from students majoring in Earth, environmental or atmospheric sciences and related disciplines.

Participants will receive a $5000 stipend, roundtrip travel to California, and all transportation and housing expenses during the 8-week program.

Application Deadline: 1/31/2018
Note: Most programs maintain a similar program cycle (including similar application deadlines) year after year. Click here to understand dates and deadlines on

Program Dates: 6/17/2018 - 8/10/2018

Participating Institution(s):
(Click an institution to see all programs it hosts)
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center (Lead)
University of California, Irvine

Program Materials:
 • Program Website 
movie  Program Video

This Program can be Described by:
Academic Disciplines:
Atmospheric Sciences
Environmental Sciences
Geological Sciences
Marine Sciences & Oceanography
Plant Sciences
STEM Fields

Agricultural Ecology
Air Quality
Algae Blooms
Atmospheric Chemistry
Climate Change
Computational Modeling
Earth System Science
Ocean Science
Physical Sciences
Remote Sensing

Learn More and Apply!

This program is funded by:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Page last updated 11/4/2017
Click here to submit updates to this program listing!


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