The Hawaii Space Grant Consortium expands educational opportunities for University of Hawaii undergraduates by awarding fellowships and traineeships in fields that are relevant to NASA's goals. Two levels of support, fellowship or traineeship, are offered depending on the skill, knowledge level, and time commitment of the student. Inquires to our office may also be made for information about the Master's Apprenticeship program for graduate students at the University of Hawaii. We support the national Space Grant agenda to help prepare the future generation of space scientists and engineers, and to increase the understanding and development of space. U.S. citizenship is required for consideration as a fellow, trainee, apprentice, or intern.
Fields relevant to NASA's goals are mainly those in science, technology, and education that are focused on understanding the Earth, exploring the Solar System and the universe beyond, understanding the origin and evolution of life, understanding how life responds to space, creating
a more secure, efficient, and environmentally friendly air transportation system, inspiring students to pursue careers in science, technology, and mathematics, and engaging the public in shaping and sharing the experience of exploration and discovery.
Fellows and trainees work under the guidance of mentors who are normally faculty members. Women, under-represented minorities (specifically Hawaiians, other Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics), and physically challenged students who have interest in space-related fields are particularly encouraged to apply.
For Prospective Applicants
All full-time undergraduates enrolled at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, University of Hawaii at Hilo, one of the University of Hawaii Community Colleges or University of Hawaii Maui College who have declared a major are eligible to apply for Fellowships. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and must be sponsored by a mentor who is willing to guide the student for the duration of the award. Fellows are expected to work between six to 15 hours a week depending on their project. Financial support includes a stipend between $2000 and $4000 per semester (amount subject to change under the discretion of the Associate Director based on the proposed project). Fellows may be eligible for up to $500 additional funds for supplies and/or travel pertinent to their projects.
All full-time undergraduates enrolled at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, University of Hawaii at Hilo, one of the University of Hawaii Community Colleges or University of Hawaii Maui College are eligible to apply for Traineeships. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and must be sponsored by a mentor who is willing to guide the student for the duration of the award. Trainees enrolled at the Manoa or Hilo campuses are expected to work at least 5 to 10 hours a week depending on their project, and receive a stipend of $1500 for a semester. Trainees enrolled at one of the University of Hawaii Community Colleges or University of Hawaii Maui College receive a stipend between $1200 and $1500 for working at least 5 hours per week during the semester. Traineeships are awarded for one semester but may be renewed for a second.
NASA funding of fellows and trainees requires U.S. citizenship. Applicants must complete a formal application, submit transcripts and a letter of support from the prospective mentor.
Undergraduate application deadlines are: June 15 for fall semester and December 1 for spring semester.
Information and Applications
These pdf forms are fillable on your computer. Additional signatures are required prior to submission.
Application for Undergraduate Fellowship at Manoa and Hilo.
Application for Undergraduate Fellowship at Community Colleges and Maui College.
Application for Undergraduate Traineeship at Manoa and Hilo.
Application for Undergraduate Traineeship at Community Colleges and Maui College.
Applications are also available from Space Grant offices at Manoa (POST building room 501) or Hilo campuses, Community College campuses, and Maui College. You may call the Manoa office for more information at (808) 956-3138 or email Dr. Ed Scott at email@example.com.
Current NASA Strategic Plan (44-page .pdf document released on February 14, 2011.)
Current NASA Goals and Outcomes (3-page .pdf document) from the current NASA Strategic Plan.
Listing of mentors at U.H. Manoa seeking Fellows or Trainees.
Listing of NASA and space-related resources
Current Fellows and Trainees
The Spring 2013 Fellowship/Traineeship Symposium is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 8am to 1:30pm at U.H. Manoa, POST building room 723. Here is the symposium schedule.
Did you know? UH Manoa undergraduates are eligible for research grants and travel grants from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). See the UH UROP website for full details and deadlines.
Spring 2013 Undergraduate Fellowships
University of Hawaii at Manoa:
- Justin Bergonio, a junior in Physics, is continuing an astronomy project on near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) with mentor Dr. David Tholen of the Institute for Astronomy. Justin is utilizing data from the Faulkes Telescope North on Haleakala, learning about celestial mechanics and calculating orbital solutions of high priority targets in his project titled, "Advanced NEA Tracking."
- James Bynes III, a junior in Electrical Engineering with previous experience on the KCC CanSat team, is continuing to work on a team project titled, "Acceleration and Thrust of an Asymmetric Capacitor in a Microgravity Environment" with mentor Mr. Herve Collin of the Department of Math and Science, Kapiolani Community College. James is responsible for system construction and integration of this experimental lifter, which the team is testing as a potential space transportation method.
- Laura Corley, a senior in Geology and Geophysics, is working with mentor Dr. Paul Lucey of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology on her project titled, "The Geology of the North Pole of the Moon." Laura will investigate the surface geology, with particular attention on the mineralogy and types of volcanic deposits, using data sets from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's KAGUYA (SELENE) mission.
- Kenneth Dobbs, a senior in Political Science, who completed a previous Fellowship analyzing planetary gamma-ray data, is working with mentor Dr. Peter Englert of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology on a new project titled, "Reevaluating Elemental Abundance on the Moon." Kenneth will compare algorithms and analysis methods used on gamma-ray spectra from NASA's Lunar Prospector spacecraft to determine why discrepancies may exist in identifying spectral peaks in an effort to improve elemental concentration maps for the lunar surface.
- John Furumo, a senior in Mechanical Engineering, is continuing his work on the design, fabrication, and testing of a cold-gas propulsion system for microsat/nanosat class satellites. With his mentor Dr. A. Zachary Trimble of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, John is work on a project titled, "Cold-gas Propulsion for Small Satellite Attitude Control, Station Keeping, and De-orbit." John has previous experience researching spacecraft thermal control on UH nanosatellite teams and he completed a Summer 2011 NASA Marshall Academy-Hawaii Space Grant internship.
- Lisa Kotowski, a junior in Physics is continuing to work on a team project titled, "Acceleration and Thrust of an Asymmetric Capacitor in a Microgravity Environment" with mentor Mr. Herve Collin of the Department of Math and Science, Kapiolani Community College. Lisa is responsible for predicting system performance, and the data and error analysis of this experimental lifter, which the team is testing as a potential space transportation method.
- Heidi Needham, a senior in Global Environmental Science, will use high-resolution orbital lunar images to map flows in the maria on the Moon in a project titled, "Investigation of Layered Lunar Mare Lava Flows through LROC Imagery and Terrestrial Analogues." Working with mentor Dr. Sarah Fagents of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, Heidi will also use layered Hawaiian basaltic lava flows as terrestrial analog sites to help interpret the lunar data. This work is related to previous Fellows' projects studying layered lava flows and characteristics of buried regolith deposits on the Moon.
- Justin Nicholas, a senior in Creative Media, will be applying his skills in animation to an education/public outreach project about the NASA MESSENGER mission to Mercury. Working with mentor Dr. Sarah Sherman of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, Justin's project, "Presenting Current Mercury MESSENGER Information on the Magic Planet for General Audiences" capitalizes on the dynamic way that digital video globes allow 3-D visualization.
- Morgan Roman, a senior in Mechanical Engineering will work on a project titled "Star Tracker Test Module" with mentors Eric Pilger and Miguel Nunes of the Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory. Extending a previous Fellow's satellite-tracker project, Morgan plans to design and fabricate a new device that tests the performance of a star tracker, which HSFL is interested in using for attitude control of small satellites.
- Brayden VanAckeren, a junior in Economics and Political Science, having completed two traineeship semesters learning to investigate the topography of Mars, will focus on a new project titled, "Analysis of the Formation of Central Mounds within Martian Craters." With his mentor Dr. Peter Mouginis-Mark of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, Brayden will collect and analyze details of the global distribution and sizes of Martian craters and their associated central mounds.
University of Hawaii at Hilo:
- Jordan Bledsoe, a sophomore in Physics and Astronomy, will continue studying how variations in the abundances of the interstellar medium and the initial mass function (IMF) could modulate star formation rates (SFRs). Jordan is using existing data and data she is collecting with the UH 2.2m telescope on Mauna Kea under the mentorship of Dr. Marianne Takamiya of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The project title is "Studying the Effects of IMF and Metallicity on the SFRs of Star-forming Regions with Unusually Low Balmer Decrements."
- Meghann Decker, a senior in Geology, will work on a project titled, "Roots of the Halema'uma'u Crater Acid Sulfate System on Kilauea" using lab spectrometers and microscopes for element and mineral analyses. Building on previous fellows' projects, this work is relevant to on-going research on the possible formation mechanisms of sulfates and associated alteration deposits on Mars. Serving as mentor for this work is Dr. Kenneth Hon of the Department of Geology.
- Travis Reardon, a sophomore in Geology, will work with mentor Dr. Jene Michaud of the Department of Geology on a project related to the grand challenges of mitigating natural hazards associated with global climate change, including rare and extreme events. Travis' project titled, "Application of LIDAR Topographical Data to Mapping of Climate-related Sea Level Rise," will incorporate remote sensing data to create coastal inundation maps for selected regions.
Spring 2013 Undergraduate Trainees
University of Hawaii at Manoa:
- Brooke Winans, a junior in Geology and Geophysics, will work on her project titled, "Lava Flows of Elysium Mons" with mentor Dr. Scott Rowland of the Department of Geology and Geophysics. Using high-resolution images and thermal emission data of Mars obtained from orbiting NASA spacecraft, Brooke will map lava flows and look for vent structures.
Honolulu Community College:
- Samuel Eastwood, "Microcontroller Applications."
- Jesse Ray Johnson, "Instrumentation Development for Closed Habitat Experiments."
- Matthew Mau, "Closed Plant/Animal Habitat Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide Cycles."
Kapiolani Community College:
- The KCC Cansat team consists of Rae-Zan Belen, McClyde Gaborno, Kelsey Kawaguchi, Diamond Tachera, Joshua Tamayo, Logan Tamayo, and Taylor Viti. The mentor is Dr. Herve Collin of the Math and Science Department and KCC STEM Program.
Kauai Community College:
- Dominique Boeder, "Collection of UV Data and Comparison to Total Solar Irradiance."
- Jeffrey Dorough, "Collection and Analysis of E-CALLISTO Solar Flare Spectrometer Data."
- Marcus Yamaguchi, "Verification and Design of KCC Ground Station for Hawaii-SAT1 Mission."
Windward Community College:
- Kristen Barsoumian, Ada Garcia, Lyra Handcock, Warren Mamizuka, and Kristi Ross participated in NASA's "A Rocket Launch for International Student Satellites" (ARLISS) and "University Student Launch Initiative" (USLI) competitions. Mentors are Drs. Jacob Hudson and Joe Ciotti of Windward Community College and Mr. Helen Rapozo from Honolulu Community College.
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Former Fellows and Trainees
Archive of Former Undergraduate Fellows and Trainees
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Questionnaire for Mentors Seeking Fellows or Trainees
Mentors, we invite you to complete a short questionnaire of your research topics so that we may assist students interested in finding mentors for new fellowships.
Serving as a mentor for an undergraduate Space Grant fellow is one of the most effective educational activities a researcher or faculty member can do. Mentoring a student in his or her research project can provide that extra spark that makes a dramatic difference in the life of a young person and in their approach to learning. The research experience also enhances a student's education and shows how science and engineering are really done, much more than class and laboratory assignments can ever do.
To help prospective and existing mentors with this important job, the Hawaii Space Grant Consortium offers these guidelines.
Research Ohana. If you have a large research group, feel free to share mentoring responsibilities with graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. Much science is done by groups, so this adds to the research experience, as long as the undergraduate fellow has his or her own, identifiable project. It is also acceptable for a postdoc, research associate, or specialist to be a mentor. If a mentor has two or more fellows, be sure that each has an identifiable project, even if the projects are related. For example, one student could develop hardware, the other software on an engineering design project.
Space Connection. Space Grant is a NASA-funded project, and everything it does must have a clear connection to space science or aerospace engineering. Thus, mentors must be sure that their students remember to discuss the link with space science or aerospace engineering, especially when writing proposals and requests for renewals, giving talks at our undergraduate fellowship symposium, and preparing their final reports.
Student's time commitment. Please remember that our fellows are undergraduates, not graduate students. They are full-time students, usually taking five courses. Consequently, they should not be expected to work more than about 15 hours per week. Sometimes a key challenge for a mentor is to be sure their fellow does not neglect his or her other school work as they become engrossed in their research project!
Laboratory duties. Our fellows are doing research projects. They are not student employees hired to clean the lab, run the copy machine, or do clerical work. Of course, everyone working in a laboratory is expected to do his or her share of laboratory maintenance, but we want to be sure that space grant fellows are treated as researchers, not non-technical employees.
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