The Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium expands educational opportunities for University of Hawai‘i System undergraduates by awarding University Research Internships, HSGC URI, (formerly known as Fellowship and Traineeship Program) in fields that are relevant to NASA's goals. Two levels of support, research or trainee, are offered depending on the skill, knowledge level, and time commitment of the student. 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.

Fields relevant to NASA's goals are defined in its current Strategic Plan. These fields are mainly those in science, technology, and education that are focused on understanding the Earth, exploring the Solar System and the universe beyond, creating more secure, efficient, and environmentally friendly air transportation systems, inspiring students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and engaging the public in shaping and sharing the experience of exploration and discovery.

HSGC University Research Internship students work under the guidance of mentors who are usually 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.

Prospective Applicants title.

HSGC URI Research Internship

All full-time undergraduates enrolled at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Hilo, Maui College, one of the University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges, and University of Guam who have declared a major are eligible to apply for HSGC URI Research Internships. 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. Most mentors are faculty at the University but senior researchers or other qualified personnel at UH or elsewhere are eligible. HSGC URI Research Internship students are expected to work between 10 and 15 hours a week during the semester depending on their project. Financial support includes a one-semester stipend of $4000, renewable for a second semester for a total of $8000 per academic year. A travel and supply budget of $500 per semester will be available for each student.

HSGC URI Trainee Internship

All full-time undergraduates enrolled at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Hilo, Maui College, one of the University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges, and University of Guam are eligible to apply for HSGC URI Trainee Internships. 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. HSGC URI Trainee Internship students are expected to work between 5 and 10 hours a week during the semester depending on their project. Financial support includes a one-semester stipend of $1500, renewable for a second semester for a total of $3000 per academic year. Or a one-semester Trainee Internship at $1500 can be extended into a second semester Research Internship at $4000 for a total award of $5500 per academic year. A travel and supply budget of $250 per semester is available for Trainee Internships and $500 per semester is available for Research Internships.

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Fall 2021 HSGC URI Research Students

Alan McFall

Alan McFall

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Alan McFall, a senior in Earth Sciences, is working with mentor Dr. Przemyslaw Dera, Hawai’i Institute of Geophysics & Planetology on a project titled “Analysis of Kaneohe Bay Sediments as an Analogue for Martian Soil.”  This project seeks to sample and analyze sediments from Kaneohe Bay, in order to characterize amorphous minerals on the martian surface.

Chinenye Ndili

Chinenye Ndili

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Chinenye Ndili, a junior in computer science, is working with mentor Peter Sadowski, department of information and computer science, on a project titled “Survey and Design of Open Source Cube Satellite Structures”. The overall goal of this project is to improve upon an existing DL (Deep Learning) model in order to automatically detect and classify oceanic phenomena present within Satellite Aperture Radar (SAR) images. The detection of oceanic and atmospheric phenomena in SAR imagery has many applications in fields such as remote sensing and oceanography. Chinenye is now training deep convolutional neural networks using semi-supervised learning techniques in order to improve upon existing methods.

Fall 2021 HSGC URI Trainee Students

Evan Takushi

Evan Takushi

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Evan Takushi, a junior in mechanical engineering, is working with mentor Frances Zhu, Hawai’i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, on a project titled “Survey and Design of Open Source Cube Satellite Structures”. The objective of this project is to research and document open-source cube satellite structures in order to optimize and design a version 2 structure for the Artemis CubeSat kit. The structure is meant to incorporate a different electronic board layout for user ease.

Kalila Phillips

Kalila Phillips

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Kalila Phillips, a sophomore in mechanical engineering, is working with mentor Frances Zhu, Hawai’i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology on a project titled “Integrating Hands-On Satellite Lab Modules for a Space Mission Design Course in Public Domain”. The main objective of this project is to develop an open-source textbook that revolves around a low-cost spaceflight-ready CubeSat kit. I helped develop digital lab modules by documenting the process and creating project-based learning activities and labs that are based on the Artemis CubeSat kit, a Hawai’i Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL) project to go alongside the space mission design open-source textbook.

Fall 2021 University of Guam Graduate Fellows

Jonelle Sayama

Jonelle Sayama

University of Guam

Jonelle Sayama, a master’s student in environmental science, is working with Dr. Romina King, from the Micronesian Area Research Center, on a project titled “Mapping the Effects of Sea Level Rise on Guam’s Mangrove Forests”. This project is an exploratory study on the mangrove forests in Guam. An unmanned aerial vehicle will be deployed to create 3D maps of the study areas. Additionally, information on carbon sequestration will be collected. The main purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of Guam’s mangroves

James Pangelinan

James Pangelinan

University of Guam

James Pangelinan, a graduate student studying environmental science at UOG, is working with Dr. Chris Yeo, from the Water & Environmental Research Institute, on a project titled “Statistical Modeling of Extreme Precipitation Processes on Pacific Islands”.  General Climate Models (GCMs) have been commonly used to assess these impacts since these models could describe reasonably well the main features of the distribution of basic climate parameters at a global scale. However, outputs from these models are usually at resolutions that are too spatially and temporally coarse, and thus are not suitable for many hydrological impact studies at the regional or local scale. Hence, there is a great need to develop tools for linking the GCM outputs to local/regional extreme precipitation processes for hydrological impact studies.

Fall 2021 HSGC Master's Apprentices

Kaiaka Kepa-Alama

Kaiaka Kepa-Alama

University of Hawai'i at Mānoa

Kaiaka Kepa-Alama, a graduate in mechanical engineering, is working with mentor Dr. Frances Zhu, Hawai’i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, on a project titled “Reinforcement Learning for Planetary Surface Rover Localization in Permanently Shaded Regions”. This project looks to investigate sensor error mitigation to increase position estimation accuracy by performing a sensitivity study on variables that impact position estimate variance. This work proposes an algorithm for quantifying global position estimate error using the quaternion WFOV method in GPS-deprived areas derived from sensor characteristics.

Fall 2021 UH Community Colleges Undergraduate Traineeships

RockSat-X 2022 – IMU and Camera System

RockSat-X 2022 – IMU and Camera System

Caleb Yuen

D'Elle Martin

RockSat-X 2022 - IMU and Camera System

RockSat-X is an annual-sounding rocket launch put on by the Colorado Space Grant Consortium. There are five full payload sections available for Universities and Community Colleges (Imua mission 10) to submit their proposals for. Once the final proposal selections are made in January, the payloads will get ready to be launched in August 2022 at Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia. Honolulu Community College (HonCC) will be collaborating with Windward Community College (WinCC) on an electronic payload and sublimation rocket. Honolulu Community College will be working on cameras to take videos and pictures of WinCC’s Super Simple Sublimation Rocket (S3R). The Honolulu CC team will also be working on an IMU that will measure the parameters of the flight deck. IMU measurements, pictures, and videos will be used to analyze the motion of the S3R.

Project Imua Team

Project Imua Team

Windward Community College
From Left to Right: Dr. Joseph Ciotti, Jared Estrada, Nikki Arakawa, Dr. Jacob Hudson, Quinn Patrick O'Malley

Project Imua: Rocket Apophis - The End

Mission 9, started in 2018, was to design, build, and fly a Hybrid rocket to be flown at the ESRA Space Cup Challenge. Covid delays finally lead to the team flying their rocket at this last ARLISS. Also, student certifications were done.

Project Imua Mission 10: The Sublimation Rocket ScubeR

To conduct research on the feasibility of using a sublimation–fueled motor for providing low-power vernier thrust. On-board cameras will record the sublimation rocket’s flight parameters, while it is deployed from a sounding rocket at apogee. The camera data will then be used to determine the specific impulse of the sublimation fuel, Camphor.

LunaSat Team

LunaSat Team

University of Hawai'i at Maui

The Great Lunar Expedition for Everyone "GLEE" Workshop

  • Christian Falcon, Electronic & Computer Engineering Tech (Bottom Right)
  • Angelica Juarez, Electronic & Computer Engineering Tech (Top Left)
  • Delaun Prentice, Electronic & Computer Engineering Tech (Bottom Right)
  • Tishri Prentice, Electronic & Computer Engineering Tech (Bottom Left)
  • Mentor Dr. Jung Park, Dept. of Science, Tech, Electronics & Mathematics

 

LunaSats are based on ChipSats and will evolve to reflect GLEE's mission to the lunar surface. LauaSats collect temperature, magnetic field, and inertial measurements. The teams were able to work through the same 10 hands-on modules learning about the science sensors onboard and the functionality of the LunaSat.

Applications & Important Forms Title

NASA funding of HSGC URI students requires U.S. citizenship. Applicants must complete a formal application, submit transcripts and a letter of support from the prospective mentor.

Use the application for your current campus you are enrolled at. The application forms, for HSGC URI Research or Trainee awards, are fillable PDFs to be completed digitally and printed. Signatures are required prior to submission.

Applications are also available from Space Grant offices at Mānoa (POST building room 501) or Hilo campuses, Maui College, and the Community College campuses. You may call the Mānoa office for more information at (808) 956-3138 or refer to the HSGC Personnel page, or email hsgc@spacegrant.hawaii.edu.

Undergraduate application deadlines: June 15 for fall semester and December 1 for spring semester.

Additional Information from NASA

Mentors title.

General Guidelines

Serving as a mentor for an undergraduate HSGC URI student is one of the most effective educational activities a researcher or faculty member can do. Mentoring a student in his or her research or trainee 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 HSGC URI 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 Hawai‘i 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 student 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 HSGC URI students, 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 extending projects, giving talks at our undergraduate symposium, and preparing their final reports.

Student's Time Commitment 

Please remember that our HSGC URI students 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 the undergraduate student does not neglect his or her other school work as they become engrossed in their research project!

Laboratory Duties

HSGC URI students are doing research or trainee 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 HSGC URI students are treated as researchers, not non-technical employees.

Former Fellows and Trainees title.

Looking for Past Participant Information?

Information about our previous participants have been archived! Click the button below to view our entire listing of former undergraduate fellows, trainees, and interns.

Forms

Required: LTS Tracking Form (fillable online)

NASA requires that we gather data on the education and employment history of current and former participants in our HSGC URI programs. Your help will enable us to improve our programs and assists us in seeking new funding to continue our operations to support student research and to conduct additional programs. The information that you provide here will be kept private and not shared with anyone except NASA, our sponsor.

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Share Your Success Story!

Have a Story to Share?

If you are a past participant and have an interest in sharing how our Space Grant program has benefited you, we would love to hear from you. By doing so, you can help spread the word to others how NASA's efforts in promoting education have made an impact on all our participants - like you! If interested, please contact us at hsgc@spacegrant.hawaii.edu with a Subject Line of "Success Story."

Fellow Jeff Kleyner.

Previous Final Reports

Final Reports written by Space Grant's participants (2005 - 2014) are available online for viewing on ScholarSpace. Click the button to view their work in booklets, released by year.