Pasadena, CA —18 JUN 10
Northeastern University Student Works on Mars Data Analysis Project with NASA USRP
By: Jackie Juergens
Emily Snead, Framingham, Mass. resident is a spring 2010 intern with NASA Undergraduate Student Research Program (USRP). Snead is working at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. for 15 weeks. She is working in the Geophysics Department with NASA mentor Matthew Golombek.
Snead is analyzing data from different Mars orbiters. Her main project is conducting research on surface characteristics of potential landing sites for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). She uses remote sensing data to infer whether the landing sites are safe. This research will contribute to landing site choice for the Mars Science Laboratory rover being readied for launch in 2011.
“For me, to work with world-renowned researchers in a supportive scientific community is the opportunity of a lifetime, and it will greatly influence my future as a scientist,” Snead comments.
“Emily is a very hard working conscientious student that has adapted easily to working in a group environment. She has an unfailingly positive attitude and has quickly learned about Mars and the remote sensing data we have been using to characterize the surfaces of potential landing sites for the Mars Science Laboratory. Her expertise manipulating a variety of remote sensing data in ArcGIS has enabled her to make great contributions in a short time,” Golombek states. Snead is currently a junior at Northeastern University in Boston, Mass. She is planning to graduate with a degree in environmental science in May 2010.
“I first became interested in working for NASA when I enrolled in both a Remote Sensing and ArcGIS course at my university in the fall of 2009,” Snead adds. “I am now implementing what I learned in the classroom to everyday research in the lab and am gaining valuable hands-on experience each day.”