Sponsored Research in the University College and Great Valley
Collaborative Research: Investigation of Gravity Wave-Airglow Interactions in Multiple Emission Layers
National Science Foundation
Penn State Co-PI: Julio Urbina, College of Engineering
Perturbations in the neutral density in the Earth's middle and upper atmosphere known as gravity waves (GWs) are thought to be an important driver of physical and chemical processes in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) atmospheric region. GWs influence tidal and planetary wave dynamics as well as general circulation and transport processes across many atmospheric layers. The goal of this project is to investigate the interaction of GWs and airglow, faint optical emission emitted by atoms and molecules in MLT during the night. Through this, a better understanding of the impact of GWs on chemical species in the MLT region will be achieved. This project will conduct observations in multiple airglow layers with a chain of airglow imagers near the Andes Lidar Observatory (ALO) in Chile, a well-known GW "hotspot". This will be complemented by observations with the collocated lidar and meteor radar, satellites, and results from time-dependent, nonlinear atmospheric models. This project will promote education by supporting a graduate student and an undergraduate student and contribute to broadening participation by supporting the team that includes members from underrepresented groups.
Acquisition of a Real-Time Thermal Cycler to Advance Undergraduate Curriculum and Research Opportunities at Penn State York
Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh
At Penn State York, the biology faculty are dedicated to providing students with current, hands-on research opportunities and preparing them for life science careers that are in high-demand, including laboratory technician positions. To achieve this goal, the faculty work diligently to obtain student research grants to offset summer stipends and consumable costs for student-run research projects. While we have a proven track record in obtaining these grants for our students, the acquisition of needed equipment has been more difficult. Our biology department is lacking a Real-Time PCR Thermal Cycler (RT-PCR), a piece of equipment that is a standard for molecular genetic research. To properly train our students to be effective researchers, and to aid in the numerous undergraduate-led research projects that we supervise every year, the procurement of this machine is essential.