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Seventeen students ranging from high school to graduate level have gathered together for 10 weeks this summer to participating in the DEVELOP Internship program at NASA Ames Research Center (ARC).  Mentored by Dr. Jay Skiles and other scientists both at ARC and from partner agencies, these students are working in teams to address four applied research topics using NASA’s remote sensing and modeling resources. 

The Chelan-Sawtooth wilderness in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in Washington is being closely monitored by the Forest Service as it is at high risk of a major wildfire event due to the amount of dead trees and other fuels present as a result of an ongoing bark beetle infestation. One of the teams, lead by Marco Allain, is working to characterize this infestation.

Figure 1: Bark Beetle Team in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest inventorying bark beetle infestation levels. (left to right) Travis Freed (advisor), Evan Johnson, Marco Allain, Emily Williams, Andrew Nguyen, Stephanie Tsai

Two different teams are contributing to efforts underway in the South San Francisco Bay to restore 15,000 acres of former salt ponds to wetlands.  Michelle Newcomer’s team is modeling sediment dynamics in the South San Francisco Bay using a suite of in-situ and remote sensing measurements to analyze marsh development during pond breaching.  The goal of Kristy Watson’s team is to perform an analysis of the spectral variation between different vegetation types found in the salt pond area and to track the historical changes in vegetation distribution from 2000 to present.

Figure 2: South Bay Salt Pond Sediment Team in the Alviso Ponds (left to right) Tyler Ketron, Vivek Choski, Alex Remar, Amber Kuss, Michelle Newcomer.

Figure 3: South Bay Salt Pond Vegetation Team in the Alviso Ponds  (left to right) Krysti Sukita, Wei-Chen Hsu, Kristy Watson, Eve Minkin, Rachael Marzion.

Katherine Pitts and Ariana Gonzales are working on a project related to Max Loewenstein, Laura Iraci,, and Cristina Milesi’s NASA Ames Research Center Climate Change Adaptation Research Project.  They are hind- and forecasting the flood risk of ARC using BASINS, and other models.

Figure 4: The Ames Climate Change Team (left to right) Ariana Gonzales and Katherine Pitts

All of the students will be presenting the results of their work at a close-out presentation on August 12, 2010 from 10 – 11 am in the Space Sciences Auditorium in Bldg 245.  We hope you can attend to learn more about the work they’ve done this summer.

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