Open Office Hours with the Dean – Jo’s – 2/1 @ 2:30 pm

Dear all,

Join me in the courtyard outside Jo’s at Ragsdale from 2:30 – 4:00 pm on Wednesday, 1 February, part of my monthly series of office hours for students.  Bring questions or just drop by to say, “Hi!”

The forecast looks great:  mostly sunny with a high in the mid- to upper 70’s.

See you then!

ESTEEM Program at Notre Dame – Due 1/26

Are you a STEM, economics, or design major, but also interested in entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology? 

The ESTEEM Graduate Program is an 11-month master of science degree program at the University of Notre Dame that equips students from technical backgrounds with the skills and experience to launch new businesses, become innovators within large corporations, and be leaders of dynamic, innovative teams. Over the course of a year, students are immersed in an entrepreneurial sandbox, where they get their hands dirty with entrepreneurship and innovation through a cutting-edge curriculum, a capstone commercialization thesis for an emerging technology, and outstanding out-of-the-classroom experiences. You can hear about how transformative this program can be from one of our most entrepreneurial alumni here!

ESTEEM emphasizes the action of entrepreneurship, not just the study of it, by letting students get their hands dirty with entrepreneurship in one of the most realistic entrepreneurial sandboxes in higher education. By the time they graduate, due to the rigorous academic experience, exposure to real-life business ventures, and exceptional mentorship, ESTEEM students find their technical skills impactful and marketable in a rapidly changing economy. Students are launched into career tracks outside of narrow technical roles, taking leadership positions at the intersection of business and innovation. The attached brochure contains the latest career placement statistics for our graduates.

ESTEEM has had a great relationship with St. Edward’s University, with alumni/current students such as Janaee Wallace, Karl de Zoten, and Ralph Hayyat. After being on campus again this past fall meeting faculty and students, we would love to see more St. Edward’s University graduates join the program!

You can find more information at or by contacting Dustin Mix.

Internships at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) – Due 3/10

Here’s a link to the Mickey Leyland Environmental Internship Program at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.  If you’re interested in environmental science research and policy, take a few minutes to learn more from their website.

Apply here.

More info email here.

Applications are open now through March 10th.

Summer Internships at the Kennedy Krieger Institute – Center for Diversity in Public Health Leadership and Training – Due 1/31

From the Kennedy Krieger Institute

We are pleased to announce four federal funded internships available this coming summer.

Internship #1
Maternal Health Health-Leadership Education, Advocacy & Research Network (MCH-LEARN) Program

Application Deadline: Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Program Dates: May 29- August 4, 2017
*Scholars must commit to monthly two hour sessions during the academic school year, September 2017 – April 2018.

Brief Description: The Maternal Child Health-Leadership Education, Advocacy, and Research Network (MCH-LEARN) is a 10-week, summer and academic year, Maternal Child Health (MCH) program focused on public health, clinical, and research experiences. MCH-LEARN is designed for undergraduate freshman and sophomore students with at least 3.0 GPA on a 4-point scale who are interested in MCH professions (pediatric medicine, nutrition, social work, nursing, pediatric dentistry, psychology, health education, pediatric occupational / physical therapy, speech language pathology, public health). Accepted scholars must be a U.S. Citizens, U.S. National, or permanent resident.

MCH-LEARN leverages a leadership learning network formed by (1) Kennedy Krieger Institute Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program, (2) Historically Black Colleges and Universities, (3) Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine Leadership Education in Adolescent Health program and Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Family, Population and Reproductive Health, (4) Parents’ Place of Maryland, and the (5) Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities.

A $3,500 stipend for the 10-week summer program and small stipend for the academic year participation is provided to all participants.

Email here.

Internship #2
Public Health Leadership & Learning Undergraduate Student Success (PLLUSS) Program

Application Deadline: Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Program Dates: May 29- August 4, 2017

Brief Description: The PLLUSS Program is a 10- week summer public health leadership and research program. The PLLUSS Program is for undergraduate sophomore and junior students minoring or majoring in public health with at least 3.0 GPA on a 4-point scale. Accepted scholars must be a U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, or permanent resident. Students must complete sufficient course credit hours during the program for a minor in public health. The PLLUSS program is conducted at three collaborative research sites: (1) Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, (2) University of Cincinnati and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (UC-NIOSH), and (3) California State University –Los Angeles. PLLUSS Program students will participate in public health research, education, on health disparities and urban health issues, professional development, and community health promotion activities. Students will be encouraged to produce peer-reviewed publications and attend a national public health meeting. Students will receive mentorship with the goal of successful acceptance and completion of graduate or professional school in the public health area.

A $3,500 stipend is provided to all program participants. Housing and round trip travel is available for out-of-state participants.

Email here.

Internship #3
Maternal Child Health Careers/Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement-Undergraduate Program (MCHC/RISE-UP)

Application Deadline: Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Program Dates: May 29- August 4, 2017

Brief Description: MCHC/RISE-UP is a 10-week summer public health leadership program designed for undergraduates in their junior and senior year with a GPA 2.7 or better on a 4.0 scale and recent baccalaureate degree students (within 12 months of the MCHC/RISE-UP orientation). Accepted scholars must be a U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, or permanent resident.

MCHC/RISE-UP is a national consortium of institutions including the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI), Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health, University of Southern California, California State University-LA, and University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine Center for Disabilities. Three tracks are offered: (1) clinical (KKI only), (2) research and (3) community engagement and advocacy.

A $3,500 stipend is provided to all program participants. Housing and round-trip travel is available for out-of-state participants.

Email here.

Internship #4
Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program (Ferguson Fellows)

Application Deadline: Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Program Dates: May 29- July 28, 2017

Brief Description: The Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases Fellowship is a 9-week summer program for students currently enrolled full-time in a medical, dental, pharmacy, veterinary, or public health graduate program who are interested in participating in infectious diseases and health disparities research. Accepted scholars must have at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale and be a U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, or permanent resident. Ferguson Fellows are encouraged to submit their research to national meetings and for publication.

A $4,000 stipend is provided to all program participants. Housing and round-trip travel is available for out-of-state participants.

Email here.

All program activities are contingent on federal funding.

REU Opportunity Studying Ethiopian Church Forests – Due 2/15


Application deadline: February 15, 2017.


We are now accepting applications for a Summer 2017 NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program based at Colby College and the California Academy of Sciences. This REU will provide eight American undergraduate students from diverse academic backgrounds an opportunity to conduct interdisciplinary research on the ecological, economic and cultural roles of church forests. Church forests are patches of Afromontane forest surrounding Ethiopian Orthodox churches. Preserved for centuries by church leaders and communities as religious sanctuaries, church forests are, in many parts of Ethiopia, the only indigenous forests left.

Under the eight-week summer REU program students will receive training at Colby College (Maine, USA) in ecological field methods (stream ecology), social survey research, spatial analysis using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and written and oral communication. Working remotely with partners in Ethiopia students will collect and analyze original ecological, social and spatial data from church forests and surrounding communities, and work closely with faculty mentors to prepare presentations and manuscripts to be shared at a week-long workshop held on-site at the California Academy of Sciences.

Completed applications including 2 letters of recommendation are due by February 15th. The 2017 Summer REU Site program will run from June 12th – August 9th. All travel costs will be covered by NSF and the summer program includes a generous stipend. All participants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents enrolled at a U.S. college or university at the time of the program (senior graduating in Spring 2017 are not eligible).

Details about the project and application instructions can be found at:

NASA Student Airborne Research Program (SARP) – Due 2/1

NASA Student Airborne Research Program (SARP)

Click here for a flier.

The NASA Airborne Science Program invites highly motivated advanced undergraduates who will be rising seniors in summer 2017 to apply for participation in the 9th annual NASA Student Airborne Research Program (SARP 2017).  The purpose of the Student Airborne Research Program is to provide students with hands-on research experience in all aspects of a major scientific campaign, from detailed planning on how to achieve mission objectives to formal presentation of results and conclusions to peers and others. Students will work in multi-disciplinary teams to study surface, atmospheric, and oceanographic processes. Participants will fly onboard the NASA C-23 Sherpa and assist in the operation of instruments to sample and measure atmospheric gases. They will also use data collected during the program from the NASA ER-2 image land and water surfaces in multiple spectral bands. Along with airborne data collection, students will participate in taking measurements at field sites. Each student will complete an individual research project from the data collected.

Outstanding faculty and staff for this program will be drawn from several universities and NASA centers, as well as from NASA flight operations and engineering personnel.

The eight-week program begins June 18, 2017 and concludes August 11, 2017.

Instrument and flight preparations, and the research flights themselves, will take place during the first two weeks of the program at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, in Palmdale, CA. Post-flight data analysis and interpretation will take place during the final six weeks of the program at the University of California, Irvine.

SARP participants will receive a $5,000 stipend, a travel allowance, and free housing and local transportation during the 8-week program.

Applicants must be US citizens.

Watch a video about the program:

For more information and to apply:

Email for more info.

South Central Climate Science Center – Summer 2017 Internships – Due 3/17

Application Form and Requirements

We are pleased to announce that we will be offering a summer undergraduate internship opportunity in 2017 for students of underrepresented minorities interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Interns will be involved in hands-on activities related to climate research that will allow them to see the direct impacts of climate variability and change on the West Texas Southern High Plains, prairie and forest ecosystems and tribal cultures in Oklahoma, and the bayous, delta and coastline of Louisiana. Internship participants will travel across the South Central United States to visit university campuses and field locations and interact with faculty conducting cutting edge research.

The deadline to apply is 5:00 PM Central Time on Friday, March 17, 2017. 

When and Where: The internship will take place from Sunday, July 9, 2017 to Saturday, July 29, 2017. Interns will spend one week with Louisiana State University, one week with the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, and one week with Texas Tech University.

Financial Support: All meals, lodging and travel will be provided. In addition, interns will receive a $200/week stipend for the duration of the program. The program will not cover local travel between the participant’s home to their closest airport, personal equipment (clothing, cameras, etc.), or other personal expenses.

Eligibility: Applicants must reside in and be traveling from Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, or Texas. Applicants must also be enrolled as a full-time student in either a 2 year or a 4 year institution for the Fall 2017 semester and be at least 18 years of age by July 9th, 2017.

Commitment to Diversity: The South Central Climate Science Center is committed to encouraging diversity in the sciences. Please encourage your scientifically minded students to apply for this unique opportunity to experience climate research hands-on.

Here’s a link to a YouTube video on the program.

NASA Space Apps Challenge – Ideas due 2/5; event 4/29-4/30

Click here to download the flyer.

NASA Science Mission Directorate is proudly hosting NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge on April 29-30th, 2017 and the theme for this year’s challenges is Earth!

We are excited to invite you to be a part of the NASA Challenge Team and engage with the public with Earth data and products at NASA!

 – Do you have an Earth science problem that can be addressed with NASA data and products?  We can design our challenges around real problems faced by our scientists, PIs, public officials, and program managers.  Let our brilliant community of coders and designers bring their talents to the table and help you address your needs!

– Be a part of the open innovation community to share data and ideas and spur local innovation hubs around the world!  We welcome you to attend the International Space Apps event at a location near you!  Chose from one of our 100+ locations to visit and represent NASA and share your stories and advice with our enthusiastic participants!

– If you are an expert in Earth science, help judge the Space Apps Challenge submissions and witness first hand the amazing potential of our participants!

Please visit for more information on Space Apps, and check out last year’s challenge winners’ AMAZING solutions with video descriptions!  Here’s a taster- 

Best use of Hardware – Canaria
Best use of Data – Scintilla

 To sign up to be a part of the NASA Challenge Team, please contact Shobhana Gupta.



Since its inception in 2012, the International Space Apps Challenge has become the world’s largest global hackathon, engaging thousands of citizens across the globe to work with NASA in building innovative solutions to challenges we face on Earth and in space using open source data. Space Apps inspires local innovation communities to convene, ideate, and build. Teams of technologists, scientists, designers and entrepreneurs work together in a 48-hour sprint to develop answers to some of the most pressing challenges on Earth and space using NASA data. Over 15,000 citizens from 61 countries and in 161 cities around the world participated in the 2016 International Space Apps Challenge.

1,300 projects were developed during the 2016 Space Apps, many open source solutions with immediate value to NASA and the global community. The most popular challenges included creating a crowdsourced platform to compare environmental changes with symptoms of respiratory disease, an educational app to help young students locate the moon, and an app to support local drone operators. 

Shobhana Gupta, MD, PhD
AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow
Earth Science Division
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Learn Trail Building Skills for Your Future and Our Parks!

Wild Basin is hosting the Central Texas Trail Tamers in teaching a FREE class on building and maintaining the trail systems that public lands, like Wild Basin, offer to the public.  The CTTT will offer two “Introduction to Trail Maintenance” classes before they move on to advance trail techniques.  The three courses currently scheduled (see schedules below) use a curriculum developed by the Pacific Crest Trail Association and U.S. Forest Service Trails Specialist John Schubert.  In them you will learn “how trails work”, basic design concepts, safety protocols, and how to gain “trail eyes”.  If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity where you can gain a new skill to add to your resume and are interested in the fields of land management or public land conservation and stewardship then you will find these workshops beneficial to your career.  Please, RSVP and tell me what you like in your breakfast taco!

To attend these workshops or if you have any questions please contact Aaron Haynes at

Schedule of Workshops at Wild Basin:

Workshop Date
Intro to trail maintenance 1 February 11, 8:30a.m.
Intro to trail maintenance 2 March 18, 8:30a.m.
Advanced skills in trail maintenance April 15, 8:30a.m.

 Schedule of CTTT workshops:

If these workshops aren’t enough for you and you need to fast track your trail skills while gaining some volunteer experience, then the CTTT offers other workshops that you are invited to attend. To get more information about these opportunities contact Kevin at or go to for a list of scheduled events by CTTT.

Become a Breakthrough Teaching Fellow this Summer – Due 2/23

And teach middle school students who will be the first in their families to graduate from college!

Breakthrough Austin seeks enthusiastic, creative and successful college students to teach and mentor during our 6-week academic summer program.  Under the guidance of seasoned teaching professionals, Teaching Fellows will provide instruction in English, math, social studies, or science to classes of eight to ten students.  Teaching Fellows will also serve on committees, lead study skills lessons, and design Explorations (electives) classes for their students.  Breakthrough Austin is an AmeriCorps program and provides financial benefits in addition to incredible professional development.

For More Information:

Breakthrough Austin Teaching Fellow