The keynote speaker was Former NASA Space Station Flight Director, Tomas Gonzalez -Torres (pictured here with me). He spoke about the different ways members of UNI can work with NASA without having to be engineers because as long as your research aligns with NASA's mission then you should be applying to do NASA-funded research! Plus, he spoke about an awesome workshop that happens at ISU annually that sounds super fun to be a part of! After his talk, I spoke about my experiences with ISGC. UNI's campus newspaper, the Northern Iowan, even wrote an article about the meeting!
On Tuesday, November 28th, UNI hosted a meeting with ISGC to help further the UNI-NASA connection. I was fortunate enough to be asked to share my experience as an undergraduate student collaborating with ISGC.
In preparing for the presentation, I had a chance to think back on the past few years with the BETA Project. I started out working with BETA as the webmaster, creating, building, and designing all aspects of this website. From there I joined the research team as well and had the chance to work in the aerosol chamber lab, go into the field, collect rocks (get covered in mud in the process), and follow the process of taking the raw rocks to the point where we could drill into them (with diamonds) to collect powders for analysis. I also did my first research poster presentations at conferences! Going into my senior year I didn't know if I would have time to do anything besides maintain the website, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that if you are willing to help out, there is always something to do on the BETA Project. During spring break, I went with the team to Ohio State University and worked in a clean lab for a week, plus did some outreach at a local school to help get students interested in science research! It was incredible and these past few years have been incredible. This research project has provided me with so many opportunities that I am so excited to take to my future classrooms, and I feel very privileged to have been involved so much over the past three years.
Myself, Tomas, and Dr. Sebree at the UNI-NASA Connection Meeting
It has been a great time creating and maintaining this website over the past few years, I know Nicole Bishop will do an excellent job in the future, and so it is time for me to say farewell as I head off to student teach in the spring. I know I am excited to stay updated with the BETA Project in the future, and I hope you all keep doing the same! This project is so impactful in so many, diverse ways.
--Jessica Wayson, BETA's Webmaster 2015-2017
On this page we'll post updates of the BETA Project's progress- stay tuned!