Title

The Undergraduate ALFALFA Team: A Model for Involving Undergraduates in Major Legacy Astronomy Research

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-2015

Publication Title

American Astronomical Society

Abstract

The Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA (ALFALFA) blind neutral hydrogen survey is an ongoing project that includes an innovative undergraduate outreach component promoting the participation of students and faculty at undergraduate-focused institutions in a large. multi-year research collaboration. The survey, ,which will ultimately detect -30,000 gas-rich galaxies, provides resources and authentic opportunities for undergraduates and faculty, including a high fraction of women and minorities, through the Undergraduate ALFALFA Team (UAT), an NSF-sponsored consortium or 18 participating institutions. The UAT experience features annual workshops at the Arecibo Observatory with hands-on experience for undergrad participants and their faculty mentors. Graduate students on the Cornell ALFALFA Team help plan and facilitate UAT activities and benefit by developing their own skills as mentors, project supervisors. and science communicators. The UAT is developing online lesson plans and activity guides that make use of the ALFALFA online data archive and of innovative learning techniques supported by the findings of astronomy education research.

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