Students Speak at Keck Undergraduate Research Symposium

Wesleyan students and faculty attending the 2019 KNAC Undergraduate Research Symposium at Vassar College.

Eight Wesleyan undergraduates presented results of their summer research to the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium sponsored by the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium (KNAC). This year’s symposium was held on October 5 at Vassar College and attended by 125 astronomy students and faculty, primarily from the consortium colleges (Bryn Mawr, Colgate, Haverford, Middlebury, Swarthmore, Vassar, Wellesley, Wesleyan and Williams). KNAC was founded in 1990 to enhance research opportunities for astronomy students at smaller institutions in the northeast by sharing resources. Today it operates a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program funded by the National Science Foundation through a grant to Wesleyan. Astronomy majors Mason Tea and Rachel Marino and sophomores Alex Henton and Ava Nederlander gave oral presentations of their projects conducted on campus this summer. In addition, astronomy majors Fallon Konow, Hunter Vannier, Gil Garcia and Terra Ganey gave poster presentations of their summer research. The presenters were joined by an equal number of first and second-year students who went to hear the talks, participate in breakout sessions on various astronomical topics and network with potential future colleagues.

Alex Henton presents his work on asteroids.

Mason Tea presenting results on a gravitational lensing telescope.

Rachel Marino presenting her work on a debris disk.

Ava Nederlander presenting work on a brown dwarf in a debris disk.

Professor Seth Redfield, the PI of the NSF grant supporting KNAC addresses the audience.

Wesleyan students in the audience enjoying a presentation.

Professor Roy Kilgard discusses some research ideas with a student.

Professor Bill Herbst with Alex Henton.

Gil Garcia presented his work on black holes.

Hunter Vannier reported on his work on the interstellar medium.

Terra Ganey (back) presented her work on the development of a spectrometer.

Group photo of attendees at the 2019 Undergraduate Research Symposium of the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium. Vassar College, Oct. 5, 2019.

Fallon Konow presented her work on the interstellar medium.

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