The ASSURE 2022 cohort

Advancing Space Sciences through Undergraduate Research Experience (ASSURE) is SSL’s NSF-funded REU program which aims to provide authentic cutting edge research experiences in the space sciences to early stage undergraduates. In particular ASSURE primarily serves California community college students, especially those from under-represented groups, first-generation college students and those for whom obtaining a research experience may present a challenge. This year, ASSURE was also supported by the College of Engineering as part of the launch of its aerospace engineering major.

After being virtual last year, ASSURE 2022 took place in person at the Space Sciences Lab at UC Berkeley. Ten California community college students joined us for multiple ten-week research projects, with topics ranging from classifying astrophysical x-ray sources to building micro-controllers for testing spacecraft ground systems.

The program culminated Friday August 12 with the final poster session, in which the ASSURE students, along with several UC Berkeley summer students, presented their work to the SSL community and beyond. It was a great success, and an appreciative crowd kept the students busy the whole afternoon. They did a brilliant job presenting all their hard work.

An appreciative audience turned out for the ASSURE posters

At the end of the session, the students received certificates for their time in the program. We couldn’t be prouder of what they achieved in a very short amount of time, and can’t wait to see what they go on to do in their careers. Congratulations to the cohort of ASSURE 2022!

ASSURE 2022 was put together by Matthew Fillingim, Trevor Bowen, Claire Gasque, Sam Badman, Milo Buitrago-Casas and Calvin Ko, and benefited greatly from the original program developed by Claire Raftery, Laura Peticolas and Darcy Barron. With huge thanks to our fantastic mentor team: (Stuart Bale, John Bonnell, Scott Candey, Ben Coughenour, Davin Larson, Tony Mercer, Marc Pulupa, Ali Rahmati, Roger Roglans, Orlando Romeo, Amanda Slagle, John Tomsick, Ivan Vasko, Phyllis Whittlesey, Joanne Wu), SSL interim director Ilia Roussev, the SSL education team (especially Bryan Mendez, Karin Hauck, Dan Zevin) and innumerable contributions from various individuals across SSL, and more widely, without whom this program would not have been possible. Thanks to Catherine Dang for assisting with undergraduate community building over the summer. This REU program was supported by the National Science Foundation under grant number: 2150055 and the UC Berkeley College of Engineering.