Student Collaboration


Student Collaboration Institutions, Sonoma State University

The IMAP Student Collaboration (StC) is a program developed through the University of New Hampshire (UNH), Howard University (HU), and Sonoma State University (SSU) that provides students, including those traditionally underrepresented or underserved in STEM, with hands-on experience designing, building, testing and calibrating scientific instruments, and delivering to NASA for launch at least one CubeSat with at least one student-built instrument.  In addition, the IMAP StC provides the students with scientific involvement in the IMAP mission through participation, post-launch in data analysis, and pre-launch in selected IMAP team meetings. 



Student Collaboration Institutions, Sonoma State University

The IMAP StC develops a strong recruitment and retention (R&R) program, that takes advantage of the expertise of the participating universities to bring a more diverse cohort of students to space-related STEM degrees. The 3U3 incorporates a strong evaluation component to provide program evaluation on specific goals, in terms of diversity, student R&R, as well as engineering and scientific goals. 


2.1 Science and Engineering Objectives



Student Collaboration Institutions, Sonoma State University

Undergraduate and graduate students at the three partnering universities design, develop, and build at least one 3U CubeSat with the science objective to determine how Earth’s polar upper atmosphere (‘the thermosphere’ in the auroral and cusp regions) responds to particle precipitation and varying conditions associated with solar wind forcing and internal magnetospheric processes. Our overall, baseline plan consists of a constellation of three CubeSats (the 3U3 constellation) with identical instrumentation to determine the Spatio-temporal variation in the polar thermosphere. Combining the measurements of the 3U3 satellites with observations by IMAP and the rest of NASA’s HSO, the StC students determine the relative importance of Joule heating, electron precipitation, direct particle heating, and ionospheric outflow in thermospheric upwelling. 

2.2 Diversity Objective 



Student Collaboration Institutions, Sonoma State University

The StC diversity objective is to increase the numbers of space scientists who come from groups underrepresented and underserved in STEM through i) recruitment, inclusion, accessibility, and retention and ii) through capacity building at the faculty level in three institutions. The three core institutions of the StC is are 1- Howard University (HU), a Historically Black College, and University (HBCU): HU has been ranked the top producer of African-American undergraduates who later earn STEM graduate degrees. 2- Sonoma State University (SSU), a public Hispanic-serving institution (HSI), part of California State University, with past experience in designing, building, launching, and successfully operating student-led CubeSats. 3- the University of New Hampshire (UNH), a public university with over 50 years of space hardware experience, and a strong commitment to undergraduate research.



Student Collaboration Institutions, Sonoma State University


3.1 Mentors

Our mentors come from a variety of institutions including Howard University, Sonoma State University, and the University of New Hampshire, and serve many roles on the team.  Mentors also come from other institutions like GSFC, IMAP mission scientists, and engineers as well as near-peer mentors who have graduated from an undergraduate or graduate school and continue on with the project.

Howard University
Lead Mentor: Prof. Marcus Alfred, HU Physics and Astronomy
Mentor: Prof. Sonya T. Smith, HU Mechanical Engineering
Mentor: Prof. Charles Kim, HU Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer

Sonoma State University
Science Lead Mentor: Dr. Laura Peticolas, SSU Assoc. Director, EdEon STEM Learning
Mentor: Prof. Lynn Cominsky, SSU Director, EdEon STEM Learning
Mentor: Dr. Garrett Jernigan, Ret. Physics UCB (Obituary)
Mentor: Jeffrey Reedy, EdEon Technologist
Volunteer: Doug Clarke, Physicist Emeritus, Lawrence Livermore Labs

University of New Hampshire
PI: Dr. Noé Lugaz, UNH Student Collaboration Lead, UNH Physics and Space Science
Lindsay Bartolone, UNH Recruitment and Retention Lead
Lead Mentor: Prof. Marc Lessard, UNH Physics and Space Science
Sanjeev Mehta, UNH Research Project Engineer

3.2 Students

All three universities have participating undergraduate and graduate students.

Howard University
Oshione Adams - Electrical Engineering
Kelsy Coston - Mechanical Engineering
Ruth Davis - Mechanical Engineering
Matthew Gales - Mechanical Engineering
Wilson Jean Baptiste - Physics and Astronomy – Graduate Student
Tyrese Kierstdet - Electrical Engineering
Oluwatamilore Ogunbanjo - Computer Engineer
Myles Pope - Physics
Taran Richardson - Physics
Trinity Sager - Physics
Avery Williams - Electrical Engineering

Sonoma State University
Sabrina Blais - Biochemistry and Theatre Arts
Erik Castellanos-Vasquez - Physics, BS SSU; MS Aerospace Engineering UCLA
Jack Dawson - Physics, BS SSU
Erika Diaz Ramirez - Computer Science
Walter Foster - Electrical Engineering, BS SSU
Cristopher Gopar Carreno - Electrical Engineering
Haley Joerger- Computer Science
Onasis Mora - Physics
Aaron Russell - Physics
Alex Vasquez - Physics and  Astronomy, BS SSU; PhD Program at UC Irvine

University of New Hampshire
Kelly Bisson - Engineering Physics
Luke Bradley - Electrical Engineering
Jenna Burgett - Physics Graduate Student
Jeffrey Campbell - Engineering Physics, BS UNH
Mathieu Champagne - Mechanical Engineering
Alex Chesley - Mechanical Engineer, BS UNH
Jeff Grant - Mechanical Engineering, BS UNH
Hanyu Jiang - Engineering Physics, BS UNH
Jared King - Computer Science
Emily McLain    - Engineering Physics
Matthew Rollend - Electrical Engineer
Shane Woods - Computer Science

Pictures from our team from Summer 2021:



Suumer Program team



Suumer Program team



Summer Team Program