Summer Interns Deliver for NSSDC/SSDOO

Volume 12, Number 3, September 1996
By Nathan James

Becoming accustomed to a new learning environment, taking on a project involving unfamiliar terms, ideas, and processes, preparing and submitting both written and oral reports on accomplishments realized from a successful project, all within an eight- to ten-week period? And what about the tricky task of preparing such projects that would prove both beneficial to the organization and interesting to the student? These are the typical challenges of summer interns and their mentors at NSSDC/SSDOO. During this past summer NSSDC/SSDOO hosted 15 eager students from the following programs.

Joseph Atkins of Vassar College, New York, with Frank Husson as mentor assisted the NASA Automated Systems Incident Response Capability (NASIRC) group on a WWW implementation of the Management Oversight Risk-Tree analysis tool that proactively looks for problems before they occur.

Fernando Upshaw of the University of Arizona overseen by Michael Van Steenberg supported the ingestion of scientific data to a near-line environment to facilitate easy electronic access by the research community.

John Higginbotham of Pennsylvania State University under the guidance of Cynthia Cheung supported the development of the Astrophysics Multispectral Archive Search Engine (AMASE), an object-oriented on-line metadata catalog. He designed and developed several data management software tools and enhanced the AMASE user interface by creating new HTML pages.

Steve Geller of Duke University, overseen by Barry Jacobs, developed electronic handbooks for use on the World Wide Web (WWW) for the NASA Grants Office and the NASA Small Business Innovative Research Program Office.

Justin Ho of Montgomery Blair High School, guided by Shing Fung, performed time series and statistical analyses of the Dst and AE geomagnetic indices. For this task Justin converted a C program into an IDL routine and wrote a new IDL code. Finally, Justin used NSSDC's OMNIWeb and selected a number of time intervals with various solar wind and geomagnetic conditions for further analysis.

Keita Grant of Lincoln University with Shing Fung and Ramona Kessel as mentors performed an end-to-end test of a process to convert space physics data from their native format to the NSSDC Common Data Format (CDF). His task involved creating and editing a skeleton table" for different variables in energetic particle data from the Japanese OHZORA spacecraft and running the "MakeCDF" software for the generation of a CDF file.

Tracee Walker of Lincoln University, guided by Ramona Kessel, used the orbit plots available through the GifWalk system to look for favorable conjunctions when one or more spacecraft were crossing the Earth's bow shock with one of the others upstream monitoring the solar wind. She then used the CDAWeb system to plot data to find interesting events that became the basis for further scientific analysis.

Yvonne Langdon of Laurel High School under the guidance of Nathan James used NSSDC's Personnel Information Management System (PIMS) interface to update personnel records in the Interactive Request Activity and Name Directory (IRAND) data base. She also used Web page maintenance tools to locate, identify, and correct many errors found on various server-resident Web pages.

Jewel Haskins of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School under the tutelage of Nathan James assisted in the redesign effort of the Space Science Education/Outreach home page. She learned HTML and how to use the Photoshop graphics design package for the Macintosh. With this tool she designed new buttons, logos, and backgrounds for the new education pages.

Yvette Langdon of Laurel High School with Robert Candey as mentor researched the Web; created a library of useful Web tools, references, and objects; and developed Web pages for the SHARP program and summer interns in NSSDC/SSDOO.

Genievee Cuizon of Duval High School, guided by Dieter Bilitza, subsetted, filtered, and plotted Atmospheric Explorer (AE) ionospheric parameters from NSSDC's AE CD-ROM. She first selected a subset of data by parameter, time span, and altitude range. She then created IDL software to display graphically the subsetted data.

Ron Fitzpatrick of Duval High School, overseen by Emily Greene, worked on programs to compare the data holdings in the ISTP/CDHF project with those held in NSSDC/SSDOO's near-line NASA Data Archive and Distribution Service (NDADS) and on-line CDAWeb environments. This work resulted in a list of missing files that were subsequently transmitted from the CDHF to NDADS.

Jane Yang of Duval High school with Emily Greene as mentor worked on maintenance and development of space physics data management planning Web pages. Jane will continue working at NSSDC/SSDOO part-time throughout her senior year.

Angela Prince of Bennett College - Greensboro, North Carolina, guided by Elise Blaese, worked on the evaluation of the Life Science Data Archive (LSDA) WWW pages from a college student's perspective. She developed tasks to evaluate usability and had students perform these tasks and provide feedback.

Ann Beck, a graduate student at Purdue University, worked with David Leisawitz and others in the creation of "The Virtual Universe" to be made available over the Web. Ann is writing the explanatory text by which students and other laypersons will comprehend what they experience.

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Miranda Beall, beall@nssdca.gsfc.nasa.gov, (301) 286-0162
Hughes STX, Code 633, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771, U.S.A.

Erin D. Gardner, gardner@nssdca.gsfc.nasa.gov, (301) 286-0163
Hughes STX, Code 633, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771, U.S.A.



NASA home page GSFC home page GSFC organizational page

Author:Miranda Beall
Curators: Erin Gardner and Miranda Beall
Responsible Official: Dr. Joseph H. King, Code 633
Last Revised: 21 Nov 1996 [EDG]