Dianna Cowern & Beach Physics Awarded Funding by Inaugural La Jolla Community Foundation Grants Program

Dianna Cowern receiving the "big check" with Susan McClellan of the LJCF (left) and Lucille Schindler of the UCSD Development Office (right)

Dianna Cowern receiving the “big check” with Susan McClellan of the LJCF (left) and Lucille Schindler of the UCSD Development Office (right). Photo courtesy Carol Hobson

Beach Physics was one of four programs to be awarded funding by the La Jolla Community Foundation, in their inaugural Foundation Grants program.  Beach Physics Creative Director Dianna Cowern (aka “The Physics Girl”) received the $8300 grant – the largest awarded this year – at an awards ceremony at Madison Gallery.  The grant will support two projects in 2015 that aim to enrich science education for La Jolla students and will move Beach Physics from online lessons to live events:

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Morehouse Fellow Christian Aganze Wins Poster Award at SACNAS

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Christian Aganze, a Morehouse-UCSD Bridge Fellow working in the Cool Star Lab, won a poster award at the 2014 National Conference of the Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists (SACNAS).  Christian won the award for his presentation of work done this summer to investigate the mysterious nature of GJ 660.1B, a cool companion to the nearby M0 dwarf GJ 660.1.  Using data in the SpeX Prism Library and published spectral index relations, Christian has found that this source is either very young or metal poor, but careful inspection supports the latter hypothesis.  This makes GJ 660.1B a new benchmark for metal-poor very low mass dwarfs, and is a cautionary tale for index-based gravity measures.

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Congratulations Christian!

Adam Burgasser Awarded Visiting Professorship at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias

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Cool Star Lab PI will be spending Fall 2014 in the Canary Islands, but it won’t quite be a vacation.  He has been awarded a Visiting Professorship to the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in La Laguna, Tenerife, through the Campus Atlántico Tricontinental program at La Laguna University, aimed at fostering collaborations between Europe, Africa and the Americas. Adam will work with Nicolas Lodieu, Zhenghua Zhang and Rafael Rebolo at the IAC, examining the spectral and multiplicative properties of ultracool subdwarfs.

A talk given by Adam at the IAC can be viewed at http://iactalks.iac.es/talks/view/672.

Dianna Cowern wins National Science Communication Award

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Cool Star Lab Outreach Coordinator Dianna Cowern took the top video prize at this year’s Flame Challenge, a national science communication contest run by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science headquartered at SUNY Stony Brook. Dianna was among hundreds of scientists who tackled the question “What is Color?”, using either video or written formats. Her video was judged as the best entry by over 27,000 11-year olds from around the world.  This is the third year of the Challenge; previous contests asked “What is a Flame?” and “What is Time?“.

Both Dianna and the winner of the written category Melanie Golob, received their awards from Alan Alda during an event at World Science Festival.  This event, hosted by Brian Greene, can be viewed here; the awards are announced toward the end.

Several news agencies reported Dianna’s win, including NBC News and io9, and UCSD profiled Dianna in This Week. You can see more of Dianna’s videos at her Physics Girl YouTube channel.

Congratulations Dianna!

 

 

Adam Burgasser Awarded UCSD Outstanding Mentor of the Year

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Adam Burgasser was one of two awardees at the 2014 Faculty Mentor Program (FMP) Outstanding Mentor of the Year Award, in a ceremony held during the FMP Undergraduate Research Symposium on May 28th. Adam was nominated by undergraduate researchers Aishwarya Iyer and Melissa Tallis, both members of the Cool Star Lab who presented at the Symposium. The Outstanding Mentor Award is selected based on student testimonials, innovative or unusual mentoring practices, and other considerations, such as the number of mentees served and years of service as a mentor to undergraduates.  The other award winner was Alan Daly in the Department of Education Studies. Adam is extremely honored by this award, and so appreciative to Aisha & Melisa for the nomination!