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SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program. Additional AOs for the Amgen Scholars program can be found here.

Specific GROWTH projects being offerred for summer 2019 can be found here.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be
U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

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Project:  Supercritical CO2 Extraction and on-line Chromatography for Ocean Worlds
Disciplines:  Chemistry/Chemical Engineering, Instrument Development
Mentor:  Bryana Henderson, (JPL),, Phone: (818) 354-2416
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
Background:  With future in situ missions to Ocean Worlds now within reach, new instrumentation technologies are needed for accurate analysis of biomarkers and chiral species (one of the key indicators of life) from complex or unknown matrix materials. We are currently building a new instrument that combines our prior work in supercritical CO2 extraction with chromatography. This will enable us to extract and separate a wide variety of organics, including chiral species, from complex sample materials. The goal of this project is to extract, separate, and detect biomolecules from complex materials, including mixed ice/regolith (soil) and seawater samples. Successful demonstration of extraction and separation of biomolecules with this instrument will pave the way for future development of this technology for missions to icy worlds such as Europa.
Description:  The Intern will conduct an analytical survey of biomolecule extraction efficiencies using our supercritical CO2 extraction system coupled with various analytical tools. Soil samples in either solid or aqueous form will be doped with known biomolecules and then extractions will be conducted at various temperature and co-solvent concentrations to determine the recovery yields.
References:  McCaig, Heather C., et al. "Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction of Coronene in the Presence of Perchlorate for In Situ Chemical Analysis of Martian Regolith." Astrobiology 16.9 (2016): 703-714.
Kendall, Christian G., et al. "Amine Analysis Using AlexaFluor 488 Succinimidyl Ester and Capillary Electrophoresis with Laser-Induced Fluorescence." Journal of analytical methods in chemistry 2015 (2015).
Student Requirements:  Applicants who have backgrounds in analytic chemistry and experience in laboratory experimentation (especially pipetting, chromatography, mass spectrometry or other detection techniques) are encouraged to apply for this position.
Location / Safety:  Project building and/or room locations: . Student will need special safety training: Yes.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    both Caltech and non-Caltech students 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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