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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:  Eruption Timescales of the Columbia River Basalts
Disciplines:  Geology, Geophysics
Mentor:  Joseph Kirschvink, Nico and Marilyn Van Wingen Professor of Geobiolog, (GPS), kirschvink@?
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
AO Contact:  Joe Biasi,
Background:  This project aims to answer a fundamental question about the largest volcanic eruptions on earth: How long did the eruptions last?
We will answer this using a combination of paleomagnetism and thermal modeling. We will use the Columbia River Basalts in Oregon and Washington as our study area.
Description:  Week 1: Training in the lab including safety and use of instrumentation.
Weeks 2-4: Fieldwork in Oregon and Washington, including Goat Rocks Wilderness, WA; the Wallowa Mountains, OR; and Troy, OR.
Weeks 5-8: Demagnetization of samples collected during our fieldwork
Weeks 9-10: Data analysis and results

This SURF is ideal for a student who wants to spend time outside and very little time on a computer.

This is a collaborative project between Caltech, University of Oregon, Oregon State University, and the U.S. Geological Survey. There will be networking opportunities during this SURF.
References:  Potential applicants are encouraged to google image search "Goat Rocks Wilderness", "Wallowa Mountains", and "Grande Ronde River Valley".
Student Requirements:  Requrements:
Any lower-level GPS class (such as Ge1)
Ge124b: Paleomagnetism and Magnetostratigraphy. 9 units (3-3-3); third term (offered this spring)
Physical fitness*

*Portions of the fieldwork will be in remote areas without any access to civilization, bathroom facilities, or cell service. It will also involve lots of hiking and backpacking with heavy loads. There will be few luxuries, and at times you will be cold and wet. It will not be easy, but the views will be rewarding. Therefore the student must be physically capable of doing the work. Most athletes and other fairly fit students will qualify.

Ge124a: Paleomagnetism and Magnetostratigraphy. 6 units (0-0-6); third term (the lab portion of Ge124b).
Prior backpacking and/or hiking experience is a plus.
Any other GPS courses are also a plus.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    Caltech students only 

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

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