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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 2018 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:  Europa Clipper
Disciplines:  Biology/Bioengineering, microbiology, clinical microbiology
Mentor:  Hyung Park, (JPL),, Phone: (818) 354-2173
Background:  The icy moons of Jupiter, Callisto, Europa, and Ganymede, may harbor environmental conditions conducive to extraterrestrial life. NASA is embarking on an orbiter mission to characterize the surface of Europa to understanding the hypothesized presence of surface oceans, key chemical elements, and a source of chemical energy. The orbiter will provide insights about Europas native composition and implications for life. To ensure the orbiter will not contaminate Europa for current and future missions, the spacecraft undergoes microbial cleaning along with cleanliness from any organic contamination that might affect the in-situ investigations for bio-signatures. To meet this requirement, the spacecraft is assembled in cleanrooms under strict controls with microbial verification of components using methods such as Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (LAL) assay, bioburden, ATP assay, rapid spore assay, etc. are used to assess the spacecraft cleanliness.
Description:  The objectives of the proposed project are the following:

Review microbial test methods and its equipment to assess how to reduce false positive results and/or address possible concerns about its functionality (Media Clave + Media Jet Pour Plating, Sourcing/designing new sonication bottle/tube holder, etc.)
Perform Performance Qualification (PQ) with test methods and/or proposed changes to test setup/equipment
Environmental Monitoring (EM) assessment of lab space and possible improvements to the setup and process
Assisting in archive work and sample processing in the lab
Student Requirements:  Microbiology background with experience in microbial labs, microbial techniques, and working with live cultures.

Experience with performing verification/validation process and aseptic techniques are a benefit.
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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