NASA Awards U of A Pluto Lab Solar System Grant
The University of Arkansas Pluto Lab has joined the ranks of the campus' other planetary labs by earning NASA funding.
NASA awarded the lab its Solar System Workings grant.
The two-year grant is one of NASA's most prestigious. Only the top 20 percent of the nearly 400 proposals were funded. The funding will be used to purchase lab equipment, supplies and research travel. The grant will also help the lab draw more collaborators for future research.
Caitlin Ahrens, the Pluto Lab manager, is one of just four Pluto Lab managers in the country. Her research centers around the nature of ice on Pluto. The NASA grant will allow her to study more types of ice on the dwarf planet in an experimental setting.
Ahrens was a primary writer for the grant. Though she's excited to win the funding, she's almost more exited the writing process is over.
"Grant writing is like an Olympic sport," she said. "If you think graduate school is hard, you should try grant writing."
Ahrens is a space and planetary sciences doctoral student. She is advised by Dr. Vincent Chevrier, who is also the grant's Primary Investigator.
Amanda Cantu, director of communications
Graduate School and International Education
Patterson Hillaire, Kylie Hackworth, Katie Dobbins and Shaylee Wallace, all agricultural and extension education master's degree students, were recognized for teaching and poster presentations.
U of A student Crystal Baker is among previous grant recipients who are working as nurses in underserved areas of Arkansas.
University of Arkansas doctoral student Cesar Ruiz and professors Haitao Liao and Ed Pohl, along with Fuqiang Sun of Beihang University, received a "Best Paper" award for their paper.
Connect with the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer coordinator at the University of Arkansas for opportunities to participate in social events, mentor students or more.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the Sam M. Walton College of Business hosted four residential summer camps in June to introduce high school students to university life.