UCA faculty news

Mark Spitzer, assistant professor of writing, recently had his “Garfish Ode” accepted by The Oxford American. His essay “In Search of Massive Missouri Gar” was accepted by Rougarou.Debra L. Burris, an assistant professor of Physics and Astronomy at UCA, recently attended the CLEA workshop sponsored by Gettysburg College and the NSF. CLEA (Contemporary Laboratory Exercises in Astronomy) hosts a workshop every two years that is limited to 20 participants. The acceptance rate is less than 50 percent, as these workshops are highly sought after by astronomy educators.

The 10-day workshop consisted of hands-on experience with the new CLEA and Virtual Observatory (VIREO) software, with ideas about how to adapt them for all levels of classes. Other workshops included imaging using infrared and radio technology. In the evening, participants used the Gettysburg observatory to take images using the various CCD and Video feed cameras available. The last two days of the workshop involved travel to Green Bank, WV to work at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory where the participants collected data that helped dissect the structure of the Galaxy. Burris’ group collected radio data using the 40ft telescope and were able to map the motion of neutral Hydrogen clouds in the Galaxy’s spiral arms. This project will provide a starting point for a new undergraduate project to continue mapping the structure by requesting further observing time on the NRAO 40ft telescope.