The Contributions of the WIYN Observatory to Undergraduate Education

Type Conference Paper
Names Eric Hooper, WIYN Consortium
Proceedings Title American Astronomical Society
Conference Name AAS Meeting #223, #445.07
Date January 1, 2014
Library Catalog
Abstract Over its nearly 20 year history the WIYN Observatory has provided crucial data for numerous undergraduate research projects at the partner institutions (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana University, and Yale University) plus others who access the telescope via national time from NOAO. WIYN and its instruments have served both undergraduates who are local to each institution, as well as those who have a temporary tenure as Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) students. The topics of this work range widely, and only a few examples are listed here. Numerous studies of stars have been undertaken by undergraduates, from rotation velocities of pre-main sequence stars (Rhode et al.) to dynamical heating mechanisms in open clusters (Friel et al.). Extragalactic investigations range from a study of cold ISM in galaxies near the centers of rich clusters (Gallagher & Hooper, et al.) to the stellar populations of post-starburst galaxies hosting low-level AGN (Wolf & Hooper, et al.). Students have made wide use of WIYN's long established suite of facility instruments, which currently includes the Hydra multi-object fiber spectrograph, the SparsePak integral field unit fiber spectrograph, and the WHIRC near-infrared imager. A current undergraduate is a key player in final laboratory testing of two new integral field units that will come to WIYN soon. Finally, the new large format imager pODI currently is in science operation, soon to be followed by an upgrade to nearly four times the current imaging area, a powerful tool that will join the others in contributing to undergraduate research and education. This presentation is a continuation of the overview of WIYN contributions to education that began with a discussion of graduate education at the Indianapolis AAS (Hooper, AAS Meeting #222, #214.23).
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