JPL and Caltech

JPL Caltech

Astrobiology research at JPL and Caltech

LEFT PHOTO (above): CAMPARE student Mario Cabrera views himself (on right) and his infrared image (on left). Mario worked on a project studying near Earth asteroids using the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite.

RIGHT PHOTO (above): Former CAMPARE student Stephanie Zajac posing in front of the full-scale, operational replica of the Mars Curiosity rover in its test bed at JPL. This replica was used for operational tests of the Curiosity rover before launch and during current operations on Mars.

Spend 10 weeks in the summer working with scientists at JPL and Caltech, two of the leading science research centers in the world. CAMPARE projects at these sites include:

  • Formation Mechanisms for Dunes Observed on Titan
  • Preliminary Analysis of WISE/NEOWISE 3-band Cryogenic and Post-Cryogenic Observations of Main Belt Asteroids
  • Instrumentation for Helioseismographic Observations of the Structure and Dynamics of the Solar Chromosphere and the Overlying Corona
  • Planetary Atmospheres Outside the Solar System



Program Details


Three Cal Poly Pomona students at JPL, including former CAMPARE student Stephanie Zajac (standing right). Gregory Villar (crouching right) now works at JPL as a Systems Engineer. Gregory worked on the Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity rover) flight project supporting operations development for the launch, cruise, approach, and entry, descent, and landing phases of the mission. Now that the rover is safely on the surface of Mars, he is a member of the operations team with the responsibility of planning scientific activities daily.

What is it?
Students will work for 10 weeks in the summer with scientists at JPL and Caltech on projects spanning the fields of astronomy, planetary and space science, and solar physics.

Who should apply?

Applicants must be United States Citizens or Permanent Residents and at least 18 years of age by the beginning of the program.  Applicants must be enrolled in one of the CAMPARE participating institutions at the time of their application.  Participants may not have graduated from their 4-year institution before the beginning of the summer internship, but community college students may be in the process of transferring to a 4-year institution.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must be have completed a full year of college-level physics by Summer 2014. Preference will be given to students with additional physics coursework.

When and How to Apply


Applications are due Friday, February 14, 2014; to apply to the program, fill out the on-line Application Form; in addition, have two (2) faculty members (or others familiar with your academic or work background) submit letters of reference on your behalf by e-mail only, preferably as a signed PDF attachment, to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


CAMPARE student Alex Vinson studied the dunes on Titan, Saturn's largest moon at JPL during the summer of 2012. Left: Method of radar imaging of a dune to find the dune's height via parallax. Right: Radar image of a dune taken by the Cassini spacecraft showing the foreshortening effect predicted on the left. Typical dune heights are 45-100 m (150-300 feet).

Indicate their names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses in your on-line application where appropriate. It is your responsibility to confirm that these letters have been sent and failure to obtain these two letters will render your application incomplete and lead to its rejection without review.


Successful students will be notified in March. The research program runs Monday, June 16th to Friday, August 22nd 2014 (10 weeks). The dates of the education/public outreach program at the University of Arizona will determined by the dates of Astronomy Camp and in consultation with the Director, Dr. Don McCarthy.

Financial support
$5000 for the full 10 weeks - in addition, participants will be provided with housing. Travel reimbursement is up to $500 for travel from home or campus to the Southern California area.

» Express Interest

If you have any questions about the program, please contact the CAMPARE Director, Professor Rudolph.



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AST-1322432.

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