This summer, I have the great fortune of being a Research Experience for Veteran Undergraduates Fellow, where I will be working under the direction of Dr. Marla Geha.

With the advent of multi-fiber spectroscopy, a multitude of data have become available to astronomers. By observing and identifying emission lines of the resulting spectra, one can determine the abundance of elements that exist within the dwarf galaxy populations. For the purpose of this research, particular attention will be paid to the Hydrogen Alpha emission line. By comparing the emission line to the continuum of the spectra, one can calculate the star formation rates (SFRs) that exist within these populations. Furthermore, an aperture correction can be performed in order to reduce the aperture bias that exists due to the geometry of the spectrometer fibers. This results in a more accurate measurement of SFRs. Using these SFRs, I will attempt to determine if these rates are influenced by the morphological features of the dwarf galaxies.

During this period I hope to learn, or improve on, the following:

  • Statistical Analysis for Astronomical Data
  • Modeling and fitting data
  • Aperture Correction Methods for Fiber Spectroscopy
  • Extracting Data from Stellar Spectroscopy
  • Technical Writing and Communication
  • Scientific Presentations

As the summer continues, and as I progress with this research, I intend to use this website to document my progress and pitfalls. My hope is that the information included here will help other aspiring astronomers in their scientific journies.