August 6, 2020
Langham Creek High School senior Leanh Nguyen participated in the Student Enhancement in Earth and Space Science summer internship hosted by the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Space Research. He and other students selected for the competitive program worked with NASA subject matter experts to conduct research.
Aug. 6, 2020—Langham Creek High School senior Leanh Nguyen was selected for the Student Enhancement in Earth and Space Science (SEES) summer internship hosted by the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Space Research.
The prestigious program is sponsored by NASA’s Texas Space Grant Consortium and selects students from across the nation to conduct authentic research using NASA data. Nguyen worked with NASA subject matter expert, Teresa Howard and conducted investigations as part of the Emergency Response 2020 team.
“From the get-go, we already knew what our focus was: analyzing floods in the context of severe climate change,” Nguyen said. “The only question was how? How could we create both a memorable and functional project?
“So, we set out to create a web app that would allow a user to input any date and location to analyze a flood. What we wanted to do was not only develop a local solution on analyzing floods for relief programs but also showcase the rising danger in climate change’s effect on regular storms. In the end, we hope through future iterations, our web app can be used as a tool in future research and relief programs.”
During the program, interns focused on a recent flood, wildfire or tropical storm event, reviewed satellite image datasets from NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the U.S. Geological Survey collected before, during and after the event, and tested best practices for rapid information extraction from these data. They used image analysis and investigated related geospatial information resources with the goal of creating and distributing products for emergency response applications and societal benefit.
Teams were formed around an aerospace or space science theme drawn from NASA’s diverse engineering and scientific research programs. SEES sponsored several challenges for the teams, which included designing Mars habitats, exploring lunar environments, tracing COVID-19 using NASA technologies and examining the relationship of observed mosquito habitats to land cover and environmental data obtained from satellites.
“Overall, I learned so much from this experience and I hope our project can accomplish a lot for communities in the future,” Nguyen said.