Undergraduate Geology Student Wins Prestigious Internship at NASA's Lunar and Planetary Institute

Internship Involves Remote Sensing and Mapping of Venus

Sabrina Martinez, a geology major in UH’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, was selected for a summer internship at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI). The institute is located near NASA Johnson Space Center, on the south side of Houston.

Sabrina MartinezOn NASA's behalf, LPI provides leadership in the scientific community for research in lunar, planetary and solar system sciences, and linkage with related terrestrial programs. Each year, LPI’s internship selection committee invites about 12 undergraduates from all over the world to participate in the program. Interns must have at least 50 semester hours of credit to experience the cutting-edge research in lunar and planetary sciences.

Interns work one-on-one with a scientist at LPI or NASA Johnson Space Center on a research project of current interest in the field. Each intern participates in peer-reviewed research, learns from leading planetary scientists, and can preview various careers in science.

Martinez’ assigned project will be "Geology and Topography of Nissaba Corona, Eistla Regio, Venus.” For this project, she will use side angle radar images from the satellite Magellan and stereo altimetry derived from them to make a geologic map of the area that includes both impact and volcanic features.

The 10-week program runs from June 5 - August 11. Each intern receives a $5,675 stipend plus $1,000 U.S. travel stipend, or a $1,500 foreign travel reimbursement for foreign interns. The only previous EAS undergraduate to be selected for the LPI summer internship program was Lilian Shaffer in 2011.

For many interns this is a defining moment when they decide whether or not to follow an academic path. While past interns can be found all over the world and in a variety of occupations, all share the common bond of their summer in Houston.

Information on the LPI intern program, including an archive of all past interns selected for the program since 1977, can be found at this link: www.lpi.usra.edu/lpiintern/