From surf, turf and sky, NASA and VCU’s Rice Rivers Center deliver an immersive summer experience for undergraduates

In its inaugural session on the East Coast, the environmental research program taps VCU expertise and facilities to give 22 students from across the nation a hands-on role in high-level work.

Students participating NASA program
Photo by Allen Jones, Enterprise Marketing and Communications

This summer, NASA brought its Student Airborne Research Program to the East Coast for the first time with the help of Virginia Commonwealth University faculty and the team at VCU’s Rice Rivers Center. SARP-East, which began in June and runs through July, engages undergraduate students from colleges nationwide in a real-world NASA research campaign on the ground, in the sky and in the water.

The program offers students an experience they would get as NASA scientists – and the kind of experiential learning that VCU supports for all undergraduates. Greg Garman, Ph.D., director of the Rice Rivers Center, noted that for many undergraduates across the country, much of their education happens on a whiteboard or in a PowerPoint presentation. SARP-East lets them use the high-tech tools that power modern research.

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