Several Hope College projects have received grants from the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC).

A total of nine projects from Hope received funding from the consortium through its 2012-13 grant period. The awards to Hope projects, which total approximately $34,000, include six fellowships for students conducting collaborative research with members of the faculty, two “seed grants” for faculty research, and joint support through MSGC’s public outreach and teacher training initiatives.  The awards to the college included six of the 21 student fellowships and two of the eight research seed grants that the consortium funded.

Hope will provide additional support for each of the projects, including stipends for the students as they conduct research during the summer, and matching funds for the faculty and institutional projects.

The students receiving fellowships were:  senior Heather Brown of Holland, who will work on “Equipment design for the study of coastal dune processes” with Dr. Brian Yurk, assistant professor of mathematics; sophomore Matthew Hemenway of Ionia, who will work on “”Patches to Blowouts: Field Studies of The Development of Blowout Dunes Along Lake Michigan” with Dr. Edward Hansen, professor of geology and environmental science; freshman Jesse Ickes of Grandville, who will work on “Resonant Compton Scattering and the High-Energy Tails of Magnetars” with Dr. Peter Gonthier, professor of physics; freshman Andrew Johnson of Williamston, who will work on “Understanding Fermi Gamma-ray Pulsars in Terms of Gamma-ray Emission Models” with Gonthier; junior Daniel Langholz of Ramstein, Germany, who will work on “Experimental investigation of aluminum plate failure due to projectile impact loading” with Dr. Roger Veldman, professor of engineering; and sophomore Joshua Swett of Zeeland, who will work on “Design and Implementation of an 8-Tetrahedron Robot” with Dr. Miguel Abrahantes, associate professor of engineering.

The two faculty seed grants were awarded to Dr. Vicki-Lynn Holmes, assistant professor of mathematics and education, for “Teacher Assessment of Scientific Knowledge (TASK): A Program Evaluation of the Hope College Watershed Science Workshops and Academies”; and Dr. Jianhua Li, associate professor of biology, for “Unraveling the differential speciation rates of eastern Asian and eastern North American disjunct plant genera based on plastid genome data.  The grants are designed for junior faculty, to develop research expertise that will position them to earn support from other sources in the future.

The support through the public outreach and teacher training initiatives was awarded to Dr. Catherine Mader, professor of physics, for “Hope College Watershed Science Academies and Workshops,” which will provide summer experiences for high school students to design experiments focused on the area watershed and for area teachers to learn how they can integrate inquiry-based lessons focused on the watershed into their classrooms.  The project is a collaborative effort of the college’s Center for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Inquiry and the Outdoor Discovery Center, with teacher Jennifer Soukhome, who teaches biology and environmental science at Zeeland West High School, and Hope faculty member Dr. Graham Peaslee, who is the Elmer E. Hartgerink Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Geology/Environmental Science.

The Michigan Space Grant Consortium seeks to foster awareness of, education in, and research on space-related science and technology in Michigan.  Hope and Calvin College are the only undergraduate colleges that are members of the consortium, which also includes Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Oakland University, Saginaw Valley State University, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University.