AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 76 Instruments for Small College Observatories
Poster, Tuesday, 9:20am-6:30pm, January 10, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[76.04] Undergraduate Research Possibilities with a 0.6m Telescope

M. T. Carini, D. Barnaby, R. Gelderman, S. Marchenko, C.H. McGruder III, L. Strolger (WKU)

We present a discussion of the research projects that are being carried out by undergraduate students with the 0.6m telescope at the Bell Observatory, operated by Western Kentucky University. As a primarily undergraduate institution, our goal is to provide a meaningful undergraduate educational experience through both quality instruction and engagement of students in mentored research activities. Such activities not only enhance the student’s educational experience, but also prepare them to be competitive in graduate school and/or the workplace. Using our modernized 0.6m telescope, our students pursue research projects which investigate a variety of astrophysically interesting problems: variability of Blazars, eclipsing binary stars, Gamma-ray burst identifications and follow up, photometric searches for extra-solar planets, supernova monitoring and survey programs, the relationship between morphological disturbances and activity in Seyfert nuclei, and variability in Wolf Rayet stars. We discuss the instrumentation, projects and results obtained by our undergraduate students, and the impact this has had on their undergraduate experience.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
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