Saturday, August 8, 2020

OCCC student wins NASA grant to study micrometeorites

A rising star studies falling stars

Latest articles

Black Belt teaches women’s self-defense in ‘dangerous’ Lincoln City

As a female in one of Oregon’s most dangerous cities, Tiffany Richards would be the wrong woman to pick on in an empty parking lot — one of the places where women are often assaulted.

Lincoln County Jail inmates to receive free tablets with no internet

Lincoln County Jail staff will have a new tool to supervise inmates and help them gain basic life skills with a new tablet program designed to reward good study habits and keep offenders out of custody.

Coast Guard rescues injured fisherman 150 miles off Newport shore

The Coast Guard medevaced an injured fisherman Tuesday from a 63-foot commercial fishing boat operating about 150 miles offshore from Yaquina Bay, Oregon.

Bridge work will close West Devils Lake Road

A section of NE West Devils Lake Road will be partially, then fully shutdown while Stayton-based contractor, HP Civil Inc., replaces a bridge, causing detours to Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital.

COVID-19 outbreak at Hillside Place senior community

Lincoln County Public Health and Hillside Place of Lincoln City announced today the results of testing of all staff and residents done on Friday.

Students at Samaritan Early Learning Center enjoy wealth of new books

The young readers at Samaritan Early Learning Center have a newly expanded library, thanks to a $1,700 grant from the Walter R. Behrens Foundation, which funds charitable, literary and educational enrichment opportunities in North Lincoln County.

OSP identifies deceased female found near Otter Rock

Oregon State Police issued a news release at 2:11 p.m. July 31, identifying the deceased female found on the beach near Otter Rock

Joe the Sea Lion getting a new coat

Concerned citizens who were worried about Nelcott's Joe the Sea Lion being the target of vandals can rest easy as the City of Lincoln City is in the process of restoring the statue.

Driver who crashed into house in stable condition

The driver of a car that crashed into a house on NW Jetty Thursday is listed in stable condition according to Legacy Emanuel Hospital staff in Portland. 

Health advisory lifted for D River Beach

The Oregon Health Authority today lifted a public health advisory for contact with marine water at D River Beach located in Lincoln City.

Related articles

Bill Lilley and Haley Dean, collecting metallic samples in Taft with the aid of a powerful magnet.

Oregon Coast Community College student Haley Dean recently received some very big, very small news.

Haley’s big idea was to apply for a NASA grant to help fund her search for tiny extraterrestrials – micrometeorites.

In November, she submitted a project for consideration by the Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium’s SCORE Program. The SCORE (STEM Community-College Opportunity for Research Experience) Program offers $800 grant awards to community college students conducting research that aligns with NASA’s varied interests.

More than 4,000 tons of micrometeorites fall towards the earth each year. A fraction of them make it to the surface.

The OCCC student’s attempt is not the first in Oregon. Her project overview cites a Portland study searching for micrometeorites on rooftops – a search that was unsuccessful. Instead, Haley intends to look to the churning sands of the beaches of the Oregon Coast in winter to find micrometeorites. In addition to sifting sand with sieves or by hand, she will use powerful magnets to seek her quarry. Meteorites are mostly metallic and magnets will help collect them – along with other small particles that may be volcanic or industrial (man-made) in origin. Those will be sorted by size to help identify potential micrometeorites, which will then be examined using Oregon State University’s high-powered electron microscope.

Assisting Haley in the study will be her mentor, Bill Lilley, who teaches in the sciences at OCCC. Matthew Fisher, science faculty at OCCC and the College’s Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium Represented, signed off on the proposal, which Haley has dubbed “Project Stardust: The Search for Micrometeorites in the Oregon Coastal Environments.”

Haley says she’s inspired by the project – and that the project, in turn, was inspired by a chance enrollment in Lilley’s course, “Environmental Science: A Geologic Perspective.” She was having a meeting with her academic advisor at OCCC when they both noticed her schedule had room for a course in the science sequence. On their recommendation, she enrolled in Environmental Science.

“That class changed my life. I’ve changed my entire career path – now that I know you can run and play and dig and do important work. How many people,” she asked, “get to go deal with intense and grand concepts like climate change, and really make an impact?”

The name “Project Stardust” is borrowed from Jon Larsen, a genuine citizen scientist. As reported in the June 2017 edition of Wired magazine, the idea for the project and the book Larsen wrote on the topic literally fell into his lap.

“The Norwegian jazz musician was dining on his porch one day eight years ago,” the article begins, “when a rock tumbled out of the sky onto the table. It was shiny, rough, and metallic. Baffled, he did what anyone would do: He googled shiny rocks that fall from the sky.” He went on to collect more than 40,000 samples of possible micro-meteorites, winding up with a collection of more than 500 confirmed specimens. Larsen’s book, “In Search of Stardust: Amazing Micro-Meteorites and Their Terrestrial Imposters” is one of the references cited in Haley’s project summary.

She says that any micrometeorites discovered during her research will be “retained by Oregon Coast Community College. After the research, these will be offered to NASA, Oregon State University, Oregon State Geology Department, and the Smithsonian Institute.”

Her project summary also notes that this research is “crucial to establishing evidence of micrometeorites in Oregon coastal environments and providing the opportunity for a woman on a STEM career path invaluable research experience.”

The Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium requires that Haley submit a report on her findings no later than May 22, 2020.

Follow OCCC on Facebook and Instagram (@occcsharks) for updates as Haley’s research continues. Learn more about OCCC’s science courses and how you can launch your STEM career through a challenging, rewarding, and affordable two-year transfer degree at Oregon Coast Community College – a degree you can take to Oregon State University or elsewhere in pursuit of your four-year science degree. Find more and schedule an appointment with an academic advisor at oregoncoastcc.org/start-here.

- Advertisement -
Dave Price
Dave Pricehttps://www.oregoncoastcc.org/
Director of Marketing & Community Engagement, Small Business Development Center Director MBA, Oregon State University BS Journalism, University of Kansas

RELATED ARTICLES

Free award-winning disaster class teaches preparedness

If you've ever wondered what to do during a zombie outbreak or asteroid strike, then Oregon Coast Community College's "Disaster Preparedness for the Pacific Northwest" class is for you.

Most popular

Fire strikes historic Otis Cafe on Independence Day

North Lincoln Fire Rescue units swarmed the Otis Cafe shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday to combat a fully involved fire at the iconic restaurant.

Highway 101 hole prompts ODOT to call in geologists

Oregon Department of Transportation officials have called in geologists Thursday to take core samples of a hole on southbound Highway 101 in Otis.

Local men face drug, weapons charges following ATF search and arrest raid

Two Lincoln City men and a Cloverdale resident were charged Wednesday after Special Agents from the ATF Seattle Field Division executed multiple federal search and arrest warrants in Lincoln City.

Lincoln City ‘lockdown protesters’ on Highway 101

A group of people lined Highway 101 in Lincoln City Wednesday to display signs with different messages in protest of Governor Kate Brown's Executive Order and other actions which shut down Oregon amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Carjacking in Otis: Three arrested, one ‘armed and dangerous’ still at large

A Lincoln County Sheriff's Office investigation has led to the arrest of three individuals surrounding a carjacking in Otis Monday night and a fourth suspect remains at large and is considered armed and dangerous.

Lincoln City closes lodging with unanimous vote

Lincoln City will join other cities in Lincoln County who have been working to draft a joint declaration ordering lodging to close.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisements -

Trending