2013 Annual Science Report

Carnegie Institution of Washington Reporting  |  SEP 2012 – AUG 2013

EPO Activity: Summer Interns in Astrobiology 2013

Project Progress

Every summer, the Carnegie Summer Intern Program brings competitively-selected high school and college undergraduate students to our campus for an intensive 10-week experience in original scientific research. Fundamental investigations in the geosciences (experimental petrology, mineralogy, mineral physics, seismology), planetary sciences and astronomy, and related chemical sciences (inorganic and organic geochemistry, cosmochemistry) are pursued. Throughout the summer, students also tour other DC area research facilities and attend Carnegie’s weekly seminars. At the end of the program, students report on the results of their research at a symposium. Several interns have been lead authors of related articles later published in scientific journals. In summer 2013, three interns were mentored by members of Carnegie’s NAI team. Two undergraduates from George Mason University worked with team member Dionysis Foustoukos on oxidation of methane under mild hydrothermal conditions.  One high school student worked with PI George Cody to study the role of transition metal catalysts in partial oxidation reactions as they relate to the formation of organic compounds in primitive Earth. Support for this program comes from a grant from the National Science Foundation as well as from Carnegie funds.