Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

News

CLaSP researcher participates in NASA showcase on Capitol Hill

Posted: August 2, 2018

CLaSP researcher participates in NASA showcase on Capitol Hill Ben Alterman (r) talks with former Secretary of the Army, Eric Fanning (l)

Climate & Space graduate student research assistant Ben Alterman recently presented U-M's contributions to the upcoming Parker Solar Probe mission (due to launch August 11, 2018) at the Coalition for Aerospace and Science (CAS) Showcase of NASA Partnerships and Collaboration.

The Washington, D.C. event honored Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) for his work as a champion of aerospace and science and featured presentations of projects working in partnership and collaboration with NASA. Sen. Nelson provided brief remarks on the importance of space exploration to uniting communities and promoting science. He highlighted the support that Congress provides for researchers and expressed his passion for space exploration and the use of American-made rockets.

Mr. Alterman, who is a Ph.D candidate in the U-M Applied Physics Program, spent the day meeting with Congressional staffers discussing the importance of NASA, the benefits of Parker Solar Probe, the significance of Space Weather, and the high value of graduate education. His presentation focused on the current status of the Parker Solar Probe mission, and discussed the significance for Parker mission's results for our understanding of the origin and evolution of the solar wind and why those results are meaningful for us here on Earth.

Ben says he's grateful for the opportunity. "I was told during one meeting that graduate students are one of our most valuable forms of technology transfer. That really drove home the extent to which not only my education is a gift, but it leaves me with a responsibility to use my skills for the public good. It was strikingly clear how important it is for us as scientists to develop the skills necessary to communicate the importance of our work to a broader audience, and to ensure that we discuss our work with Congress and the rest of our community."