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NASA selects ASU undergraduate 'CubeSat' project to measure Phoenix urban heat islands

NASA has selected an Arizona State University undergraduate student team for a $200,000 grant to conduct hands-on flight research, through its NASA Space Grant Undergraduate Student Instrument Program (USIP).

The project, called “Phoenix,” is to design and build a small satellite, the size of a small loaf of bread, called a “3U CubeSat.” The satellite will use thermal infrared imaging to investigate how human activity and weather create urban heat islands around Phoenix and several other cities.

Studying the 'global race for talent'

Wei Li is has spent the past several months working on a prestigious Fulbright project — for the second time.

Li recently returned from New Delhi, where she was the Fulbright-Nehru Senior Scholar at the Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Li studies intellectual migration — when highly educated and skilled people leave or return to their home countries. She has been researching these coveted workers for nearly 20 years, including a Fulbright project in Canada 10 years ago.

How will global change impact terrestrial plant communities?

Terrestrial plant communities include forests, woodlands, shrublands and grasslands. The health of all these vegetation communities is critical to humans — not just because of how we draw on them directly for food, feed for animals and other resources, but because plant communities pay a key role in processing carbon, oxygen, water and nitrogen, and thus impact the earth’s oceans, atmosphere and climate.

The question of renewable energy on tribal lands

The Navajo Nation has one of the most valuable mineral resources among any Native American reservation in the United States, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Add renewable-energy sources to that: winds scudding across mesas and sunlight baking the high deserts on the 27,000-square-mile reservation.

Yet thousands live without power or water, in a place where 43 percent fall below the poverty line and unemployment stands at 42 percent, according to the Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development.