Valerie Bernstein


Valerie Bernstein, a Senior Astronomy & Astrophysics major, received a VURF Travel Grant to present her research at the American Geophysical Union 2016 Fall Meeting in San Francisco, CA.

On her experience:

"I attended the American Geophysical Union 2016 Fall Meeting in San Francisco from December 12th to December 16th. I presented a poster outlining my research examining the unresolved origin of long-duration solar gamma-ray flares, or flares that exhibit extended gamma-ray emission, which I completed at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder, CO as a 2016 summer REU student.

Over 22,000 students and scientists traveled to San Francisco for the conference. Hundreds of posters lined the poster hall during every morning and afternoon poster session. The schedule of events for the week was immensely dense, with numerous series of talks, workshops, and career-oriented events occurring simultaneously every hour. It became clear to me as I attempted to navigate the schedule the magnitude of the scope of scientific disciplines that fall under geophysics – the meeting included sessions for oceanography, volcanology, and planetary science, to name a few. I mainly attended talks and sessions related to solar physics and space weather, as these were the topics that most closely aligned with my research interests. The conference also offered a lot of great networking opportunities. While I was there, I met with my potential graduate advisor from the Aerospace Engineering department at the University of Colorado at Boulder at my poster. I also attended a NASA Heliophysics early career mixer, where I introduced myself to graduate students who study space weather at the University of Michigan.

I also designed a t-shirt which was sold at the meeting! My submission was selected as the winner of their design contest, and as the winner I was able to register for the conference for free."

Valerie's winning t-shirt design