Career Management Services

Alissa Oppenheimer

Alissa Oppenheimer

Solar Observation NSF Funded REU

Major/Minor: Space Sciences: Earth, Solar & Planetary Sciences
Employer: University of Alabama, Huntsville- Center for Space Plasma & Aeronomic Research
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Duration: May-August 2012
Graduating: May 2013

Personal Story: I received an email from Dr. Joseph Dwyer about heliophysics research in Huntsville, Alabama. I immediately filled out the application and asked Dr. Dwyer and Dr. Daniel Batcheldor for recommendation letters. Once I was accepted and went to Huntsville, my adviser, Dr. Amy Winebarger and her post-doctoral assistant Dr. Fana Mulu-Moore and research assistant Samaiyah Farid assigned my project which was to help create an automatic detection program to map coronal loops on the Sun using Interactive Data Language (IDL). I used data from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) for my research.

The research group is sending me to San Francisco in December for the American Geophysical Union Meeting where I am presenting my research, “The Automatic Detection of Coronal Loops from SDO-AIA Data.”

Technical Challenges:

  • Using the Solar Dynamics Observatory- Atmospheric Imaging Assembly
  • Coding in Linux
  • Coding in IDL
  • Creating video with IDL
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