Jackson Begolka is a third year University of Iowa mechanical engineering major
Thursday, March 23, 2023
Jackson Begolka

Jackson Begolka, a third year University of Iowa mechanical engineering major, has been accepted into a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) airborne research program for undergraduate students.  

The Student Airborne Research Program (SARP) is offered by the Research and Analysis program of the NASA Earth Sciences Division and is in its 15th year. Begolka will be part of the inaugural class of SARP East, which is based in Newport News, Va. and will occur over the summer.

The Des Moines native was inspired after taking Physical Meteorology and Atmospheric Radiative Transfer, a class taught by Matthew McGill, professor of chemical and biochemical engineering. McGill noticed Begolka performing at graduate student level and a strong interest in developing environmental sensors and urged him to apply.

“SARP East will use the living laboratory of the complex, coupled human natural system of the Chesapeake Bay and its associated airshed and watershed and leverage existing ground-based scientific infrastructure,” according to NASA. 

The cohort of 24 undergraduates engage with data cyber infrastructure, research aircraft, airborne instrumentation, research fight planning, and other topics, as well as attend lectures, dinners, and tours, and deliver presentations.  

The students will work with subject matter experts from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Langley Research Center, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the EPA, NOAA, and other agencies.