Amelia Shirtz, (Amelia is pictured sixth from the left) was selected to work as an undergraduate research assistant at Kitt Peak National Observatory.  The objective of this research experience for undergraduates was to work closely with a National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) scientist on a research project at the forefront of contemporary astrophysics and to gain experience in astronomical data reduction and analysis.  Shirtz's research assistant position was offered through the NSF-Funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program. 

When asked about her experience, Shirtz said, "I worked with LSST (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope) scientists on learning how to process and analyze optical data for the whole sky.  This meant learning how to use a Mac computer and a variety of different computer languages and programs that had either astronomical uses or that were for astronomical data analysis." 

The following pictures with accompanying captions are courtesy of Amelia Shirtz:












This image is a view of most of the telescopes on top of the mountain.  The skies aren't usually so cloudy but this was during Arizona's rainy season.

The Very Large Array Dish (VLA) is a large multiple dish radio telescope that we visited as part of our program.  This is an image of one the dishes.  The picture below is of students inside of a VLA.




This sunset view is from the catwalk that on the outside of the dome for the 2.1 meter telescope on Kitt Peak.  Part of using the telescope start up procedure is walking along the catwalk to look for damage and to make sure nothing will impede the movement of the dome.  The telescopes in the image are the WYIN telescopes.