Jordan Bartlett

Jordan graduated in the spring of 2020 from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in astrophysics and minors in physics and English. During her time in undergrad, she was a member of the High-Altitude Ballooning Team and worked mostly on developing a mock-cubesats for the team. She currently is a graduate student at […]


Dr. Carl Isaacson, Ph.D.

Dr. Carl Isaacson has been the Affiliate Director of the Minnesota Space Grant Consortium at Bemidji State University since 2014 and works at the University’s Center of Environmental, Economic, Earth, and Space Studies. Dr. Isaacson is a chemist whose primary research interest is improving water quality. Over his career he has worked on both organic […]


Steven Hauschildt

Steven Hauschildt is from Millville, Minnesota, and worked on a masters degree in aquatic biology at Bemidji State University. His project looked at perch growth from hatch through the first several weeks of development and how human inputs to surface water influences this development.


Dr. Keith Stein, Ph.D.

Dr.Keith Stein is a professor in the Physics & Engineering Department at Bethel University in Arden Hills, Minnesota. Dr. Stein has a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, with past research activities focusing on the modeling of parachute dynamics and fluid-structure interactions. Dr. Stein is currently involved in student-faculty studies of compressible flows and shock waves, including […]


Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is from Centerville, Minnesota, and majored in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. He was active with both High-Altitude Ballooning Team and the Rocket Team at the U of M throughout his undergraduate career. He now works as a systems engineer at Boeing, supporting interface control for […]


Dr. Thelma Berquo, Ph.D.

Dr. Thelma Berquo is a faculty member in the physics department at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. She has been working with magnetic characterization of geological and lab prepared iron oxides samples. The iron phases are present on Earth and are analogs of phases on Mars’s surface. Mossbauer spectroscopy is used to investigate the contribution […]


Akshay Naik

Akshay began doing research at the University of Minnesota as a high school student through MnSGC’s High-Altitude Ballooning Lab and the Small Satellite (CubeSat) Lab. Akshay originally started working on a project to develop a mathematical model of the relationship between the power produced by a solar cell and the altitude of a solar cell […]


Dr. John Zobitz, Ph.D.

Dr. John Zobitz is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he has worked since 2007. Dr. Zobitz’s research involves the acquisition and processing of data collected through NASA. Primarily this includes ground-based terrestrial earth observation data (eddy covariance data of net carbon […]


Mike Alves

Mike Alves in an alumnus of Augsburg University, where he studied Chemistry. In 2015, he researched human breath using mass spectrometric techniques, looking for and successfully identifying major breath compounds that are biomarkers for bodily processes. Currently, he is at the University of California-San Diego pursuing a PhD in Analytical and Atmospheric Chemistry, funded for […]


Ethan Och

Ethan Och is a Spring 2020 graduate of the Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics Department at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities. He is originally from Swanville, Minnesota, a small town and rural community in the central part of the state. In addition to his Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, he has […]


Joseph B. Habeck

Joseph (Joey) is currently working with NASA’s Minnesota Space Grant High-altitude Ballooning Team on a project that aims to characterize the particulate content of the stratosphere. Specifically, he is supporting the development of a low-cost particulate-measuring payload that uses an optical particle counter to perform in-situ particulate measurements. His role then includes using the resulting […]


Thomas Fehr

Thomas worked with the MnSGC’s High-Altitude Ballooning Team at the U of MN – Twin Cities in the spring and summer of 2018. His work had an emphasis on camera systems in a high-altitude environment, focusing on optimizing video quality, memory capabilities, battery life, and post-flight of various small cameras. Through his lab work, he […]


Breanna Keith

Breanna Keith is originally from Cloquet, Minnesota and is currently a Graduate Research Assistant at Bemidji State University and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. She is pursuing a master’s degree in environmental studies and her academic interests include wetland ecology, environmental toxicology, and natural resource management. Breanna’s proposed research aims to examine the presence […]


Jack Stutler

As an undergraduate, Jack was a member of NASA’s Minnesota Space Grant High-Altitude Ballooning Team. His primary focus was developing a low-cost particulate measuring payload to characterize the particulate content of the atmosphere around 100,000 ft altitude. He also wrote a program to parse APRS data logs from balloon flights and a sensor suite library […]


Elise Linna

Elise Linna graduated from Augsburg University in the spring of 2018 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Physics. During her time at Augsburg, Elise participated in various research opportunities and teaching assistantships thanks to the NASA Space Grant. These opportunities included research on Graphene Oxide, assisting in a modern physics lab, and leading a group […]


Austin Eiler

Austin Eiler is from the small town of Markesan, Wisconsin and graduated from the U of MN in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics with a minor in Astrophysics. Austin is interested in rocket propulsion and all things related to aviation. His time with the Minnesota Space Grant Consortium has taught […]


Dr. Alec Habig, Ph.D.

Dr. Alec Habig is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University of Minnesota Duluth, teaching both undergraduate and graduate students. He studies cosmic rays and neutrinos in the fun hybrid field of Particle Astrophysics, with detectors in both deep underground labs and at Fermilab. Dr. Habig’s research with includes MINOS, MINOS+, […]


Ben Geadelmann

Ben graduated in May 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. He is originally from Adel, Iowa. Ben was an active member of the high-altitude (stratospheric) ballooning team from the fall of 2015 until he graduated. He was a co-lead for the total solar […]


Ryan Bowers

Ryan Bowers is from Buffalo, MN, and majored in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. He has participated in multiple MnSGC projects including high-power rocketry and stratospheric ballooning. He spent the summer of 2017 in the MnSGC Ballooning Lab developing and refining payloads for eclipse flights, and helped fly […]


Augsburg University’s Aerospace Club

Augsburg’s aerospace club seeks to spark students’ interests in the applications of physics, mathematics, computer science, and more, through real-world challenges, all while having fun doing so. Although currently focused on rocketry, they hope to soon broaden their work and become the Aerospace Engineering and Robotics Organization (AERO), which would encompass a broader range of […]


U of MN – Duluth’s Bulldog Rocketry Team

The Bulldog Rocketry Team from the University of Minnesota – Duluth designed and built a rocket, propelled by a student designed hybrid engine, to fly in the 30,000 ft class at the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC).  Their rocket finished second in their category in this international rocketry competition. A link to a 14-minute video […]


Alec Lovlein

Alec received his B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2017. In addition to coursework, he spent three years performing research supported by MN Space Grant on neutrinos with the MINERνA collaboration – an experiment based at Fermilab. After graduation, Alec pursued a Ph.D. in Physics at the University of […]


Native Mussel Research Team

Macalester faculty member Kelly MacGregor and James (Mac) Doherty (’19) spent the summer of 2017 snorkeling in Minnesota rivers examining the role of sediment in native mussel population dynamics. Mac, who received a summer research stipend from the MnSGC, focused on quantifying bed sediment grain size, and found that fine sediment (silt and fine sand) […]


The Space Grant (in-the-)Midwest High-Power Rocket Competition

The MnSGC and Tripoli MN, a local high-power rocketry club, are hosting the 2019-2020 Space Grant Midwest High-Power Rocket Competition in May of 2020. In this competition college student teams will design, build, and fly a high-power rocket to accomplish a “Photography/Altitude” challenge in which they will try to minimize roll during ascent to get […]


Emma Krieg

Emma is a former member of the U of MN – Twin Cities’ Space Grant High-Altitude Ballooning Team and has worked on many different projects. Her of her main focus areas was experimenting with mock-CubeSats to fly on high-altitude balloon missions; she helped to design a mock-P-POD (the deployment method used in near-space to deploy […]


MnSGC Intercollegiate Quadcopter Challenge

The MnSGC is running an Intercollegiate Quadcopter Challenge for student teams from colleges and universities around the state. In this six-month-long activity the teams, plus their faculty advisor, will build a quadcopter from a kit, outfit it with camera(s) and microcontroller-logged sensors, then use it to “explore” an indoor area. In-person (AKA fly-off) activities will […]


Magaly Perez

Magaly Perez (on the far right in the photo – Macalester class of 2014) was supported for two consecutive summers by the MnSGC. She worked on a project with co-PI R. Rogers that focused on the preservation of tiny vertebrate fossils in ancient Cretaceous rocks in Montana. Magaly recently completed her master’s degree in the […]


High-Powered Rocket Competition (LLTC)

Rocketry teams from Tribal Colleges and Universities from around the country design, build, and fly rockets at the First Nations Launch in Kenosha, WI, organized by the Wisconsin Space Grant. Leech Lake Tribal College (LLTC) has competed annually since 2011-2012. Students complete a variety of science and engineering challenges. In 2016-2017, LLTC took second place […]


Christopher Stauffer

Chris Stauffer is from Cass Lake, MN and recently completed his STEM emphasis associates degree at Leech Lake Tribal College. He has participated in the high-powered rocketry program for three years, and with his help, the team won second place at the First Nation’s Launch twice. Chris has spent two summers working as a summer […]


NASA’s “The Future in Space” – a webcast for college/university students

On Monday, April 29, 2019, college/university students around the nation were invited to watch a live-stream of “The Future in Space” featuring NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and including a link-up with astronauts on-board the International Space Station. If you missed the webcast, you can watch a recording of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zW-j7XGb2yc  


The Sverdrup Visiting Scientist Program: Dr. Pamela Ronald

On Monday, April 15, 2019, at 10:00am in the Hoversten Chapel on-campus at Augsburg University, the Minnesota Space Grant Consortium jointly hosted a guest lecture by the renowned Dr. Pamela Ronald. Pamela Ronald is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center, University of California, Davis. Ronald studies rice genes […]


InSight Lander Touches Down on Martian Surface

At approximately 1:53 PM Central Time on Monday, November 26, flight controllers and mission operations specialists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) received word from the pair of experimental Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats about the successful touchdown of the InSight lander on Mars’ Elysium Planitia. The spacecraft’s journey from Earth lasted almost seven months […]


Austin Heins

Austin Heins is from Sioux Falls, SD, and is double major in Physics and Math at Concordia College. He was involved in a research project doing magnetic characterization of iron oxides during the summers of 2015 and 2016. Austin was also part of a team working with the quantum optics activity during the summer of […]


Roger Launius to lecture on the Apollo Program and the Space Race

The MnSGC is co-sponsoring a lecture by Roger Launius, Chief Historian for NASA and Senior Curator of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum (now retired), in the Best Buy Theater in Northrop Auditorium on the U of MN East Bank campus at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. This free public lecture is entitled […]


Sadie Libal

Sadie Libal is from Two Harbors, MN, and defended her Environmental Studies masters thesis at Bemidji State University during the summer of 2017. Her project looked at mercury accumulation in aquatic tree swallow food web of Grand Portage National Monument and how surface water sulfate concentration influences Hg accumulation. Mercury accumulation in Grand Portage was […]


Freshman Seminar on Airships at U of MN – Twin Cities

Students in AEM 1301: R/C Airships built and flew multiple styles of R/C blimps and also two miniature rigid airships during the fall of 2018. The “light rigid” was genuinely lighter than air (without its envelope) whereas the “heavy rigid” used both lifting gas and lifting motors to get off the ground. The class exhibited […]


New High-Power Rocket Teams Launched on Nov. 10

Six college/university rocket teams, coached through a high-power rocket build using video-delivered lessons from the MnSGC at the U of MN – Twin Cities, launched their dual-deploy kit-rockets at the Tripoli MN launch field near North Branch on Nov. 10, 2018. This fall’s teams are from Bethel University, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Paul College, University […]


U of MN Rocket Team Sets a Guinness World Record

Members of the U of MN (extracurricular) Rocket Team, many of whom got their start in rocketry through MN Space Grant freshman seminars, won the Alka-Rocket challenge at the Houston Space Center on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017. Their rocket, powered by gas produced by alka-seltzer tablets dissolved in water, soared over 400 feet – establishing […]


UMN SmallSat HASP 2018

The High Altitude Student Platform (HASP) is a NASA sponsored program supported by the Louisiana Space Grant Consortium and NASA’s Balloon Program Office which allows 12-13 groups of students to build and test payloads on a scientific balloon flight for several hours at a time. The University of Minnesota has flown on HASP once a […]


Asif Ally

Asif is a member of NASA’s Minnesota Space Grant High-Altitude Ballooning Team. He works on the University of Minnesota MURI Project where his main focus is developing a payload that aims to characterize the particulate content of the stratosphere. The particle data is accompanied by atmospheric data and GPS data collected from a full custom […]


Jacob Meyer

Jacob J. Meyer is one of the newest members of the NASA Space Grant Ballooning team at the University of Minnesota. He got involved with the ballooning team in May and graduated from Farmington High School in June of 2018. He primarily specializes in configuring radios for inflight operations, and is also leading and assisting […]


Former NASA Astronaut Pamela Melroy to visit U of MN on April 30

The MnSGC is helping sponsor a visit of Colonel Pamela Melroy, USAF Ret. and former NASA Astronaut, to the U of MN at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, April 30, 2018. This event is free, but pre-registration is required. For more details and a link to the registration website, go to http://dept.aem.umn.edu/info/spotlight/Melroy_Lecture.shtml.


Macalester College Fields Their First High-Power Rocketry Team

In the fall of 2017 a team of physics majors at Macalester College, along with physics professor Tonnis ter Veldhuis, established a high-power rocketry team. They took “video lessons” offered by MnSGC’s James Flaten and (student) Danny Toth at the U of MN – Twin Cities and built a dual-deploy high-power rocket (pictured) which they […]


U of MN Freshmen Experience First Ballooning Flight

Fourteen freshmen from the College of Science and Engineering at the U of MN – Twin Cities got their first taste of (stratospheric) spaceflight on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, when their science payloads were carried to 100,000 feet on two weather balloons. The MN Space Grant promotes student interest in spacecraft-building and spaceflight by regularly […]


Great American Eclipse 2017

On August 21, 2017, the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities’ Stratospheric Ballooning Team participated in a nation-wide effort by over 50 colleges and universities to live stream a solar eclipse from the balloon-borne video cameras in the stratosphere. The team launched five high-altitude balloon stacks from Kenesaw, NE, and set up ground stations in […]


Eclipse Ballooning Exhibit at Pre-Eclipse Block Party

The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities’ Stratospheric Ballooning Team participated in an eclipse exhibit at the U of M’s Physics and Nanotechnology Building in conjunction with the Bell Museum of Natural History on Sunday, August 13. The event was hosted in an effort to educate the general public on the much-anticipated solar eclipse that […]


Astronaut to Visit the U of MN to Award Scholarships

On November 7, 2017, former astronaut Daniel Brandenstein visited the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities to award Astronaut Scholarships to two undergraduate students, Merrick Pierson Smela and Rahul Parhi. The scholarship was created in 1985 by the Mercury 7 astronauts to encourage the study of science and engineering. These scholarships are awarded to students […]