Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
November/December 2012
SURF Newsletter  
Dear Friend of SURF,   

Welcome to the first bi-monthly issue of the SURF Newsletter. We hope that you will enjoy hearing more about the exciting undergraduate research happening at Caltech.


In This Issue:

Students and Mars Rovers

New Ideas for Old Magnetism on the Moon

Come Hear the Best SURF Talks of the Year! 


Candace Rypisi

Director, Student-Faculty Programs


2012 SURFers who worked with Dr. Joel Burdick and graduate student, Melissa Tanner (SURF '08), to develop a compact instrument for the Axel extreme terrain rover to sample Martian or lunar rock and soil.

Image provided by: Melissa Tanner 


Curious about SURF?
At 10:32 p.m. PST on August 5, 2012, Curiosity captured the minds and hearts of people all around the world when it landed on Mars. The Mars Science Laboratory and Curiosity Rover have provided plenty of meaningful research opportunities for our students. Read feature story 
Alumni Connection
Tina Dwyer at SURF event in 2004.
Image Credit: Bob Paz

The Magnetic Moon

Researchers propose new theory for the moon's ancient magnetic field 
Written by Marcus Woo
Tina Dwyer is fascinated with the moon. The former Caltech undergrad has been interested in astronomy and science ever since she was a kid, she says. But it wasn't until she did a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) project at Caltech that her passion for the moon and planetary science ignited. "My SURF project kicked my interest in the moon to high gear," she says. She worked with professor of geobiology Joe Kirschvink and then-postdoc Ben Weiss on mapping the magnetic fields of tiny moon rocks-glass beads found in the lunar soil. "I spent two summers on that project, and it was awesome." Read full story  

Upcoming Events
Toni Perpall with the 2011 Perpall
Competition finalists.
Image Credit: Bob Paz
Perpall Speaking Competition Finals
Please join us for the Perpall Speaking Competition Finals on January 24, 2013, 2:30 - 5:30 pm located at 153 Noyes. Please find more information here.

Student Spotlight: In January, Kevin Gu, the 2011 Perpall winner, will be representing Caltech as a plenary speaker at the National Collegiate Research Conference hosted at Harvard College.




Quarks and Leptons (and other tidbits of matter...)
Image Credit: Bob Paz

Thank you!

SURF depends upon the generosity of its many friends for annual gifts and for contributions to the SURF endowment. Your support helps to build a robust financial base to ensure that Caltech undergraduates continue to have a full range of opportunities to engage in research with faculty mentors. We thank you and our many donors who have supported SURF over the years!


Here's how your gift makes an impact:

$6000 supports one-time SURF stipend in full 

$3000 provides for one stipend (with equal cost-sharing from a faculty mentor)

$1000 underwrites the printing costs of an issue of the Caltech Undergraduate Research Journal 

$500 allows for 40 students to attend a summer faculty seminar luncheon (Wednesday Seminar Series)

$100 assists one student to attend the Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research to present his or her findings

$60 subsidizes the cost of one student to attend and present at  SURF Seminar Day


If you are interested in establishing a permanent, named SURF endowment, please contact Candace Rypisi at  

626-395-2885.  We would be pleased to assist you in making this gift possible. 


End-of-year gifts can be made on-line to SURF here (click on Special Gifts then SURF)  



1200 E. California Blvd. Mail Code 330-87 626-395-2885