Eden Houske, Carroll College apprentice and future summer intern

eden houske student highlight

My name is Eden Houske and I am a junior studying biology and chemistry at Carroll College. I have been working on a project with two of my colleagues over the past year that involves analyzing the effects of simulated microgravity on encapsulated chondrocytes through the use of global metabolomic profiling. Reduced mechanical forces during prolonged microgravity exposure can lead to symptoms of osteoarthritis. This compromises astronauts' mobility and leads to reduced quality of life post-spaceflight. Therefore, the goal of our project was to expand our understanding of the risk of developing osteoarthritis post-spaceflight through the study of chondrocyte mechanotransduction. Due to the support of MSGC, my research team and I were able to attend the 2022 Orthopaedic Research Society meeting and present the findings of our project as well!





Larissa Saarel, Rocky Mountain College apprentice and summer intern

larissa saarel student highlight

My name is Larissa Saarel and I am a senior studying environmental science at Rocky Mountain College. This is my second year working on the ongoing turtle research project at my college. My individual project focuses on spiny softshell turtle nesting habitat availability between a dammed (Bighorn) and relatively undammed (Yellowstone) river. I utilize both remote sensing and ground truthing methods to train computer software (ArcMap) to pick out the desired habitat. I also analyze turtle demographic data for each river system.









Chad Dunbar, MSU BOREALIS  Summer intern and apprentice

Chad Dunbar student highlight

I’m Chad Dunbar, a senior in mechanical engineering here at Montana State University. I have a variety of experience with machining and welding and I have tried my best to leverage that experience. My interest in aerospace systems led me to BOREALIS, where I am working on flight systems to include balloon station keeping systems and an improved antenna tracking station. I spend most of my spare time hiking and fishing.








Haleigh Brown, UM BOREALIS  summer intern and apprentice

haleigh brown student highlight

Hi! My name is Haleigh Brown and I am a junior at University of Montana studying Computational Physics with minors in Mathematics and Computer Science. I have been focusing on improving training for future eclipse campaigns. This has included the development of a 3D-printed mounting system for low cost UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) to increase student retention of balloon launching procedures. My work with MSGC has already led to many opportunities such as a poster presentation at the 2021 AGU fall conference.


Jake Davis, Space Space and Engineering Laboratory researcher

Jake Davis student highlight

Hello! My name is Jake Davis and I am from Billings Montana.  I am a senior studying Mechanical Engineering and pursuing a minor in Aerospace Engineering at Montana State University.  I am interning at the Space Science and Engineering Lab (SSEL) working on mechanical design for the RadPC-Lunar, which is striving to put cube satellites on the moon.  This requires complex mechanical design and thermal simulation using a variety of different software including SOLIDWORKS and MATLAB.  Current tasks have involved reverse engineering existing mechanical designs for different aerospace-related projects to an industrial mil spec tolerance and advancing those designs to fulfill SSEL needs.  Future tasks will involve fabrications of custom-designed parts with assembly and integration in RadPC-Lunar and REAL.


Ausan McGaugh, MSU BOREALIS summer intern and apprentice

ausan mcgauch student highlight

Hello! My name is Ausan McGaugh. I am a senior in Electrical Engineering and will hopefully be graduating this summer (2022)! I was an intern at MSCG during the summer of 2021, and now I am working as an apprentice during the school year. During the summer I learned so much about engineering and the project development process. I learned how to solder, circuitry design, PCB design, micro-controller debugging, and so much about high altitude ballooning. It introduced me to working in a professional lab environment without the stress of messing up. The work environment is awesome and I    have become friends with nearly all of my co-workers!  MSGC offers a unique opportunity to not only grow as an engineer but as a person as well.


Lauren Ryter, Rocky Mountain College ARES and 2022 summer intern

laruen ryter student highlight

My name is Lauren Ryter and I am a junior majoring in Environmental Science at Rocky Mountain College. This is my third year studying common snapping turtle nesting habitats on prairie streams, specifically Razor Creek near Shepherd, Montana. From May to the end of June I conduct timed visual surveys for reptile eggs at aggregated sites where I have previously found nests and other areas with similar habitat characteristics. Using the assistance of game cameras, I am able to observe nesting females and locate nests more efficiently. Using this data we are able to help landowners understand the value of these sites and how to limit disturbance of them. By determining where snapping turtles are nesting, we will be able to work with landowners and the community to help preserve the habitat snapping turtles depend on.






Ian Scott, Space Science and Engineering Laboratory 2020 summer intern

Ian Scott student highlight

Hello my name is Iain Scott and I am a Sophomore at the Space Science Engineering Lab with MSGC. I wrote a file transfer program for the lab's slideshow monitor, set up a wireless camera, and basic server to stream video of the lab's radio telescope. When I am outside the lab I like to explore the unknown.





Sam Riebling, MSU BOREALIS  Summer intern and apprentice

sam riebling student highlight

My name is Sam Riebling, I am senior graduating in May 2022 with a bachelor’s in technology education broad field teaching. I was a 2021 summer intern and apprentice during the 2021-2022 school year. My focus for the summer was primarily on outreach and educational events, but while interning I have been able to work on several engineering-based projects, that my major would not normally expose me to. One of the outreach events I planned was hosted by the Belgrade public library. It was an afternoon open to the public to explore STEM related activities. Another project I worked on was a printed circuit board called ‘MegaSat’, developed by Louisiana State University. My job was to solder it together, learn how to operate it, and eventually give feedback on how the instruction manual could be improved. I have learned a lot about engineering while working with the other interns and look forward to taking these skills to the high school classroom when I become a teacher!


Bryce Kim, MSU BOREALIS 2021 high school summer intern

Bryce Kim student highlight

My name is Bryce Kim, and I am finishing my Junior year at Bozeman High School. The goal of my project was to create a hypothesis on whether gravity waves could be observed by a balloon-borne high-resolution GPS over central and eastern Montana, and what might be a probable source.  Beyond just the research itself, I learned how to present my work to both a learned and knowledgeable topic-specific community, as well as explaining my ideas in simpler terms. My experiences in this program have definitelyaffirmed my interests in pursuing an advanced STEMeducation and career. I’ve broadenedmy interests to include both hardware and softwaredevelopment, as well as physical research.







Micah Hickethier, MSU Biological and Chemical Engineering 2021 summer intern

Micah Hickethier student highlight

My name is Micah Hickethier. I am a sophomore at Montana State University and double major in biological and chemical engineering.  I interned at Flathead Valley Community College, doing research in their model marine ecosystem. My research focused on the pH fluctuations caused by the complex biodiverse ecosystem. First I tested pHyters (pH measuring devices developed by prior FVCC students for citizen science) for their accuracy and precision, then collected two weeks’ worth of data. After collecting data that showed a consistent fluctuation in pH over a 12 hour time frame, I introduced a foam fractionator. The amplitude of the pH in the 12 hour time frame decreased, providing the coral with an environment closer to that of its natural habitat. In addition to this research, me and another intern developed protocols for future students to use in the lab. This experience provided me with a better understanding of a lab environment and made me excited for my career path!  


Ryan Barna, SSEL summer intern

Ryan Barna student highlight

My name is Ryan Barna. I'm a senior at Montana State University with majors in chemical and biological engineering and a minor in mathematics. I worked in the the Space Science and Engineering Lab last summer and with launch simulation software on a the most recent IT-SPINS CubeSat.  I spent time analyzing data received from the satellite and worked on ground station upgrades.




Shannel Sinclair, MSU BOREALIS 2021 summer intern

Shannel Sinclair student highlight

My name is Shanell Sinclair. I love cats and spending time with my family. I am a Native American transfer student from Blackfeet Community College. I am majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in aerospace engineering at Montana State University. I hope to one day work in the aerospace industry.  I am worked with the BOREALIS program which is a high-altitude ballooning program. My projects were building and programming an accelerometer to track orientation during flights and developing a solar balloon. I came here to be part of my state’s space program and get real hands-on engineering experience.









Hannah Woody, UM BOREALIS  summer intern and apprentice

Hannah Woody student highlight

My name is Hannah Woody. I am a senior at the University of Montana studying Genetics and Evolution with a minor in Astronomy. With MSGC, I worked on background characterization in preparation for our field campaign where we hoped to see eclipse driven gravity waves. Learning and implementing a new modeling software for data analysis was necessary for this project. I have been reviewing both background atmosphere models and source spectra, and investigating atmospheric events. I will be submitting a paper regarding ray-tracing GWs during the 2020 total solar eclipse for publication!









Noah Brown, Mechanical Engineering Summer 2021 and 2022 Intern

Noah Brown picture

My name is Noah Brown. I am a Mechanical Engineering student at Montana State University. For the summer of 2021, I was a MSGC intern at the Flathead Lake Biological Station, near Bigfork, Montana. I worked on buoys that collect weather data. I learned how to maintain a Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) that allows for buoys to send data from all around the lake. Additionally, I developed the data analysis software for a remote continuous PCR machine. The instrument can be used in the field to determine if there are harmful invasive species in the water. I worked with a great team of other students while working on the project. Fortunately, for the summer of 2022 I will again be a MSGC intern. I will build sensors to monitor for the development of biofilms in microgravity.







Zachary Hull, Space Science and Engineering Laboratory apprentice

Zachary Hull student highlight

My name is Zachary Hull. I am a senior electrical engineering student at MSU. I worked on a variety of projects for the Space Science and Engineering Lab.  I characterized rotary solenoids for the FURST project. After completion of the solenoid characterization, I designed the GSE and S-Band circuit boards as well as the S-Band antenna for the REAL project. I then updated the existing power and shutter control boards for FURST. Currently, I am experimenting with using external FLASH storage for a PIC32 processor as part of Brock LaMeres’ LunarSat project.