Montana Tech Student Selected for Montana Space Grant Consortium Apprenticeship Award

09/19/2019

LantanaClark_MSGC_Award.jpgMontana Tech environmental engineering undergraduate student Lantana Clark from Missoula, Montana has been selected for a Montana Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) Apprenticeship Award. This honor reflects Clark’s past achievements as well as present and future commitment to NASA's mission. Earlier this year, Lantana received MSGC 2019 summer undergraduate summer internship award for $7,300.

“Since I was young, I have admired NASA. To be recognized by the Montana Space Grant Consortium is a very humbling honor,” noted Clark. “This apprenticeship award and the prior achievements leading up to it would not have been possible without the guidance and support of my professors, advisors, the MSGC staff, and many others. Thank you to those who have encouraged me to learn anything and everything, and never stop learning!”

The MSGC Apprenticeship Program is an opportunity for Montana students working in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to receive funding to work on a major research project with an advisor on their campus. MSGC Apprenticeships are intended to be next steps after smaller undergraduate research projects and can take place during the academic year or summer. Students accepted into the Apprenticeship Program are expected to devote a significant amount of time to their projects.

Lantana's award is up to $2,750. “Through MSGC summer internship, Lantana Clark collaborated with Levin Mullaney, a recent Montana Tech electrical engineering graduate, and Marcus Frisbee, a Montana Tech computer science undergraduate student, to integrate LiDAR system with an unmanned aerial system (UAS),” explained Raja Nagisetty, Associate Professor in Montana Tech’s Environmental Engineering Department. “With the current MSGC apprenticeship, Lantana will continue to work on developing the UAV LiDAR system. After calibration, we are planning to use the UAV LiDAR system to map snow coverage. Monitoring snow distribution has important implications for water resources management. It is very exciting to see Lantana collaborate with other department students on this interdisciplinary research project. Lantana is very enthusiastic about research. I congratulate Lantana on winning the competitive MSGC awards.”

Jeremy Crowley, Hydrogeologist at MBMG and Assistant Professor at Montana Tech, added, “The MSGC funding has been helping us create a custom unmanned aerial system (UAS) light detection and ranging (Lidar) and photogrammetry system. This project entails a complex integration of sensors, hardware, and software. Lantana has been working on this system since May and this funding will support continued work through December. We are nearly finished the integration and plan to start calibrating the system in the next month.”

This is a collaborative project between Montana Tech’s Environmental Engineering Department and MBMG. Lantana will graduate with an Environmental Engineering Bachelor of Science degree in December 2019. She plans to continue at Montana Tech pursuing a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Lantana will be responsible for the LiDAR system calibration with guidance from Raja Nagisetty and Jeremy Crowley.

The award requires a final report and a presentation which will take place at Montana State University’s poster symposium, Crossroads of Discovers on October 26, 2019.