Report on 2019 JIFRESSE Summer Internship Program (JSIP)

Monday, September 16, 2019
Program Duration: June 24 – August 30, 2019
Program Location: UCLA/JIFRESSE and JPL
interns, directors, and mentors
1st Photo, left to right: Dongchan Ahn, Oscar Neyra Nazarrett, Kyle Johnson, Logan Simpson, Chloe Whicker, Dominique Stumbaugh. 2nd photo, fist row, left to right: Dr. Hui Su, Prof. Kuo-Nan Liou, Dr. Randy Friedl, Dr. Yu Gu. 3rd Photo: Interns with mentors, administrative staff, and directors​​​​​


The JIFRESSE Summer Internship Program (JSIP) was initiated in January 2018, with a purpose to provide UCLA undergraduate students an opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research under the guidance of experienced mentors at JPL and UCLA and strengthen the collaborations between JPL and UCLA. The program normally runs 10 weeks. To be eligible for the program, the students need to be a continuing student and eligible for fall quarter registration at UCLA with at least three quarters completed at UCLA and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5/4.0.

In the summer of 2019, six UCLA students have been awarded the internship for their outstanding academic performance and passion for science and engineering for the following projects:

  Project 1: Orbit simulation for the Earth’s NexT-generation ICE (ENTICE) mission

  • Intern: Kyle Johnson, Aerospace Engineering (BS)
  • Mentors: Dr. Jonathan Jiang (JPL) / Dr. Yu Gu (UCLA)

  Project 2: Understanding wildfire burning conditions using a satellite constellation and air quality models.

  • Intern: Oscar Neyra Nazarrett, Environmental Science and Engineering (Ph.D.)
  • Mentors: Dr. Kevin Bowman (JPL) / Prof. Pablo Saide (UCLA)

  Project 3: Quantifying observational uncertainties and gaps in the global water cycle.

  • Intern: Chloe Whicker, Environmental Science/Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (BS)
  • Mentors: Dr. John Reager (JPL) / Prof. Rong Fu (UCLA)

  Project 4: Develop advanced noise corrections for surface deformation and change.

  • Intern: Dongchan Ahn, Computer Science (BS)
  • Mentors: Dr. Zhen Liu (JPL) / Dr. Zhengkang Shen (UCLA)

  Project 5: Using microwave spectro-radiometry to probe the marine planetary boundary layer.

  • Intern: Dominique Stumbaugh, Astrophysics (BS)
  • Mentors: Dr. Evan Fishbein (JPL) / Prof. Kuo-Nan Liou (UCLA)

  Project 6: OSSE of satellite limb observations of CH4, SF6 and CFCs by an infrared Spatial Heterodyne Spectrometer (SHS).

  • Intern: Logan Simpson, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (MS)
  • Mentors: Dr. Shanshan Yu (JPL) / Prof. Jochen Stutz (UCLA)

To facilitate the intern-mentor interactions, JIFRESSE organized the following activities during the program:

  • Program kick-off on June 25, 2019 at JIFRESSE Conference Room, 4242 Young Hall, UCLA
  • Several project updates at JIFRESSE Conference Room, 4242 Young Hall, UCLA
  • JPL visit and project update on August 7, 2019 at JPL 183-328
  • Mid-term progress review on July 26, 2019 at JIFRESSE Conference Room, 4242 Young Hall, UCLA
  • Final project presentation on August 22, 2019 at JPL Room 233-305E
  • Final written reports

During the Kick-off event, Director Prof. Liou gave welcome remarks and briefly reviewed the JIFRESSE activities and achievements during the past year. Associate Directors Dr. Randy Friedl and Prof. Rong Fu talked about the importance of this program to both UCLA and JPL.  Drs. Hui Su and Yu Gu overviewed the program, including the recruiting process, the selection of the JSIP interns, and the timeline of the program. Dr. Janet Goins, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Research Center (URC),  gave a brief introduction of the URC. The interns and mentors introduced themselves and presented an introduction of each project. Prof. Roger Wakimoto, UCLA Vice Chancellor for Research, also came to the meeting to show his report and encouraged more UCLA faculties to participate in this program in the future. Prof. Miguel García-Garibay, Dean of UCLA Division of Physical Sciences, also planned to attend the JSIP kick-off but couldn’t make it due to time conflict.

During the final project presentations, each intern gave a talk for about 10 minutes to showcase what they have completed during the 10 weeks and summarize their research activities and findings. Prof. Kuo-Nan Liou, Dr. Randy Friedl, Drs. Hui Su and Yu Gu, and many scientists from JPL participated in this event. Dr. Susan Owen, Earth Science Section Manager, also attended and gave a brief introduction of JPL Earth Science Section. The intern students have received valuable feedback and high remarks from senior scientists about their research and presentations. JIFRESSE Manager Ms. Nancy Hom and Senior Fund Manager Ms. Danielle Antonios also helped to organize and participated in the event. They talked to a number of JPL PIs who are affiliated with JIFRESSE.

The program was successfully completed on August 30, 2019, with written report submitted by each of the JSIP interns.