Hawaii Island Akamai Observatory Internship Program
June 1 - July 25, 2008
What is Adaptive Optics?
Adaptive Optics (AO) is a method to sharpen the images produced by optical
systems such as telescopes, cameras and the human eye. AO works by removing
the distortions that blur these images. With AO, ground based telescopes
can produce images that are as sharp as those produced from space and images
of the eye can be produced that are sharper than any seen before.
Adaptive optics senses and corrects for distortions that produce
the blurring seen in images. This blurring is due to distortions in the optical
beam that are produced by the optics, and by the environment the optical system
is in. In the case of astronomical telescopes, these distortions are produced
by turbulence in the atmosphere and in the case of the human eye, they are
produced by imperfections in the lens and fluid of the eye. While we can create
perfect optical systems, we have not been able to compensate for distortions
produced by the environment until the advent of adaptive optics.
What is the Center for Adaptive Optics?
The Center for Adaptive Optics (CfAO) is one of the Science and Technology
Centers funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). The center
is comprised of 11 institutions across the U.S. and its mission is to bring
adaptive optics to maturity. Some scientists within the CfAO develop new
astronomical techniques and instruments such as actuators and spectrographs,
other focus on adaptive optics applications in vision science.
What is the Hawaii Island Akamai Observatory
The Center for Adaptive Optics (CfAO) Akamai Internship Program offers community
college students and undergraduates that are attending college in Hawaii or that are Hawaii residents that are studying on the Mainland an opportunity to get involved in research at the Mauna Kea Observatories.
Each student is matched with a research advisor and is integrated as a member
research group with daily guidance by a research supervisor.
This program is a collaboration between the Center for Adaptive
Optics and Mauna Kea Observatories. It is an intensive eight-week introduction
to research method and tools with an emphasis on adaptive optics science. The
opportunities at various sites over the summer, with additional activities
that will provide support and opportunities during the academic year. The interns
will start with a 5-day short-course in general optical principles and adaptive
optics. Upon completions of the internship program, participants
will be better prepared to pursue their educational and research career goals.
Where is it?
Past internship opportunities have been available at:
*2008 Intern Profiles and Projects*
Will I get paid?
YES! The CfAO will pay interns $3200 for an 8 week full time commitment. Transportation
and other support services may be available.
Who is eligible?
This program is designed for all community college and university undergraduates in Hawaii –- and kama`aina studying on the mainland – who are interested in pursuing
a career in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) fields and have
had to overcome barriers to achieve their educational and/or career goals. All
students must be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents, and be at least 18 years
old on 05-15-08. The CfAO is committed to increasing diversity in the sciences.
Underrepresented groups (African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, Pacific
Islanders, women and persons with disabilities) are strongly encouraged to apply.
What is the program expectation?
Participants are required to complete the entire eight-week program and require
full-time student commitment. At the end of the program each participant
is required to give an oral presentation. Participants must attend all scheduled
activities. Participants will also be invited to present their research
at the SACNAS National Student Conference in October.
How can I apply?
The application deadline for summer 2008 was Feb. 14, 2008.
If you have any questions about the application or the internship
program please contact:
Hawaii Island Internship Coordinator: