Each spring and fall the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) publishes a newsletter. The newsletter highlights the science done in the past six months, new opportunities and instruments, and new ideas for using the observatories in the NOAO network. The March 2014 issue contains two articles by people from the University of Michigan. It is available online at http://www.noao.edu/noao/noaonews/mar14/pdf/109news.pdf.
The first is a short note co-authored by Prof. Chris Miller, announcing "The 2014 La Serena School for Data Science." The school, intended for upper-level undergraduates and new graduate students, introduces students to "the tools and techniques currently available to explore the large data sets of today and the extremely large data sets of tomorrow."
The first class was held in August 2013 in La Serena, Chile. Applications for the 2014 program, held August 15-23, will be accepted until April 15.
The next article, "A Month of Personal Transformation at Kitt Peak" was written by undergraduate student Sierra Grant (class of 2014). It is a personal account of the changes she experienced by taking Astro 461 in spring of 2013. This is a unique class, allowing students to spend a month at the observatory in the late spring. Students learn not only to observe using the telescopes on the mountain, but also about the design and construction of the telescopes, about planning their observations, and even a little about the local politics of building an observatory. But most of all, they learn about what it's really like to join the astronomical community. "I learned things I will never learn in a classroom" said Ms Grant.
Astro 461 should be offered again May 2015.