Astronomy professor tapped for NASA fellowship

Breaking News: Astronomy Research Fellowship Awarded to New Mexico State University Professor

In an exciting development, New Mexico State University (NMSU) has just announced that Assistant Professor of Astronomy, Joe Burchett, has been selected for a prestigious research fellowship jointly awarded by NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF). This fellowship, valued at $2.7 million, is part of the NSF’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research Track-4 awards, which aim to promote diversity and research capacity in science, engineering, and technology fields at institutions with underrepresented populations.

Burchett expressed his enthusiasm for the fellowship, stating, “This opportunity allows us to enhance research opportunities at our institution by diversifying our scientific methods and pushing the boundaries of our knowledge in the field.”

As part of the fellowship, Burchett will spend approximately two months at NASA’s renowned Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. During his time there, he will be mentored by the head of Goddard’s X-ray astrophysics science program, further enriching his expertise in the field.

Burchett’s research project will focus on using advanced X-ray techniques to study the gaseous halo surrounding the Milky Way galaxy. By utilizing X-ray telescopes, Burchett and a graduate student from NMSU will investigate gas temperatures exceeding a million degrees Kelvin and examine the interactions between galaxies, shedding light on the mysteries of our universe.

Kathleen Loftin, the project manager of NASA’s EPSCoR Program, commended the success of this joint fellowship, emphasizing its role in fostering meaningful collaborations and enriching the STEM research landscape. “These fellowships go beyond mere funding,” Loftin explained. “They cultivate transformative partnerships that open new avenues for scientific exploration.”

This remarkable achievement by Assistant Professor Joe Burchett not only reflects his dedication and ingenuity but also highlights the commitment of the scientific community to advancing our understanding of the cosmos. NMSU is proud to support Burchett’s research endeavors and looks forward to the groundbreaking discoveries that will emerge from this fellowship.

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