College of Science

University of Wyoming

The 2.3m WIRO, and bowshocks near the Carina Nebula

PHOTO (above left): The 2.3-meter Wyoming Infrared Observatory (WIRO) inside the dome (photo:Matt Bryant)

PHOTO (above right): Images of bowshocks near the Carina Nebula from a paper accepted to Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society led by Remington Sexton, Cal Poly Pomona class of 2013 (Sexton et al. 2015)

Astronomy Research at University of Wyoming

Spend the summer in beautiful Laramie, Wyoming, participating in the University of Wyoming REU program. In this program, each student will be trained to use the University's 2.3 meter and 0.6 meter telescopes to observe and to analyze astronomical data.  Frequent seminars will cover recent breakthroughs in astronomy, computational techniques, preparing for graduate school, best practices for written and oral presentations, and responsible research conduct. A unique aspect of the Wyoming REU program is that all students will work together as a team on a single project.
CAMPARE scholars at WIRO
2016 CAMPARE scholars at the 2.3-m WIRO telescope.

During the summer of 2019, our program will focus on characterizing the star formation histories of galaxies. Students will use our 2.3 meter telescope on nearby Mt. Jelm to obtain spectroscopy of supermassive black hole binary systems. Students will learn how to process and analyze astronomical spectra and imaging data, learn techniques in scientific programming, and become expert observers. In fact, our 2012-2018 cohorts averaged 46 nights per summer on the 2.3 meter telescope.


Situated between two mountain ranges and lying at an elevation of 7,200 feet, Laramie's location provides excellent outdoor opportunities in the Rocky Mountain West. Previous REU participants have gone on hiking, climbing, rafting, camping, and nature/wildlife photography excursions.  Destinations typically include Grand Tetons National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and local mountain ranges in southern Wyoming and northern Colorado.  Laramie's unique cultural flavor combines elements of the rugged rural west with the cosmopolitan aspects of an intellectual center.  By car, Laramie is approximately two hours from Denver.

Program Details

What is it?

Selected students will receive a 
$5000 stipend for the full 10 weeks. In addition, participants will be provided with housing and reimbursed for travel from home or campus to Laramie, Wyoming.

Summer scholars at University of Wyoming
Summer 2016 researchers at the University of Wyoming.

Who should apply?

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age by the beginning of the program. They must be enrolled in one of the CAMPARE participating institutions at the time of their application. Participants should not have graduated from their 4-year institution before the beginning of the summer internship. Community college students in the process of transferring to a 4-year institution are eligible to apply.

All applicants must have completed a minimum of one full year of college-level physics by the start of the program.

When and How to Apply

Applications are due February 1, 2019. To apply to the program, follow the Application Instructions

In addition, you must ask two faculty members (or others familiar with your academic or work background) to submit letters of reference using the link on the application instructions page. Indicate their names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses in your on-line application where appropriate. It is your responsibility to confirm that these letters have been sent and failure to obtain these two letters will render your application incomplete and lead to its rejection without review.

Successful students will be notified in March. The research program runs Monday, May 20 to Friday, July 26, 2019 (10 weeks). Participants must be available during the entire 10-week period of the program.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants AST-1559559 and AST-1636646.

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