In 2000, the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium (SDSGC) will continue to leverage our resources through linkage of our research, educational, outreach and public service efforts. As the first year of the new millenium symbolizes the dawn of new opportunities, we will undertake a special effort in 2000 to begin to interface more closely with State government regarding Consortium activities. We will explore avenues for establishing effective relationships with State government through informal mechanisms to more formal Memorandum's of Understanding or other such partnering mechanisms. Until now, connections with State government have been limited at best, and are long overdue. Many of the educational, outreach, technology, and research objectives of Space Grant appear to have direct relevance to numerous issues and needs faced by State government. Because of these similar interests, a partnership with State government agencies should facilitate relationships and greatly enhance the mutual exchange of science, technology, and education. These relationships are likely to benefit not only Consortium participants but also NASA personnel and objectives, as lessons learned locally can be shared and applied, as appropriate, on a regional or national scale.

The SDSGC will continue to focus its educational and research activities on earth system science. This concentration on earth science is especially relevant in South Dakota because of the close linkage that many of the state’s inhabitants still have with their natural environment. South Dakota is a relatively large state in aerial extent and the state possesses a broad range of environmental settings. In point of fact, South Dakota is often referred to as "The Land of Infinite Variety". Therefore, we believe that South Dakota’s inherent environmental and ecological heterogeneity provides an excellent opportunity to develop projects that can be directly linked to the programmatic interests of NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise. One of these projects will concentrate on the development of various sites in South Dakota for ground-truthing of satellite remote sensing data.

We will continue to place special emphasis on Native American outreach and on strengthening our ties with the Tribal Colleges in South Dakota. We look forward to collaboratively promoting NASA-supported science and engineering programs to students, teachers, and the general public in our State during the new millenium. There are numerous NASA-sponsored learning opportunities that would result in bringing more bright young people into the science and engineering world of NASA if more people in our state were aware of them. We look forward to facilitating this awareness by helping to get the word out on these opportunities and providing technical and administrative assistance. The now "full time" position of SDSGC Deputy Director and Outreach Coordinator at SDSM&T will certainly help in this regard. We also plan to incorporate more detailed accounting of SDSGC activities in our reports to NASA.

1. Research Infrastructure

As a "capability enhancement" state in NASA’s Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, development of research infrastructure within South Dakota is a primary focus of Consortium activities. South Dakota’s recent NASA EPSCoR Preparation Grant is focused on the use of remote sensing and GIS in coordination with surface-based observational techniques for long-term ecological and climate monitoring of Prairie Potholes wetland sites. Research Theme Teams consisting of numerous SDSGC members and affiliates have been developed for this project in the areas of Remote Sensing/GIS, Agriculture/Biogeochemistry, Atmospheric Science/Climate, Ecosystem Stability/Dynamics, Hydrology, and Social Dimensions. Support for Theme Team members to travel to NASA Centers and NASA-related conferences and workshops will continue as will our growing collaboration with NASA scientists and researchers. SDSM&T recently created a new website for SD's NASA EPSCoR Preparation Grant Project located at nasaepscor/. Although this website is new, preliminary information on the planned research project is available.

Research Infrastructure continues to be a primary focus of our Consortium activities, and, as during this past year, emphasis on strengthening the State's capabilities and research competitiveness in remote sensing will continue. We will remain involved with the Upper Midwest Aerospace Consortium (UMAC) and disseminate the practical products of this research to a broad audience via this partnership. The focus of the remote sensing research at our three member universities will continue to be on applications to agriculture and natural resources, which comprise the largest economic activities in our state. The close ties several scientists from our universities have to the USGS Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Data Center, which is a key Consortium member located in Sioux Falls, SD, enhance these research efforts. Our Summer Faculty Fellowship program augments this connection to the EROS Data Center. The interdisciplinary Upper Missouri River Basin Hydrology Pilot Project (Changes here) funded by NASA Earth Science, which ties into the GEWEX-GCIP program and seeks a greater understanding of the regional water cycle, has strong linkages to many researchers at Consortium institutions.

2. Higher Education

The SDSGC recently funded Si Tanka College's "Computer Science Degree with Emphasis on GIS/RS Technologies" Project Initiation Grant (PIG) for $10,000. This project will assist Si Tanka College (formerly Cheyenne River Community College), a Native American college in rural South Dakota, in assessing the feasibility of developing a course of study leading to a two-year degree in Computer Technology with an emphasis in GIS and Remote Sensing applications. Through collaboration with SDSM&T and the SDSGC, the project will provide the resources to train science and computer faculty from Si Tanka College in GIS technology. In addition, this project will provide GIS fellowships to selected students from Si Tanka College. If the development of this two-year degree program is successful, it could lead to the first one of its nature at a Native American owned and operated institution of higher learning. Such a collaborative educational endeavor will benefit not only the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium, but will also expand the breadth of degree opportunities in NASA-supported technologies at Native American schools. Si Tanka College was recently awarded $300,000 in funding through The College Fund/UNCF NASA Program for their "Curriculum Improvement Partnership Award Program for Minority-Serving Institutions". Combined with this already funded program, the SDSGC PIG project will enhance Si Tanka's educational improvements and will serve as a regional model for increasing the number of Native American students who are exposed to NASA-related science and engineering.

We plan to continue supporting and funding the SDSGC PIG program in 2000. We will also continue our current programs to involve faculty and students from the SDSGC’s Tribal College affiliates in new and ongoing research and education projects with other Consortium institutions.

If SDSM&T's proposal under NASA's KC-135A Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunity competition is funded for the March 2000 flight, the SDSM&T team will conduct an experiment to test the deployment of a thin membrane reflector in zero-g. Lately there has been a growing interest at NASA and DOD regarding the possibility of deploying large membrane structures for space communication, imaging, and transportation. These membrane structures may be from 10 - 100 m or more in breadth. Because the membranes will be so thin and compliant, they will have little stiffness to resist deflecting under their own weight. This makes determining their deployment behavior and final shape during ground tests difficult. Hence, the opportunity for zero-g testing of such membrane structures is desirable. This project will consist of designing a simple membrane system, such as an "umbrella" reflector, which will deploy from a stowed configuration. After deployment, the membrane will rotate to provide centrifugal stiffening. Video and digital cameras will be used to monitor the deployment and final shape of the membrane by viewing the system against a ruled grid. Comparisons with shape measurements performed on the ground, as well as with numerical simulations, will be made. These data will be used for comparison to theoretical and numerical models that predict the membrane shape. This project will provide the SDSM&T team with opportunities for interacting with engineers and scientists working on membrane/inflatable technologies at a number of NASA Centers, including JSC, JPL, GSFC, and MSFC. We plan to leverage this and future KC-135 projects into a NASA space shuttle canister experiment at a later date. An aggressive outreach plan for the KC-135A project will assure excellent information exchange and interaction with students of all grade levels. Our proposed outreach plan includes a KC-135 website, other interactive mechanisms, and extensive media contacts.

We will work with Richard Shope of JPL with regard to the collaborative efforts of JPL, AMES, Dryden, and Goddard in implementing the "From the Sun to the Star Nation" program at SDSGC's Native American schools.

We will continue our activities with the South Dakota Student Research Balloon Project. The project serves as a research and education vehicle for Consortium graduate and undergraduate students, and enhances both our research and outreach efforts.

Graduate and undergraduate students will continue to participate in research efforts at GIS-Remote Sensing and Image Processing Laboratories supported by our Consortium.

3. K-12 Outreach

We will continue support and development of the South Dakota Weather Station Network (SDWSN). Five middle schools in western South Dakota have been operating weather stations supplied by SDSGC for over a year. The stations can measure barometric pressure, temperature and humidity, wind speed and direction, and rainfall. The teachers have been pleased with the project. The continued goal is to get middle school children interested in science and math from the standpoint of practical application. We are in the process of negotiating an agreement with Rapid City television station KNBN to put data from SDWSN weather stations on their web site, and include it in their broadcasts. Internet connection boxes have already been developed for this interactive project by Weather Computation Systems of Kansas City, MO. We will explore the possibility of expanding the scope and effectiveness of this program.

Loneman School Corporation's "So There Will Be Life Through Water" PIG was funded for $10,000. This project will allow a Native American elementary and junior high school on the Pine Ridge Reservation in rural South Dakota to create an interactive "hands-on" learning process focusing on Earth Systems Science.

Wounded Knee District School's "Learn About the Earth: A Hands-On Environmental Earth Science Education Program" PIG was funded by the SDSGC for $10,000. This project will allow the Wounded Knee District School, a Native American school for grades K-8 in rural South Dakota, to develop and implement a hands-on environmental Earth Science and education program. The program is designed to enhance the environmental awareness of participants and assist students to attain higher levels of achievement in mathematics and Earth Science.

The important activities to enhance interest in science and engineering topics and careers among elementary and secondary students in South Dakota will continue. The work of the now "full time" Deputy Director and Outreach Coordinator at SDSM&T will help in this regard, as will the continued outreach activities at Augustana and SDSU.

The sixth annual South Dakota Space Day will be hosted by Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD on April 28, 2000.

The annual summer Aerospace in the Curriculum Workshops will continue in Rapid City and Sioux Falls.

4. Other Public Service

SDSGC plans to incorporate several educational displays at the Children's Science Center that is scheduled to open in Rapid City in the Spring of 2000.

We will continue to give various informational presentations and notices about aerospace programs and activities to groups such as local Science Day fairs, the Civil Air Patrol, Chambers of Commerce, Girl and Boy Scouts, Youth and Family Services, and the South Dakota Air and Space Museum.

The Consortium will continue to sponsor the Star Date program produced by the McDonald Observatory, University of Texas at Austin, on public radio in the state.

The SDSGC will supply informational resources to the NASA ERC that is now located in the new Center of Excellence for Math and Science at Central Elementary School near the campus of BHSU. A NASA ERC is now located at both ends of the state, one in Sioux Falls and one in Spearfish, SD.

5. Fellowships and Scholarships

The Consortium will continue to support research and educational endeavors of faculty and graduate/undergraduate students. At least two Summer Faculty Fellowships to EROS Data Center will be supported.

We will continue our program to provide fellowships to faculty and/or students at all six Tribal College affiliates in South Dakota.

A number of graduate and undergraduate fellowships and scholarships will also be provided. The total awards in these areas will be approximately $50,290.

6. Administration

The Consortium will be represented in 2000 at the National Space Grant Directors' Meetings, the Space Grant Western Regional Meeting, and the National Space Grant Conference. Dr. Sherry Farwell, Dean of Graduate Education and Sponsored Programs at SDSM&T, will continue as the Consortium Director. To coordinate and manage our various efforts in more effective ways, SDSGC established a new full-time position of Deputy Director and Outreach Coordinator at SDSM&T. Mr. Tom Durkin, who has over 12 years experience with State government in South Dakota's capitol of Pierre, has been hired to fill that position. Dr. Kevin Dalsted will continue as the Associate Director at SDSU. Dr. Daniel Swets remains the Associate Director at Augustana College. Don Ohlen will continue as the EROS Data Center Coordinator for Space Grant Consortium activities. Larry Hines will continue to direct the efforts of our educational affiliate, Black Hills State University. With the help of teleconferencing and the Rural Development Telecommunications System (RDTN), we plan to meet frequently to more effectively coordinate and evaluate program progress. The leadership of the SDSGC will build on our success to date and explore new ways to stimulate further participation by the Tribal College affiliates in the Consortium’s activities.


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