The South Dakota Space Grant Consortium (SDSGC) conducts programs in six main areas. The Consortium’s activities in these areas during the past year are summarized below.


 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 SDSGC activities. Highlights in research areas over the past year include:

  1. Submission of a successful Science Data Buy proposal to Stennis Space Center for an October overflight in eastern South Dakota. The aim of this ongoing, interdisciplinary research is to learn how detailed, repetitive aerial multi-spectral remote sensing data can be used for monitoring field sites and developing decision models. The long-term ecological monitoring site proposed for the Prairie Potholes through the developing NASA EPSCoR project will require characterization by such remote sensing data collection and analysis.
  2. Support for the remote sensing portion of a research proposal prepared in collaboration with animal and veterinary scientists in which AVHRR-derived greenness will be examined in relation to a particular parasite in beef cattle on the rangelands of western South Dakota.


2.    Higher Education

In the past year, we have had great success with our Diversity Enhancement Fellowship program. By this means we provide research and educational opportunities for faculty and students at Tribal Colleges and other Native American educational institutions in South Dakota. All six Tribal Colleges with campuses in South Dakota are now Educational Affiliates of our Consortium: Oglala Lakota College, Sinte Gleska University, Si Tanka College (formerly Cheyenne River Community College), Sitting Bull College (headquarters in Ft. Yates, ND), Sisseton-Wahpeton Community College, and Lower Brule Community College.

Recently, the SDSGC held a competition targeted on Native American institutions in SD for Program Initiation Grants (PIG). Six proposals were submitted and three were supported out of the SDSGC Diversity Enhancement funds. Funded projects were: "Life Through Water", Loneman School Corporation, Oglala, SD; "Computer Science Degree with Emphasis on GIS/RS Technologies", Si Tanka College, Eagle Butte, SD; and "Learn About the Earth: A Hands-On Environmental Earth Science Education Program", Wounded Knee District School, Manderson, SD. Arrangements were made with authors of the nonfunded proposals (Sitting Bull College, Ft. Yates, ND; Enemy Swim Day School, Waubay, SD; and Sicangu Policy Institute and Sinte Gleska University, Mission, SD) to work with other SDSGC members to enhance their proposal's competitiveness for a second PIG competition to be held in Spring 2000.

Si Tanka College's "Computer Science Degree with Emphasis on GIS/RS Technologies" PIG was funded 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 Science with an emphasis in GIS and Remote Sensing technology. Through collaboration with SDSM&T and the SDSGC, the project will provide the resources to train Si Tanka College science and computer faculty in GIS technology as well as provide GIS fellowships to selected students. If the development of such a degree tract is found feasible, it could lead to the first one of its nature at a Native American owned and operated institution of higher learning. This would benefit not only the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium, but would 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.

Dr. MaryJo Lee, SDSGC Diversity Coordinator, was an active participant in the 2+2+2 program on the SDSU campus. The goal of the 2+2+2 program is to improve Native American recruitment and retention at SDSU.

A SDSM&T graduate student, Angie Monheim, was selected for the Student Internship Program at Goddard Space Flight Center. While at Goddard this summer, Ms. Monheim worked on a Modular Wideband Active Vibration Absorber project with Dr. S. Wahid Zewari.

In the past year, we focused the efforts of the South Dakota Student Research Balloon Project on the launching of free and tethered balloon systems for generating weather, climate and hydrology data. These balloon-based measurements were conducted during the Intensive Observation Period (IOP) of the NASA-funded UMRB hydrology project. In addition to their potential use in research projects, these systems have found great utility in our Outreach programs.

Our SDSGC-funded students are also involved with the precision agriculture, climate change, environmental science, algorithm development, paleolimnology, and land surface processes research at the GIS-Remote Sensing and Image Processing Laboratories at SDSGC institutions.

In August of this year, SDSM&T compiled a team of students, faculty, and press representation for NASA's KC-135A Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunity competition and subsequently submitted a proposal in November. If funded, an experiment to test the deployment of thin membranes in zero-g will be conducted in the March 2000 KC-135A flight. Partial support for this pending KC-135A project will be provided by the SDSGC FY-2000 budget.




Dr. Oguz Kucur, EE Dept
IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference, Houston, Texas (May 17-18, 1999)
Presented paper "Performance of Scale-Code Division Multiple Access (SCDMA) Over the Asynchronous AWGN Channel"

Dr. Sung Y. Shin, Computer Science
International ISCA CATA-99 Conference, Cancun, Mexico (April 6-9, 1999)
Presented papers "Real-Time Email ‘Talk’ Under Windows NT" and "Heuristic Rules for Data Warehouse Developments"

Dr Shin is currently working at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston for the Fall of 1999. He is developing a fully functional software system, CEVP (Countermeasures Evaluation and Validation Project) for the Division of Space Life Sciences in NASA JSC. The proposed CEVP Database is intended to interface with the International Space Station (ISS) and Mission Control Center data collection, distribution and archival protocols for medical and operational data.

Robert Finch, EE Dept
Data Compression Conference and Workshop (March, 1999)

Mary O’Neill, ERC
1999 Annual National Association of Research in Science Teaching Conference, Boston (March 28-31, 1999)
Present paper "Prairie to Mountain Explorer: GIS and Remote Sensing Datasets for the Classroom"


Dr. Sherry Farwell, SDSGC Director
National Council of Space Grant Directors Meeting, Wash. D.C. (March 10-13,1999)

Tom Durkin, SDSGC Deputy Director & Outreach Coordinator
National Space Grant Directors Meeting, Honolulu, HI (October 22-25, 1999)

Several meetings and trips were supported by Space Grant to allow Sherry Farwell and the former Outreach Coordinators Linda Allen and Annmarie Merager to travel to SDSGC meetings, Native American schools, Space Day activities, etc.


Dr. Daniel Swets, Craig Spencer, Reynold Nesiba, and others were supported by Space Grant for travel and research.


3.    K-12 Outreach

The Consortium now employs a full-time Deputy Director/Outreach Coordinator at our lead institution (SDSM&T) and part time Outreach Coordinators at SDSU, Augustana and EDC to develop and coordinate K-12 programs. Highlights from the past year include:


4.    Other Public Service

This service area included press releases and various informational presentations 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 continues to sponsor the Star Date program produced by the McDonald Observatory, University of Texas at Austin, on public radio in the state.


5.    Fellowships and Scholarships

The SDSGC sponsored two Summer Faculty Fellowships that were tenable at EDC. These fellowships enhance the coordination of research activities among Consortium members and strengthen the research infrastructure component by building up the state’s capabilities in remote sensing. Dr. Maribeth Price from SDSM&T studied Monitoring and Modeling of Prairie Potholes at EDC this summer. The faculty-selected member from SDSU was Dr. Madeleine Andrawis.

SDSGC also supported a number of graduate and undergraduate students through fellowships, scholarships, and assistantships. We have established a Diversity Enhancement Fellowship program to provide research and educational opportunities for faculty and students at Tribal Colleges and other Native American institutions in South Dakota. The total amount of Consortium support for faculty and students through these avenues exceeded $50,000 over the project year.


6.    Administration

SDSGC members conducted four face-to-face meetings and two teleconference meetings/seminars during the past project year. These meetings allowed for interactive discussion of the issues and direction of the Consortium. We continued to focus on competitive allotment of SDSGC funds and the goal of nurturing projects that can attract external support.

In order to better coordinate our various efforts, SDSGC established a new, full-time position of Deputy Director and Outreach Coordinator at SDSM&T. This position has been ably filled by Mr. Tom Durkin.

The Consortium was represented at the Spring and Fall Space Grant Directors’ Meetings, and at the Western Regional Meeting in Austin.


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