Intern Spotlight: Charley Fite at NASA

Charley Fite spent summer boarding NASA research missions and being mentored by the best in science

| September 4, 2017 | 0 Comments

Charley Fite aboard the NASA C-23 Sherpa research aircraft. Photo courtesy of Fite.

When peers ask Charley Fite how his summer was, he will have a unique response.

The senior meteorology major spent eight weeks in California, learning from the best in the science. He was one of 32 accepted undergraduates, and the only student from a North Carolina university, that was a part of the NASA Student Airborne Research Program (NASA SARP).

During the internship, Fite lived and studied with students from all backgrounds and majors as they were exposed to NASA’s earth science research.

“This program is kind of NASA’s way of investing in and recruiting potential future earth scientists,” Fite said.

Fite boarded a NASA research aircraft where he collected air samples of pollution from different atmospheric levels in Southern California. He and his peers then moved to the University of California – Irvine, where they analyzed their samples and data in the lab. At the end of the program, all students presented their individual research findings to NASA faculty and advisors.

Throughout the experience, Fite met the man who terminated Pluto’s title as a planet, held a Nobel Prize and got to see the construction of a rover that will soon be sent to Mars.

The Belmont native is a committee member on the Charlotte Green Initiative (CGI), the admin of @UNCCWeather on Twitter, the President of the Student Organization of Meteorology (STORM) and a member of the University Honors Program. He said his main interests in his field of study are climate change and air pollution.

“I’ve been interested in the Earth Sciences for as long as I can remember,” Fite said.

Fite plans to go to graduate school, but hopes to eventually land a permanent job at an organization such as NASA or NOAA after graduation.

“I want to be able to work in a place that I feel like is making big contributions to that science,” Fite said.

 

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Alexandria Sands Alexandria is the News Editor for the Niner Times. She is a junior Communications major with a double minor in Journalism and Film. Alexandria has reported and taken photographs for The State Port Pilot, The Gaston Gazette and The Shelby Star. She is a graduate of the Academy of Information Technology within Apex High School. You can reach Alexandria at news@ninertimes.com or Twitter.com/alexsands_.

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Alexandria Sands Alexandria is the News Editor for the Niner Times. She is a junior Communications major with a double minor in Journalism and Film. Alexandria has reported and taken photographs for The State Port Pilot, The Gaston Gazette and The Shelby Star. She is a graduate of the Academy of Information Technology within Apex High School. You can reach Alexandria at news@ninertimes.com or Twitter.com/alexsands_.