Winona State University professor Dr. Carl Ferkinhoff has been awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER grant. Ferkinhoff, a professor in the physics department at WSU, is an astronomer working to understand how the history of galaxies in the early universe have evolved to produce the universe we see today.
“More specifically I study the gas, dust and stars in these early galaxies using emission lines that are visible at submillimeter wavelengths,” Ferkinhoff said. “I also have interests in astronomical instrumentation, building the instruments and hardware that let us make the observations of theses galaxies.”
Much of this work is done with collaborators at Cornell University, Georgia Southern University and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany.
Ferkinhoff’s project, “Astronomical Research, Instrumentation, and Education with Undergraduates via ZINGRS,” has been awarded nearly $820,000 through the CAREER program.
The program at the National Science Foundation provides the most prestigious awards to the support of early career-faculty. The funds will go to support Ferkinhoff’s study of galaxies in the early universe and the building of instruments and tools to enable the study.
The grant will also allow the development of a family science night at Kids First. Students will participate in observing trips to Chile, reducing data, reporting results at conferences, building instruments, and leading the family science night. Ferkinhoff is passionate about preparing excellent future science teachers, using student-centered methods of teaching, and providing equitable learning opportunities for all of his students.
Each year, Winona State University and its faculty and staff are awarded funding from public and private sources, including the National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Bush Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and National Collegiate Athletics Association. This funding supports faculty and staff teaching, research, professional development, collaboration and outreach and provides students with research, internship, work, travel and a broad range of other educational and enrichment opportunities.