UC Berkeley ISEE Chapter

Our collaboration with UC Berkeley dates back to the Center for Adaptive Optics (CfAO) partnership and straddles the years where ISEE was organized as a distinct entity at UCSC.  From 2001-2010, graduate students from both the Astronomy Department and the Vision Science Program at UC Berkeley participated in ISEE’s Professional Development Program (PDP).  We are now renewing our collaboration with UC Berkeley Astronomy, led by Assistant Professor and PDP alumna Jessica Lu.  

Opportunities to Participate in ISEE’s Professional Development Program

The PDP aims to advance leaders in effective and inclusive STEM education through a suite of workshops organized into two intensives, a practical teaching experience, and reflection on what was learned.

Graduate students and postdocs from the UC Berkeley chapter can apply for PDP fee waivers and travel support from ISEE (via PDP application), which is available through this chapter’s participation in the Advancing Inclusive Leaders in Astronomy project funded by the National Science Foundation (AST#17431117), and supports participants in astronomy and physics fields; or through an NSF astronomy research grant to Jessica Lu (AST-1518273). Applicants are encouraged to secure some of their own institutional or grant funding, which will increase likelihood of acceptance and financial support from ISEE.

More information on applying to the PDP.

Previous PDP participants and teaching activities at UC Berkeley


  • In 2019, Fatima Abdurrahman (UCB Astronomy), Emily Martin (UCSC, team lead), and Deno Stelter (UCSC) created an activity on resolving power and diffraction gratings for the AstroTech Development Workshop at UC Berkeley.  Learners in the activity explored the grating properties that would enable a spectrograph to achieve a science goal, and worked on the practice of designing solutions within requirements.
  • In 2018, Paolo Turri (UCB Astronomy) participated on a team with Asher Wasserman (lead, UCSC astronomy and astrophysics) and Christine O'Donnell (University of Arizona astronomy and astrophysics), Amanda Quirk (UCSC astronomy and astrophysics). They designed and taught an activity in WEST where learners used Bayesian inference to update prior beliefs about astrophysical objects in light of new data, and explained results using evidence.
  • In 2010, Linda Strubbe (UCB Astronomy) led a PDP team in designing a lab activity exploring resonant pendula and everyday examples of resonant phenomena.  The activity was designed for a physics lab course at UCSC.  Linda was joined by team members Jerome Fang (UCSC) and Krystian Paczlowski (University of Hawaii).  
  • In 2009, a PDP team led by Nicholas McConnell (UCB Astronomy) and including Linda Strubbe (UCB Astronomy) and Anne Medling (UCSC Astronomy) taught an activity in the Astronomy 1L lab course at Hartnell College.  The hands-on activity focused on measuring light curves and deducing the orbital and physical properties of transiting planets.  The activity also supported the scientific practice of developing research questions.  
  • In 2010, Nicole Putnam (UCB Vision Science) led an activity with Alex Castro (UCSC) for the CfAO Adaptive Optics Summer School, focusing on how low- and high-order aberrations in the eye impact vision.  The activity was designed to  support participants in developing hypotheses and designing investigations using demographic datasets.  Nicole’s activity adapted an earlier PDP activity designed by Holly Maness (UCB Astronomy), Ethan Rossi (UCB Vision Science), and Jennifer Hunter (University of Rochester Vision Science).  

Other UC Berkeley PDP alumni from 2001-2010 include: Mike Fitzgerald, Kate Grieve, Charles Hansen, Peter Kurczynski, Conor Laver, Marshall Perrin, Henry Roe, Ethan Rossi, Johnny Tam, and Michael Helmbrecht.

Graduate students and postdocs at UC Berkeley who are interested in applying to the PDP should contact the UC Berkeley ISEE Chapter Lead: Jessica Lu, jlu.astro@berkeley.edu, 259 Campbell Hall.

Others in the region interested in applying to the PDP, or seeking general information about ISEE, should contact the ISEE program manager in charge of this chapter, Nicholas McConnell: njmcconn@ucsc.edu