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Peter Braunschweig



Peter Braunschweig is a Physics (May, ‘19) major, URA Scholar, and a member of the UMBC Honors College. His goal is to obtain a doctorate in astrophysics and have a career in research.

Project Title: Urban Heat Islands and the Great American Eclipse
Cities are made of materials that hold in heat, so at night, they cool off less than the area around them. I am investigating to see if this effect is visible during the eclipse as well, using data from surface weather stations and weather balloons.
Mentor: Dr. Jeffery Halverson, Geography and Environmental Systems

How did I find your mentor/project?
We already knew each other when he started looking for a student to assist in a research project relating to the eclipse. I was very interested in the opportunity to see a solar eclipse, so I jumped at the chance. I came up with the idea to put together a side project of my own, which became the heat island project.


Photo: A volunteer at the viewing site helping me and Dr. Halverson prepare weather balloons.

How has being a URA scholar helped?:
The URA program provided guidance to help me plan the project and understand where to start.

Hardest part:
Time management and keeping on schedule.

Most rewarding part:
So far, seeing the eclipse. But I’m not done my data analysis yet.

Plans to share research:
I will have a poster at URCAD on April 25th!

Advice for other students:
Know what you’re getting into and how to manage your time.

Be like Peter and become a URA Scholar- get up to $1500 to support your research or creative work! Go to:


Get back jack!