Las Cruces – Owen Boberg, a New Mexico State University student majoring in physics, has won a Fulbright Fellowship. The prestigious award will allow him to study in Chile and to use various telescopes at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory while collaborating with world-class astronomers.
"Finding out was one of the most exciting days in not only my college career, but my life," Boberg said. "I could not believe my eyes. I literally handed the letter to my sister and said, 'Please read this and tell me I'm not crazy.'"
Boberg will graduate this semester with a bachelor's degree in physics. He also minored in chemistry and math. While in Chile, he will work on "cataclysmic variables," which focus on binary star systems where one star consumes the other. Because of the Chilean school year, he will not start his research there until January 2011.
"Such a recognition is a great honor and it will, without a doubt, open countless doors for me in both my educational and professional career," Boberg said.
"Owen is one of the brightest students, if not the brightest student I have worked with in my nearly 20 years at NMSU," said Tom Harrison, an observatory specialist in NMSU's Department of Astronomy.
Boberg has worked in NMSU's astronomy department for the past two years with Harrison and other astronomy faculty working on various research projects. He has also worked with Boris Kiefer, of NMSU's physics department, performing research on the Earth's core.
Boberg will take a few graduate courses this fall. Following his time in Chile, he plans to enroll in a Ph.D. program in either astronomy or physics.