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2013 Current

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Should be Transparent
NOAA-CREST West Accomplishments
M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. Success 2011-2013
Teachers Are Invited to Join NOAA's
Climate Stewards Education Project (CSEP)
New Online Education Tool from NOAA
November 5, 2013
SEA and NOAA-CREST West at the California Science Education Conference 2013
Palm Springs, October 24-27, 2013
Satellites & Education Conference XXVI
Satellites & Education Conference: Super Professional Development for Teachers
M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. Team Students Deliver Information-Packed Presentation on the Environmental Impact of Particulate Aerosols
In Memorium
Bruce C. Murray

Satellites & Education Conference XXVI

The 26th anniversary Satellites & Education Conference was held August 1-3, 2013 at California State University, Los Angeles, promoting more than a quarter century of service to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. K-12 teachers, university educators, graduate and undergraduate students, pre-service teachers, high school students of the M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. program, government-supported science and education outreach specialists, and aerospace leaders were welcomed by Mark McKay, Satellite Educators Association (SEA) President, and Dr. Eunsook Hyun, Dean of the Charter College of Education at Cal State LA. The Conference hosted wonderfully informative keynote speakers.

Dean Davis, AIAA Los Angeles-Las Vegas Section Vice Chair for K-12 STEM Education, AIAA Past Section Chair, Satellite Educators Association Vice President and an internationally recognized expert in space solar power and its benefits to all, spoke of "Drilling Up" at the Conference Banquet Friday, August 2. In the face of global population growth, humankind's demand for fresh water is draining water from our aquifers faster than the natural water cycle can replenish it, Davis says. He suggests turning around these trends with aerospace technology. His presentation described the feasibility of a space solar power (SSP) system that can beam solar energy to collecting sites on the Earth and how this can end the world's dependence on fossil fuels by electrolyzing water into hydrogen and oxygen to power transportation, industry, and homes as well as end global thirst by desalinizing seawater into drinking water. His entertaining and informative presentation was well received.

Dr. Nahum Melamud, a nationally renowned space debris expert from The Aerospace Corporation, spoke of the environmental impact of space debris and asteroids and the importance of satellites. Melamud described two types of Near Earth Objects (NEO): manmade space debris and naturally occurring objects such as asteroids and comets. He distinguished the extensive impact cratering found on some planets and moons from the limited evidence of impact cratering on the Earth due to weathering and erosion. Dr. Melamud included photographic evidence of Earth strikes including Meteor Crater in Arizona, the Tunguska event in Russia in 1908 and the asteroid explosion event over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February 2013. A planetary defense system, Melamud says, must include components for detection, deciding to act, and for deflection or destruction of the asteroid, if necessary. One means of detection involves a timed series of photographs of the night sky in which the movement of a moving object might be tracked against the relatively fixed field of stars. Deflection of an asteroid, he says, involves applying a small velocity change to the object's trajectory. Dr. Melamud then demonstrated an interactive, physics-based asteroid deflection simulator that was developed at The Aerospace Corporation for NASA. His engaging presentation was appreciated by all.

The Satellite Educators Association (SEA), producer of the conference, was founded in 1989 in response to an overwhelmingly positive turn out for the first Satellites & Education Conference. It is a non profit 501(c)(3), professional organization of educators and others who want to enhance the education environment to excite students about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through space-based technology - satellites and satellite data. Association activities include professional development for teachers, especially the annual Satellites & Education Conference and its Multinational Youth Studying Practical Applications of Climatic Events (M.Y. S.P.A.C.E.) program. SEA members assist in full curriculum development with lesson activities that meet national standards; supplemental curriculum development tailored to specific state standards, learning groups, and classrooms on request; promote public outreach; and consult with aerospace businesses in meeting their educational outreach requirements. Extra financial support for the conference and the M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. Program this year came from the Cal State LA's Charter College of Education and a grant from NOAA CREST West.

"The volunteer staff is largely responsible for the success and longevity of this conference," said Dr. Paula Arvedson of Cal State LA and Satellites & Education Conference Coordinator. Under the guidance of Volunteer Coordinator Rodrigo Rosiglione, the conference staff was visible during the conference and worked tirelessly behind the scenes. Most were from the local chapter of Pi Lambda Theta, the country's oldest educational honor society, as well as students from the Charter College of Education at Cal State LA.

For more about this conference including pictures as well as information about 2014's Satellites & Education Conference XXVII, you are invited to regularly visit:


Satellites & Education Conference: Super Professional Development for Teachers

Twelve concurrent sessions in six blocks spanning two days were offered at Satellites & Education Conference XXVI, August 1-3, in support of teacher professional development. Presenters and topics included:

  • Pete Arvedson, Editor/Author Satellite Educators Association More Lessons from the Sky monthly - "Fishing via Satellite" and "Electromagnetic Spectrum and Satellites"
  • Robert Black, Author - "Mathematical Fiction"
  • Peter Falcon, NASA/JPL Outreach Coordinator - "About GLOBE Training"
  • Brandi Gamelin, NOAA-CREST West sponsored researcher - "Pacific Ocean Influences on Southern California Climate Changes"
  • Freddy Hsu, NOAA-CREST West sponsored researcher - "Urban Heat Islands and Global Warming in Southern California"
  • Duane Laursen, Algalita Marine Research Foundation - "Opportunities for Classroom Studies of Marine Plastic Pollution"
  • Margaret Mooney, Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison - "Satellite Apps for iOS Devices" and "Web-Based Resources for Satellite Meteorology Education"
  • John Moore, Einstein Fellow Emeritus, and Peter Dorofy, National Earth Science Teachers Association North East Regional Director - "BLUECUBE Project: Building, Launching, Utilizing, Educating using CubeSats" and "Integrating GeoSTEM in the Classroom"
  • Ed Murashie, President, ProEngineered Solutions - "Satellites - Viewing the Earth from Space"
  • Dr. Pedro Ramirez and Dr. Steve LaDochy, Department of Geosciences & Environment, California State University, Los Angeles - "Sea Level Rise: Warming Oceans and Melting Ice"
  • Invigorating extras...
    Pre-conference field trips
    for teachers. On Thursday, August 1, The Aerospace Corporation generously hosted a tour for teachers of their STARS Lab - that's the Spacelift Telemetry Acquisition & Reporting System (STARS), a satellite launch vehicle and controls facility in El Segundo, California.

    The Exhibit Hall offered exciting, informative, and interactive stations providing information, teaching materials and support from the Satellite Educators Association, NOAA, NASA, AIAA, and The Aerospace Corporation. The level of participation of government-based organizations in the Exhibit Hall was reduced by funding cuts this year. Nonetheless, NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) and National Weather Service provided bountiful handouts and information at a table staffed by local volunteers Ed Murashie of ProEngineered Solutions and David Sweet of the National Weather Service, Oxnard Office. NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory was ably represented by Annie Richardson of the Ocean Topography Mission Office. Many thanks to all who contriubted unwavering support for teachers and STEM education.

    For more about this conference including pictures as well as information about 2014's Satellites & Education Conference XXVII, you are invited to regularly visit:

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    M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. Team Delivers Information-Packed Presentation on the Environmental Impact of Particulate Aerosols

    Click here to view the slides for the 2013 M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. Report.

    The 12th annual M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. research report was a special highlight of Satellites & Education Conference XXVI on Saturday afternoon, August 3, 2013 at California State, Los Angeles. M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. (Multinational Youth Studying Practical Applications of Climatic Events) is a collaborative research program of students grades 9-12 from high schools around the world. Representing their schools in this year's program were 1 student from Burlington County Institute of Technology in Medford, New Jersey guided by Teacher-Leaders Peter Dorofy and Stacy Greathouse; 5 students from STERN Math and Science High School on the campus of Cal State LA guided by Teacher-Leader May Cheung; 3 students from the Towers School in Ashford, Kent, United Kingdom guided by Teacher-Leader Simon Cracknell; and 8 students from Xiamen Hubin High School in Xiamen, Fujian, Peoples Republic of China guided by Teacher-Leaders Annie Song and Liming Jia. Unable to send student representatives this year were M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. groups at the Carrollton School in Miami, Florida, Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Zwelibanzi Secondary School in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Throughout the year and at the conference, the entire team was ably led by the Satellites Educators Association M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. Coordinator Michael Holst.

    The 2012-2013 research focused on discovering common threads and potential global trends related to the local impacts of particulate aerosols. While often associated with gaseous components, particulate aerosols include fire smoke, wind-borne dust (such as Saharan dust blown across the Mediterannean Sea and Atlantic Ocean), and volcanic ash plumes. Using both satellite and ground-based data, the team looked for relationships between (1) volcanic eruptions in Alaska and Iceland and air quality and economic impacts in Los Angeles and London, respectively, (2) aerosol impact on hurricane formation in the North Atlantic, (3) aerosols and rainfall in Fujian, and (4) global mechanisms supporting migration of aerosol particulates. The individual school teams reported their local findings to each other early in the week. The remainder of the conference time was spent in pursuit of finding and understanding commonalities in their local datasets and the wider-area or global implications these may infer.

    The student team discovered that aerosols block sunlight from heating the ocean contributing to tropical storms of lesser number and intensity; there is a direct correlation between increased aerosol optical density and both higher rainfall and greater sandstorm frqeuency; wide-area or global distribution of particulate aerosols depends on the particulates reaching the jet stream above 6 km (20,000 ft); the sources of particulate aerosols in this study did not reach above 6 km; socio-economic effects varied and seemed to depend as much on particulate source and location as anything else; environmentally, volcanic eruptions in this study both heated and cooled the atmosphere in different locations. Overall, the team concluded particulate aerosols are an integral and complex part of the Earth Systems and warrant further study in order to better grasp the bigger picture.

    The M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. Program is an international collaboration of high school students engaged in self-selected research projects on the local impact of global environmental issues. Students work with their own, trained, Teacher-Leaders at their school sites using both locally generated and satellite-based data with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Teams from each school meet at the annual Satellites & Education Conference to discover global trends in their collective data and present their findings. Students learn and practice techniques of scientific investigation; methods of data processing, analysis and interpretation; leadership; and effective communication. They work with NOAA and NASA scientists and engineers, experience university campus life, and can apply for special internships at selected university research centers such as the Center for Energy and Sustainability (CE&S) and the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Marine Ecosystems & Climate (CIMEC), both at Cal State LA.

    The M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. Program is an initiative of the Satellites & Education Conference which is produced by the non-profit Satellite Educators Association. It is administered from the campus of California State University, Los Angeles. The program is supported by NOAA, NASA, and the NOAA-CREST West grant. It is aligned with NOAA goals of building excitement about careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). NOAA-CREST (Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center) is a consortium of five colleges and universities. Cal State LA is the only NOAA-CREST partner on the west coast and the only one with an internationally active K-12 research program.

    Click here to view the slides for the 2013 M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. Report.

    Mark McKay, President, Satellite Educators Association (SEA), formally received the M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. Report for the SEA. He congratulated the team members and challenged them to continue questioning and looking for answers. His brief remarks officially closed Satellites & Education Conference XXVI.

    For more about this conference including pictures as well as information about 2014's Satellites & Education Conference XXVII, you are invited to regularly visit:

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    Bruce Churchill Murray

    Bruce MurrayDr. Bruce Murray began his career as a petroleum geologist. In 1960, he joined the staff of California Institute of Technology as a planetary astronomer but was soon invited to join the imaging team of Cal Tech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) first two missions to Mars, Mariner 3 and 4. His emphasis was on obtaining pictures of the surface of planets and moons in the solar system. Although his advocacy for pictures seemed unrealistic to some, he was convinced scientists would be better enabled to interpret geologic processes on planetary bodies from close images of planets' surfaces. As Director of JPL from 1976 to 1982, Murray played a key role in the recruitment women. He was a tireless promoter for planetary research in Washington, D.C. and on the international front. With Carl Sagan and Louis Friedman he founded the Planetary Society, a non-profit organization supporting and lobbying for deep space exploration.

    Bruce Murray was born Nov. 30, 1931 in New York City, educated at Massachusetts Insitute of Technology earning a doctorate in geology in 1955. He was author or co-author of six books and more than 130 scientific papers. He received NASA's exceptional scientific achievement medal in 1971 and its distinguished public service medal in 1974. Asteroid 4957 Brucemurray is named after him.

    Murray will be remembered as a friend of the Satellites & Education Conference and the M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. program. He was the primary keynote speaker at the Satellites & Education Conference in 2002 when the conference moved to California State University, Los Angeles from West Chester University in Pennsylvania.

    He is survived by Suzanne, his wife of 41 years, five children and 10 grandchildren.

    This summary was freely adapted from an August 30, 2013 article in the Los Angeles Times by Thomas H. Maugh II. The full text of the article can be read at

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    SEA and NOAA-CREST West at the California Science Education Conference 2013

    The Satellite Educators Association (SEA) supported by NOAA-CREST West hosted a block of workshops for teachers at the California Science Teachers Association's (CSTA) annual California Science Education Conference in Palm Springs, October 25-27, 2013. Each of the four workshops was based on a selected lesson plan from More Lessons from the Sky, a regular feature in the SEA's monthly online Newsletter. The intention of the workshop block was to introduce SEA and NOAA-CREST West to California science teachers, raise awareness of the SEA and NOAA-CREST West web sites and access to the lesson plans online.

    Dr. Paula Arvedson, NOAA-CREST West Director and Associate Professor of Education at California State University, Los Angeles, presented PLAN!t NOW's Young Meteorologist Program. Teachers of grades Kindergarten through middle school attended, receiving a full introduction to Owlie Skywarn, hands-on experience with the Young Meteorologist Program Severe Weather Preparedness adventure online game, and the National Weather Service's Weather Ready Nation awareness program. In turn, they provided excellent feedback and suggestions for improvement they hope PLAN!T NOW will consider in the future.

    Pete Arvedson, lesson plan author and editor of More Lessons from the Sky, presented workshops based on "Finding Fish Using Satellites," "Tracking Hurricane Sandy," and "Electromagnetic Radiation and Satellites: Antenna Design."

    In Finding Fish Using Satellites learners attempted to determine the best location of a commercially marketable fish using knowledge of fish natural history, horizontal and vertical ocean currents, and remotely sensed sea surface temperature. The workshop demonstrated how teachers and their students could access sea surface temperature data using the NASA Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center Live Access Server, then process the data with ImageJ and differently with MultiSpec software to collaboratively decide the most likely location of the fish.

    The Tracking Hurricane Sandy workshop presented an inquiry strategy in which learners might discover how Hurricane Sandy became what the media called a "superstorm" by comparing characteristics of Hurricane Sandy with those of Hurricane Katrina, the two most destructive North Atlantic tropical cyclones in recorded history. First, participants visually experienced the storms by examining satellite imagery videos of each. Then they reviewed how a hurricane forms while referring to imagery from several different satellite-based remote sensors. We are grateful to Steve Harrison from the National Weather Service's Western Region Headquarters in San Diego who was on-hand to answer teachers' questions. Based on the satellite imagery, measurements were made of each hurricane's cloud field at landfall using ImageJ, and various characteristics of the storms were plotted over time on an interactive map using ArcGIS Explorer Online.

    The Electromagnetic Radiation and Satellites lesson plan illustrated the relationship between wavelength, frequency, and the size of an antenna for receiving weather satellite transmissions. After appropriate calculations, a 1/10th scale model of a 5-element Yagi antenna was constructed. Many questions about theories behind the antenna construction were raised by the attending teachers. The questions were appreciated and appropriate as they highlight the springboard nature of this lesson by providing potential extension activities for classroom learners.

    More than 1500 attending teachers chose from over 175 workshops and other activities at this annual conference. Approximately 120 teachers participated in our workshops representing all grade levels from K-13 and subject areas including Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Physics, Physical Science, Mathematics, Technology, and Engineering.

    Click here for more information about our partner PLAN!T NOW.
    Click here for more information about each of the lesson plans presented at these workshops.
    Click here for more information about NOAA-CREST West.
    Click here for more information about the Satellite Educators Association and accessing its monthly Newsletter online.

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    NOAA VIEW Launched Today

    Nina Jackson, NOAA NESDIS
    November 5, 2013

    NOAA View was beta launched today, NOAA announced. NOAA View is an online educational tool that gives educators and the public interactive access to NOAA environmental data, enabling unique views of the world's oceans, land, atmosphere, cryosphere and climate.

    NOAA View, which was developed by NOAA's Center for Satellite Applications and Research and the NOAA Visualization Lab, brings together more than 60 diffrerent sets of data, some even as far back as 1880, with new data sets being added regularly. Content is updated on a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual basis as data observations and collections permit.

    The NOAA View imagery portal provides a single point for experiencing NOAA data, including environmental information captured by satellites, inserted into scientific models and other data analyses. Users can browse, animate, and download high-resolution imagery from the NOAA Visualization Lab, making it an ideal tool for putting NOAA data into the hands of students in classrooms around the world.

    Examples of data contents include: wind speed, coral bleaching, ice cover, vegetation, precipitation, and views of the Earth at night. NOAA View lets users manipulate the display to change views of the world, data inputs, and periods of time to observe the Earth.

    Please tkae some time to try out NOAA View and its unique capabilities. We are excited to begin using this capability as an outreach and education tool, and have set a goal of making sure it is useful to all of our offices and centers. To achieve that goal, your input will be very important. If you have any questions or comments, contact the NOAA View lead, Dan Pisut (

    NOAA View is compatible with all major browsers, as well as Apple and Android mobile devices. To use NOAA View, visit:

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    Teachers Are Invited to Join the Climate Stewards Education Project

    Climate Stewards

    NOAA Climate Stewards: A National Education & Action Project.

    Find Out How To Join this Exciting Community of Learning!

    Would you like to increase your climate science knowledge?

    Would you like to join a national community of educators interested in projects that make a difference in your local area?

    Since 2009 NOAA has been managing an exciting national education initiative for formal and informal educators - the Climate Stewards Education Project (CSEP). The goals of this project are to provide educators with sustained professional development, collaborative tools, and support to build a climate-literate public that is actively engaged in climate stewardship activities. We are seeking new educators to join the CSEP community in 2014. The CSEP Leadership Team would appreciate if you could distribute the following Project invitation to your respective networks and interested colleagues.

    NOAA's Climate StewardsEducation Project (CSEP) provides formal and informal educators working with elementary through university age students with sustained professional development, collaborative tools, and support to build a climate-literate public that is actively engaged in climate stewardship.

    After completing minimum requirements, you will be eligible for:

  • Mini-grant funding to develop and implement a climate stewardship action plan
  • Travel stipends to attend and present at key professional development conferences
  • Special CSEP contests with monetary and educational resource prizes
  • To learn more about CSEP and find out how to apply, you must attend one of the introductory program webinars. Click on one of the links below to register for your desired session. Application information will be provided following each webinar session.

    Wed, November 13, 2013 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM EST

    Tue, November 19, 2013 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM EST

    Once registered you will receive an email confirming your registration with information you need to join the Webinar.

      IMPORTANT NOTES - Please Read!
    1. Plan to log into the webinar at least 5 minutes before the scheduled start time. GoToWebinar has recently upgraded their software. We want to be sure that your computer has time to access the upgrade and you are able to access the presentation and meeting.
    2. Please use the VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) option for this Webinar. If you elect to use the phone number provided for audio (1-470-200-0305, Access Code 510-317-632), you will be charged for a long distance call.
    3. When using the VOIP option for this Webinar, You must use a headset or ear bud-speakers. This will keep your output audio from re-entering your microphone, causing distortion.

    If you have difficulty logging in to the webinar go to:

    The ID Number for the Webinar on November 13 is: 784433602.

    The ID Number for the webinar scheduled on November 19 is: 303156594

    Join us!

    The Fine Print… If you decide to join this effort, you will be committing to:

  • Complete and reflect on at least 15 hours of professional development (PD) training in climate science and education in 2014
  • Complete and reflect on at least 9 hours of PD training in climate science and education for each additional year you remain with the Project
  • Fully participate in monthly CSEP national and regional events during evening hours. National level events occur on the first and last Monday evenings of every month
  • Develop and Implement a climate stewardship project in your school, community, or organization, focused on mitigating the effects of climate change
  • Use the CSEP Wiki to post PD reflections, classroom activities in climate change, stewardship project plans, progress updates, as well as share resources, comments and results with other CSEP educators
  • Fully participate in CSEP evaluation efforts
  • Applicants selected to participate in CSEP will be notified by the last week of December 2013

    System Requirements:

  • PC-based attendees: Required: Windows® 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
  • Mac®-based attendees: Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer
  • Mobile attendees: Required: iPhone®, iPad®, AndroidTM phone or Android tablet
  • This notice was posted by Bruce Moravchik, NOAA's National Ocean Service, Communications & Education Division, 1305 East West Highway, N/MB6, SSMC4, Suite 9633, Silver Spring, MD 20910 who claims the contents of this message are his personally and do not necessarily reflect any position of the Government or the National Oceanic and ATmsopheric Administration.

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    NOAA-CREST West Accomplishments
    M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. Program Success 2011-2013

    The Multinational Youth Studying Practical Applications of Climatic Events (M.Y. S.P.A.C.E.) program has made a significant impact on the career goals of participating high school students. M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. is the international collaborative environmental research program for high school students, an initiative of the Satellites & Education Conference. Surveys of the students conducted by their teachers before the students joined the program and by the conference at the conclusion of the program year clearly indicate decidedly increased interest in science, math, engineering, and technology (STEM) related careers. The results of surveys made of students in the 2011-2012 and the 2012-2013 program years are shown here.

    Student Career Goals 2011-2013

    Before M.Y. S.P.A.C.E.After M.Y. S.P.A.C.E.Growth
    STEM537+ 640%
    Medical-Related710+ 43%
    Non-STEM43- 25%
    Undecided5016- 68%

    The M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. program is supported by NOAA, NASA, and the NOAA-CREST West grant.

    Click here for more information about the M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. program.

    Click here for more information about NOAA-CREST West.

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    NOAA-CREST West Internet Address Change Should Be Transparent

    The NOAA-CREST West web site is hosted by the California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA), and CSULA has been transitioning their entire web access to a new system. The result is a minor change in the universal resource locator (URL) for NOAA-CREST West.



    Notice, the only change is from "www" to "web."

    During the transition period, NOAA-CREST West was unavailable for several days. As of Friday, December 20, 2013, the CSULA site has been updated to redirect the old "www" address users to the new "web" address. The redirection should be almost instantaneous and compeltely transparent to the user. However, it would be best if all NOAA-CREST West users made changes in their own records to reflect the updated URL.

    For more information about NOAA-CREST West, please visit the NOAA-CREST West home page at

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    California State University, Los Angeles