Presentation #315.01 in the session College Education and Outreach Programs.
The North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) collaboration, an NSF Physics Frontiers Center, searches for gravitational waves (GWs) in pulsar timing data from Arecibo Observatory (AO) and the Green Bank Telescope (GBT). The Student Teams of Astrophysics Researchers (STARS) program engages undergraduates at NANOGrav institutions and beyond through training in key science areas of NANOGrav that contribute to GW detection. These activities include searching survey data for new pulsars and conducting remote timing observations with the GBT. Weekly multi-institution telecons and student sessions at collaboration meetings train students in these skills, as well as in soft skills such as organizing and presenting research work, leadership of small teams, and networking with other students and senior researchers. Pulsars discovered by STARS students are essential for GW detection, since the signal-to-noise of the GW background amplitude scales linearly with the number of pulsars regularly timed.