This virtual team collects all independent research presented in 2017, and done by NITARP or Spitzer alumni with (or without) students outside of a formal NITARP team.
To me what stood out [at my first AAS] was the wide variety of work – from characterization of the structure of the Milky Way (more of a challenge than I ever knew!) to the search for and characterization of exoplanets to the understanding of how quasar evolution relates to the origins of the Universe.
I did not anticipate how much the astronomers would trust us right away. I felt more like a colleague than a student, which was relieving (and maybe a bit stressful, because I probably would have found it easier to ask questions coming from a student role).
Overall, I think one of my favorite parts of the trip was watching all of the students from around the country bond into a very productive team. They would help each other through the work we were doing to make sure everyone understood and was at the same place.