Astrophysics Research Group (ARG)

This is a team of hardworking and goal-driven students, led by Dr. John Armstrong, physics professor for WSU. This opportunity provides growth as individuals, encourages critical thinking, and creates room for the love of astrophysics to flourish. 


Astrophysics Research Group team members


Bio/Research project


Physics major, Astrophysics
Alex is our social media point person, and assists in observatory maintenance.


Physics major, Astrophysics

I’m at Weber State University to earn my associates degree, and bachelors degree in Physics with an emphasis on Astrophysics. I have a pet pig who’s name is Bella that slept with me at night in my bed (when I lived at home), and she’s currently 4 years old!  
Carson Physics Major, Emphasis on Astrophysics I am a sophomore studying physics here at Weber State. So far it has been such a great experience. Learning about our place in the universe has been my biggest passion. Some of my hobbies include playing basketball, ping pong, and hiking.


Electrical Engineering major I have always had a passion for the things that lie yonder above and because of the demanding nature of my major I couldn't declare astronomy as a second major, I decided to work and become part of the team so that I can learn as I go. I am currently working on my senior project which is to build an autonomous driving robot.  


Jeremy is creating music background tracks for future use in planetarium shows.


Applied Mathematics Major,
Physics Minor

Michael is working on enabling remote operation of the dome wind-shear pins for the observatory.


B.S. 2017, Physics and English teaching

Murielle Parkinson Shallbetter is a Physics and English teacher who volunteers at the Ott Planetarium while she takes some time away from the classroom to be a full-time Mom. She is working on a suite of shows for Girl Scouts!


Physics major, Astrophysics I’m a Senior attending WSU for the amazing AstroPhysics program. I'm currently starting research on exoplanets and habitable zones in other solar systems. In my free time I silversmith turquoise jewelry!


Chemistry major Sarah Kortkamp is a chemistry major graduating this spring. She loves space generally, dreams of seeing the Earth from space, and enjoys bringing a slightly different perspective to the team.


Physics major, Traditional Seku is working on a sky brightness survey in the Ogden, UT area.

Jon Rizzo

Physics major, Astrophysics

Assistant Director, WSU Public Observatory

I am a Junior studying physics at Weber State, and I love it here. My current research involves looking for new exoplanets in star clusters.

Nisi Whisler Sorge

Physics and Math
double major

Assistant Director, Ott Planetarium

I am a 5th year senior, perpetually studying physics and math.  I am working on my second bachelor's degree from Weber State (B.A. Journalism, 2001).  I am finishing up a research project involving the longevity of red hair dye.