AST-0707563/0707426/0707468/0707835Hunter/Elmegreen/Simpson/YoungThis is a collaborative project led by Dr Deidre Hunter of Lowell Observatory, along with Dr Bruce Elmegreen at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Dr Caroline Simpson of Florida International University, and Dr Lisa Young from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.The team will obtain and analyze high angular and velocity resolution neutral hydrogen interferometric data of dwarf irregular galaxies and combine these with their extensive optical, ultra-violet, and infra-red images, in order to determine how these galaxies form star-forming gas clouds that propel their evolution. This study will lead to an improved understanding of star formation in all disk galaxies, by addressing a number of questions: what regulates star formation in small galaxies; what is the relative importance of sequential triggering; what regulates turbulence; how important is triggering by random turbulence; what is happening in the far outer parts of dwarf galaxies; what aspect of star formation changes in blue compact dwarf galaxies? These questions need to be answered because dwarf galaxies are the most common galaxy, the most pristine chemically, and the type most closely connected to the earliest star-forming systems in the universe.High school students, undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers have been, and will continue to be, involved in this journey of scientific discovery. Many of these participants have in the past been women, and some were also from under-represented groups. The team will continue this preference. The investigators are all also involved in continuing public and K-12 outreach activities.