For Immediate Release
February 12, 2019
Contact: Dr. Regina Jorgenson
Astronomy Intern at The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association Wins Prestigious Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Award at National Conference
Nantucket, MA – The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) congratulates summer 2018 National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) intern Caeley Pittman on winning a prestigious Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Award at the recent American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting in Seattle, Washington that took place January 6-10, 2019..
At this 233rd meeting of the AAS, Pittman presented her summer research in a poster entitled “Searching for Intermediate-Mass Black Holes in the Optical Time Domain.” Pittman was mentored by Dr. Suvi Gezari of the University of Maryland, a former NSF-REU intern herself, and by the MMO’s Dr. Regina Jorgenson. A record 360 students participated in the Chambliss Award competition, of which 214 were undergraduate students.
Pittman is currently a junior at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, and is spending this year abroad studying physics and English at Oxford University in Oxford, England. Pittman will spend this next summer at another REU program at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, before beginning her senior year at William Jewell. Pittman plans to apply to graduate programs in astrophysics.
The MMA’s Maria Mitchell Observatory operates the NSF-REU program each summer and has done so for decades. Six students are selected out of a pool of approximately 200 undergraduate student applicants from around the United States. REU interns come to Nantucket for ten to twelve weeks during the summer to participate in astrophysics research projects. While on Nantucket, the REU interns also participate in the outreach efforts of the Observatory – primarily by hosting Open Nights at the Loines Observatory twice a week and by leading daytime tours of the Vestal Street Observatory, complete with solar telescopic observations of the Sun.
Additional information about the Chambliss Awards and other winners can be found at:
The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) is a private non-profit organization. Founded in 1902, the MMA works to preserve the legacy of Nantucket native astronomer, naturalist, librarian, and educator, Maria Mitchell. The Maria Mitchell Association operates two observatories, a natural science museum, an aquarium, a research center, and preserves the historic birthplace of Maria Mitchell. A wide variety of science and history-related programming is offered throughout the year for people of all ages.