Science Speaker Series

The 2020 Science Speaker Series will be held online. Each Wednesday at 7:00 pm, the MMA will host a science lecture via Zoom. The topics will vary across the sciences. Please keep checking back for updates in the schedule and for Zoom registration links.

Learn about our 2020 speakers below

Science Speaker Series

The 2020 Science Speaker Series will be held online. Each Wednesday at 7:00 pm, the MMA will host a science lecture via Zoom. The topics will vary across the sciences. Please keep checking back for updates in the schedule and for Zoom registration links.



Free

Jack Dubinsky Register

Lovely Oceans: A discussion of the fascinating reproductive biology and contemporary issues affecting procreation in marine organisms

Join Jack for a fascinating discussion about reproductive behaviors in the ocean. First, he will discuss the basics about reproduction in the ocean. Then he will look at the most romantic, dramatic, and bizarre case studies of reproductive strategies. Finally, he will discuss how human activity is affecting the success of procreation in important marine species.

June 3
7PM-8PM
Zoom Webinar

Free

Jay Chittidi Register

“Strange Signals and a Cosmic Conundrum: Using Fast Radio Bursts to Uncover the Universe’s Hidden Matter.”

Nearly every ten seconds, an explosion occurs somewhere in our Universe lasting only a millisecond but with more energy than our Sun puts out in a day. In this talk, Jay will explain how astronomers are using these mysterious explosions, known as fast radio bursts, to solve a separate enigma – where is the missing matter in our Universe?
Jay Chittidi is the Nantucket Maria Mitchell’s Association’s first Research Fellow and has worked on island with Dr. Regina Jorgenson as part of a new, post-baccalaureate program. Jay graduated from Vassar College in 2019 with a degree in astronomy and was an MMA REU intern in the summer of 2018. In the Fall, Jay will be pursuing a PhD at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Jay recently led the MMA in publishing a paper of the ground-breaking results of his work with Dr. Jorgenson in collaboration with researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz and many others around the world. This research is supported by a National Science Foundation grant.

June 10
7PM - 8PM
Zoom Webinar

Free

Meredith MacGregor Register

How to Form a Habitable Planet

Abstract: Most young stars are surrounded by ‘circumstellar’ disks of gas and dust, the initial material for the formation of planets.  I will discuss how planetary systems form from these disks and evolve over millions to billions of years, with a focus on what conditions might create a ‘habitable’ planet.  The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) located in Chile has revolutionized our ability to study planet formation.  For the first time, we can see baby planets forming in circumstellar disks, and watch as they sculpt their surroundings through gravitational interactions.  I will also discuss what other factors impact the habitability of planets, including the effect of space weather produced by the host star.  In the future, the development of new telescopes presents an exciting path towards understanding our Solar System, its formation and evolution, and its place in the universe of exoplanet systems.  
 
Biography: Meredith MacGregor is an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Boulder in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences.  She also serves as the Co-Chair of the NASA Infrared Science Interest Group.  Previously, she was a NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at the Carnegie Institution for Science after finishing her PhD at Harvard University.  Back in 2009. Dr. MacGregor was an intern as part of the Maria Mitchell Astronomy REU program!  Dr. MacGregor’s research program leverages multi-wavelength observations to explore the formation and potential habitability of planetary systems.  
June 17, 2020
7:00-8:00 PM

Free

REU Student Astronomy Research

Astronomy Research Presentation 

Come and listen to the MMA’s astronomy students as they present their research conducted while taking part in this summer’s Research Experience for Undergraduates internship program funded by the National Science Foundation.

Please check back for the Zoom link.

August 5
7PM - 8PM
Zoom Webinar

Free

Become a Maria Mitchell Volunteer!