Astronomy Intern at The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association Wins Prestigious Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Award at National Conference

NEWS
For Immediate Release
February 12, 2019
Contact:  Dr. Regina Jorgenson
508-228-9198

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:

https://aas.org/posts/news/2019/01/congratulations-aas-233-chambliss-student-awards-winners

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.

 

The Natural Science Museum is Open

For Immediate Release
January 7, 2018
Contact: Lydia Gullicksen
508-228-9198
lgullicksen@mariamitchell.org

 

Nantucket, MA – The Maria Mitchell Association is excited to announce that the Natural Science Museum will be open on Saturdays this winter from 10 am to 2pm.  While open, the Museum will run a feeding program, “Very Hungry Vertebrates,” in the mornings.

“We are delighted to offer year round families and winter visitors an opportunity to enjoy our Natural Science Museum with all our new hands-on exhibits and interesting animals” said Executive Director, David Gagnon.

The Natural Science Museum is located at 7 Milk Street and is a great way to pass the winter weekends with children of all ages. There are live animals, all found on Nantucket or its surrounding waters, including a bullfrog, jellyfish, turtles, snakes, and tropical fish. The tropical fish were found around Nantucket, but are not native species; they find their way up in summer trapped in warm core eddies. This winter the Natural Science Museum is hosting animals that have never been on display at the Maria Mitchell Association before, including the Ocyropsis crystalline, which is a type of comb jelly, and the bioluminescent crystal jellyfish. Marine exhibits will rotate throughout the winter and will feature new species in the future.

The Museum has interactive, educational exhibits where children can learn while playing, as well as biological collections, fossils, and a topography table where imaginary landscapes can come alive.  Before the Museum opens, the MMA will host “Very Hungry Vertebrates” from 9:00-9:40am. Participants will get to watch the Museum staff feed the snakes, fish, turtles, and tortoise and learn about the animals feeding ecology and how they are affected by seasons. The program is $5 for Members and $10 for Non-Members. Limited space is available so pre-registration online at mariamitchell.org is recommended. The Museum will be open from 10:00am – 2:00pm and will be free for Members, $5 for Non-Members. Membership purchased before the end of 2018 will be valid through 2019. Memberships can be purchased online at mariamitchell.org.

The Maria Mitchell Association 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 newly opened 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. This year celebrates Mitchell’s 200th birthday with special lectures, events, classes, and exhibits all year-long.

 

America’s First Woman Astronomer

Maria Mitchell

JSTOR Daily published an article in honor of Maria Mitchell’s 200th birthday.  The article outlines Maria Mitchell’s fight for women’s equality in the sciences.  Read the article here to celebrate Maria’s 200th and commemorate her fight for gender equality.

A Star Was Born

Nantucket Magazine published an article celebrating Maria Mitchell’s life just in time for her 200th birthday celebration.  Read the article here to learn more about Maria Mitchell.

2017 AAS Alumni Breakfast

Dr. Regina Jorgenson, Director of Astronomy, and Dr. Katherine Rhode, MMA Board Member, will be hosting a complimentary breakfast celebrating REU Alumni of the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association.

Sponsored by Plane Wave Instruments, Princeton Instruments, and the American Astronomical Society.

When: Thursday, 5 January 2017 at 7:45 AM – 9:00 AM

Where: Appaloosa 1
Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center
1501 Gaylord Trail
Grapevine, TX 76051