Press Release: REU Student Presentations

Press Release
For Immediate Release
August 2, 2018
Contact: Trinity Foreman

For Immediate Release: Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association Astronomy Interns to Present on Research Projects Conducted at Maria Mitchell Observatory in Summer 2018 

Nantucket, MA – The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) is hosting a research presentation on August 8 from 7:00-8:00 at 33 Washington Street. For more than fifty years, the Maria Mitchell Observatory (MMO) has offered summer research opportunities in astronomy and astrophysics for students on Nantucket. Six students will present their individual research projects developed under the guidance of experienced astronomers. Students will later present their research at the American Astronomical Society. The Astronomy intern positions are funded by the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program which is made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

Maria Mitchell believed in learning-by-doing thus the hands on learning involved in research opportunities such as this one at the MMA/MMO follow Maria Mitchell’s philosophy on education. The Maria Mitchell Observatory is recognized as being a leader in shaping future astronomers and received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from President Barack Obama in 2009.  

Current areas of research include formation and evolution of stars and galaxies; groups and clusters of galaxies, stellar populations, star clusters, astrophysical masers and lasers; cosmology and the early universe; and the history of astronomy. Each MMA student is working on an individualized project under the guidance of experienced astronomers, as well as a collaborative team project. All of the projects are focused on student leadership and original research that will produce publishable results. The students share the results of their research at the winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society where three students in recent years have won the prestigious AAS Chambliss Awards. They also share their research at other conferences and in peer reviewed journals.     

The Maria Mitchell Association has been hosting speakers on Wednesday evenings from 7:00-8:00 as part of its summer Science Speaker Series, featuring astronomers, authors, environmentalists, biologists, professors, and doctors. The MMA Speaker Series is sponsored by the Bank of America, Cisco Brewers, and Don Allen Ford. For a full schedule and description of each speaker please visit our website at  

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, culminating in the Maria Mitchell Women in Science Symposium in October 2018 in Boston.