REU students at the MMO work on individualized research projects under the guidance of experienced astronomers.
Current areas of research include:
Formation and evolution of stars and galaxies
Groups and clusters of galaxies
Astrophysical masers and lasers
Cosmology and the early universe
History and culture of astronomy
Research at MMO emphasizes state-of-the-art data reduction techniques and thoughtful physical interpretation. Data for projects are obtained from Hubble Space Telescope, leading ground-based optical, infrared and radio telescopes, and next generation surveys such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS). Students also obtain data and develop their hands-on observational skills with the MMO’s 24″ and 17″ research telescopes equipped with modern CCD cameras. In addition, students have access to the digitized photographic plate collections of the MMO and the Harvard College Observatory, a unique historical resource for studies of variable objects over long time periods.
The Maria Mitchell Observatory is a recognized leader in training the next generation of astronomers. Since its inception in 1957, hundreds of undergraduate students have discovered the joy of doing astronomical research surrounded by the natural beauty of Nantucket island. Many have gone on to successful careers as astronomers at leading universities, observatories and other organizations around the world.
MMO offers six REU internships in astronomy each summer. These positions provide an opportunity for students to conduct independent research supervised by a senior staff of the MMO and visiting scientists. To be eligible, students must be enrolled in an undergraduate institution with a planned graduation date after September 2018. U.S. citizenship or permanent residency is required.
Positions will be available starting June 1st and continuing until late August. Stipends are $1,800 monthly, and free furnished housing is also provided. Up to $500 for roundtrip travel between the student’s home and Nantucket is available, as are funds to present research results at the January AAS meeting. The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association is an affirmative action and Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages all interested individuals to apply.
Internship applications are due February 1st. Completed applications consist of an essay, a resume/CV, and copies of transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (unofficial transcripts are acceptable), as well as two letters of recommendation to be sent before the deadline. Complete instructions can be found on the application submission page here. Questions about the MMO’s REU program can be sent to Dr. Regina Jorgenson, Director of the Maria Mitchell Observatory.
Additional Salary Information: 1800/month, housing provided at no cost
The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association is a private non-profit organization located on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts. The Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) was founded in 1902 to preserve the legacy of Nantucket native astronomer, naturalist, librarian, and, above all, educator, Maria Mitchell. After she discovered a comet in 1847, Mitchell’s international fame led to many achievements a...nd awards, including an appointment as the first American Professor of Astronomy at Vassar College. Maria Mitchell believed in “learning by doing” and today that philosophy is reflected in MMA’s mission statement, programs, research projects, and other activities.
The Maria Mitchell Association operates two observatories, a natural science museum, an aquarium, 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.