Maria Mitchell Association Intern Wins Prestigious Award

Courtesy of the Maria Mitchell Association: 2017 National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates intern Haley Beltz was awarded a Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Medal.

NANTUCKET – A summer 2017 undergraduate intern at the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association has been awarded the prestigious Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Medal.

Haley Beltz is an undergraduate student at Kalamazoo College and worked as a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates intern.

She won the award for her poster presentation “A High Redshift Survey of Lyman Limit Systems” at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington D.C. in January.

Beltz was one of five undergraduates to win the award out of the 100 who entered the competition.

While interning for the Maria Mitchell Association, she conducted research under the mentorship of the organization’s Director of Astronomy, Dr. Regina Jorgenson.

Beltz’s research focused on investigating the source of the material necessary for star and galaxy formation in the early universe.

Using data taken from a Very Large Telescope in Chile, Beltz analyzed the light from extremely distant quasars, and found signatures of large reservoirs of neutral hydrogen gas, which is needed for star formation.

She then used measurements to predict the frequency of these reservoirs in the early universe.

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