Astronomy majors typically take most of their required courses at their home campuses, but they have a wide variety of elective choices to take at the nearby campuses. There is a free bus service connecting all five campuses.
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History of the Five College Astronomy Department
The Five College Astronomy Department (FCAD), founded in 1960 on a shared commitment to excellence in teaching and in research, is a collaborative arrangement between the Astronomy Departments of Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Over the years we have collectively implemented programs that fostered a shared research community in addition to a shared educational program. The first major collective research initiative was the Five College Radio Astronomy Observatory (FCRAO), begun in 1970 with a grant from the National Science Foundation and supplemented with funds from the Colleges and the Research Corporation. The original meter-wave telescope was replaced by the world’s largest mm-wave telescope and FCRAO continued as a world-class research facility for more than 3 decades. Other major FCAD initiatives included cooperative programs with the Astronomy Department at the University of Wyoming and with the Astronomy Department of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). The latter was the basis for founding the Large Millimeter Telescope, the world´s largest single-dish steerable millimetre-wavelength telescope, sited at the summit of Volcán Sierra Negra in Mexico. Currently our major shared initiative in education and research is centered on the 1.8-meter Perkins telescope at Anderson Mesa Station, Arizona, a dark sky site roughly 14 miles south of Flagstaff owned by Boston University.
This fund is named in honor of Mary Dailey, Smith College, class of 1922. It provides travel support for Undergraduates; travel grants for graduate students; and an MDI cash award for distinguished senior thesis in astronomy.
2021 - Celia Mulcahey (Mount Holyoke College): Star Formation and AGN Feedback in the Local Universe: Combining the Radio Continuum and Integral Field Spectroscopy
2020 - Olivia Cooper (Smith College): Tales from our Dusty, Warped Past: Lensing Environments of Planck-selected Submillimeter Galaxies Observed with Gemini
2019 - Olena Komarova (Smith College): V410 X-ray 6: A Multi-wavelength Study of Transition Disk Properties at the Substellar Boundary
2018 - Alex Watson (Amherst College): Examining Astrometry and Photometry of the Close Companion HD 142527 B Through Direct Imaging
2017 - Laura Breitenfeld (Mount Holyoke College): Predicting olivine composition using Raman spectroscopy
2016 - Kevin Harrington (UMass), Most Luminous, High-redshift Starbursting Galaxies Discovered Using Planck
2015 - Wanda Feng (Smith College), Revisiting Forbidden Lines in T Tauri Stars
2014 - Jennifer Podel (Smith College) Accretion and Winds in Young Stars from Spectroscopy
2013 - Srishti Kashyap (Mount Holyoke College), An Fe(III) Transforming Deep Sea Thermophilic Archaeon
2012 - Erica Jawin (Mount Holyoke College), Relationship Between Radar Scattering And Lunar Surface Roughness
2011 - Kathryn McKinnon (UMass)
2010 - Lindsay Barbieri (Hampshire College), Late-Amazonian Climate Change on Mars
2009 - Jonathan Tucker (Amherst College), Calibrating Chemcam: Preparing to Probe the Red Planet
2008 - Coleman Krawczyk (UMass), Ambient Molecular Cloud Emission in the Regions of Methanol Masers
2007 - Catherine Walker (Mount Holyoke College), Variation of Solar Wind Parameters over a Solar Cycle
2006 - Tiffany Picard (Mount Holyoke College), Rotational Properties and Radii of the Stars in NGC 2264
2005 - Katherine Whitaker (UMass), XMM-Newton Study of IC 10 and the Variable X-Ray Source X-1
2005 - Selby Cull (Hampshire) A Dynamic Digital Map of Mars
2004 - Sam Singer (Hampshire) Creation of H.A.R.P. Observatory and Time-Series Photometry
2003 - Andria Updike (Smith College) Magnetic Helicity in Solar Flares
2002- Kathryn Peek (Mount Holyoke College), A Formation Scenario for Saturn's Rings
2002- Julie Nantais (UMass), Radio-FIR Correlation for Galactic HII Regions
2002 - Jay Dickson (Hampshire College), Water on Mars: A Synthesis of Hydrologic Features
2000 - Jessica Bonjorni (Smith College) The Enigmatic Variable XX Scuti