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Solar System Ambassador Profile

Mary-Frances Bartels


Ambassador Since 2002

Centerburg, Ohio 43011
Click Here To Email Mary-Frances Bartels.

Biographical Information:


Photo of Ambassador Mary-Frances Bartels As a seven year old girl living in southern New Jersey Mary-Frances Bartels watched as the US placed two men on the moon in 1969. She remembers being transfixed by the pictures on the console television. Throughout her childhood Mary-Frances continued to follow space exploration developments. In junior high school she received her first telescope, one of the very first Astroscan 2001 telescopes built.

In high school Mary-Frances founded and was president of the astronomy club at her high school. She published a weekly newsletter, ran meetings, and arranged field trips. Field trips included star parties, a visit to the Edwin Aldrin Observatory in Voorhees State Park, NJ, and even a lecture at Princeton University to see Freeman Dyson.

After discovering that her chances of locating employment specifically in the field of astronomy were slim, Mary-Frances decided to study physical science, computer science, geology, and religion while at Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio. Also interested in many aspects of radio, she listened in on the very first amateur radio conversations from the Space Shuttle in 1983. Mary-Frances graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree, double majoring in Computer Science and Religion. She spent 17 years working as a Computer Specialist with the US Geological Survey, Water Resources Division in both New Jersey and Colorado.

In 1997 Mary-Frances left the USGS and began home schooling her three boys. Since leaving the work force she has enjoyed volunteering in various capacities --- using amateur radio for public service through the American Red Cross Disaster Services, Edge of Space Sciences (high altitude balloon research), and as occasional "net control" (facilitator) for the Colorado Astronomy Net (on air meetings for ham radio operators). Her astronomy web page may be found at Since moving to Ohio in 2004, Mary-Frances has become active in the science related organization, Reasons to Believe Columbus Satellite Chapter, and writes a monthly astronomy column for an educational newsletter. Lastly, she raises rabbits, ducks, and geese.


Past events hosted by this Ambassador:

To Seek Out Strange New Worlds
Millenicon 25

To Seek Out Strange New Worlds
Richland Astronomical Society

To the Moon and Beyond
Holiday Inn Hotel (I-275)

What's New With NASA?
Ohio Dominican University

What's New With NASA?
Sunbury Home Educators


Click here to view all upcoming events


View other Solar System Ambassadors in Ohio
View Solar System Ambassadors by state

This page was last updated October 11, 2013
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