MAPS 2012 May 16-19, 2012 “When Worlds Align”

MAPS 2012 May 16-19, 2012 “When Worlds Align”

It is our great pleasure to announce that the host for the 46th annual Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society conference is Gloria Villalobos and the folks of the newly renovated Novins Planetarium Sky Theater at Ocean County College in Toms River, NJ. Their facility, with the stalwart support of local constituencies, recently renovated and re-opened with some of the latest projection technology to bring us the universe in innovative and exciting new ways. Here is a chance to see a classical sky of a new Zeiss ZKP4 fiber-optic star projector combined with a Digistar 4 SP2HD digital system. Enjoy the scenery and professional development while collaborating with old and new colleagues in the field.

The Planning Committee is working out many exciting details that are still evolving but here are some early release notes on what we expect to see. The conference hotel is the Toms River Holiday Inn just 10 minutes from the Planetarium, and a low rate of $89 per night has been locked in for anyone registering before April 15. When reserving, specify the group discount code MPS. The registration fee is an inflation busting $130- including meals- for early registration. There will be a late fee of $40 for registering after the early deadline (TBA).

Addresses: Holiday Inn Hotel Toms River, 290 Route 37 East, Toms River, NJ; the Novins Planetarium, Ocean County College, College Drive, PO Box 2001, Toms River NJ 08754-2001, just 4 miles from the hotel.

The Margaret Noble speaker at this year’s banquet will be April Whitt, Astronomer at Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta GA, veteran of Adler Planetarium and current President of the Southeastern Planetarium Association. Other special events are in the works, and there are even rumors of a 3D cg modeling workshop. (More event details will be found here before registration begins. )


As usual, the conference will begin with a reception Wednesday evening and welcome meeting for new members to the MAPS group or first conference attendees. Saturday morning will bring final sessions and the drawing for door prizes.


The Program Committee welcomes any offers for workshop programs as well as the contributions of many members who will share their experiences and creativity with paper talks. Offers to conduct workshops should be presented to the Program Committee as soon as possible.

Vendors note:

Some vendors will want to know that only small portables will fit in the hotel vendor spaces due to ceiling height.


For specific questions please contact Gloria Villalobos at 732.255.0400 ext. 2111. More site information is here:

TRAVEL to Toms River:

On the Atlantic seaboard, Toms River can be accessed by the Garden State Parkway at exit #82.

By plane: Toms River is 90 minutes from Newark Liberty International Airport and an hour from Atlantic City International Airport. Travelers wanting to travel to the nearby regions including Atlantic City itself can use the SJTA TransIT Link shuttle to travel between Atlantic City International Airport and the Pleasantville Bus Terminal. At the Bus Terminal you can catch another NJ Transit bus to Ocean County. Car rental services are available at both airports. It is also approximately 90 minutes by car from Philadelphia International Airport.

By train: Amtrak does not have a station in Toms River, but at stations in Point Pleasant approx. 20 miles away and in Trenton, New Brunswick, and Princeton Junction, approx. 40 miles away. New Jersey Transit trains also serve Point Pleasant, which is about 30 minutes away by car.

By bus: New Jersey Transit buses arrive approximately twice every half hour, once en route from New York to Atlantic City and once en route from Atlantic City to New York.

By car: Toms River is located off the Garden State Parkway South exit 82 A&B which leads visitors to the main commercial corridor, Rt. 37, which rides directly into the Jersey Shore’s own Seaside Heights Borough.

Plan to attend and check back for more details coming soon.

The MAPS Program Committee