About Us

Founded in 1978, the Northeast Kansas Amateur Astronomers’ League Inc. is made up of amateur astronomers from around the area. Members come in all ages and all expertise levels, from “beginner” to “practically a pro”.

What We Do

NEKAAL members observe, draw, photograph, document, discover and enjoy astronomy. We have given hundreds of educational presentations, had articles published in scientific journals, participated in projects of research and discovery, and have introduced hundreds of people to the wonders of the night sky at Farpoint Observatory and across the area.


NEKAAL owns and operates Farpoint Observatory, located on the grounds of Mission Valley High School approximately 30 miles southwest of Topeka, Kansas.

NEKAAL, Inc. is an educational and scientific nonprofit corporation approved by the federal and Kansas state governments. Our FEIN number is 48-1068689.

NEKAAL is a member society of the International Dark Sky Association, the Night Sky Network and the Astronomical League.

NEKAAL Officers

Officers 2024
President Doug Goodin
Vice President Russell Valentine
Secretary Angel Romero
Treasurer David Cromer
Board Chair Russell Valentine
Jan Burgardt Antonio Castaneda Wes Chiles David Cromer Gary Hug Justin Prochaska
Support Positions
Education/Outreach Coordinator Janelle Burgardt
Facilities/Observatory Coordinator Gary Hug/David Cromer

 Placeholder, no portrait available for Doug Goodin Doug Goodin
Board Position: President
Astronomy interest:
Favorite observing object:

 Portrait of Russell Valentine Russell Valentine
Board Position: vice president/board chair
Ocupation: IT
Astronomy Interests: Visual observing, astrophotography, and the applications of mathematics, electronic engineering, and physics into the field of astronomy.
Favorite observing targets: Veil Nebula, Milky Way
Contact: russell.valentine@nekaal.org

 Placeholder, no portrait available for Angel Romero Angel Romero
Board Position: Secretary
Astronomy interest:
Favorite observing object:

 Portrait of Janelle Burgardt Janelle Burgardt
Board Position: Member
Occupation: Retired computer security specialist
Astronomy interests: Astronomy education; working with novice astronomers, especially visual and binocular observing; mythology of astronomy
Favorite observing targets: star clusters, moon

 Placeholder, no portrait available for Antonio Castaneda Antonio Castaneda
Board Position: Member
Astronomy interest:
Favorite observing object:

 Portrait of David Cromer David Cromer
Board Position: Secretary/Treasurer
Occupation: Retired Principal - Mission Valley High School
Astronomy interest: Everything
Favorite observing object: Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, NEOs

 Portrait of Gary Hug Gary Hug
Board Position: Member
Occupation: Machinist
Astronomy interest: astrometry of asteroids and comets especially Near Earth Objects, imaging galaxy clusters, telescope and astronomical equipment fabrication.

 Portrait of Justin Prochaska Justin Prochaska
Board Position: Member
Occupation: Electronics Mechanic at Fort Riley
Astronomy interest: Galaxies, Moon, and Planetary Bodies, Nebula's
Favorite observing object: Jupiter and Saturn

 Placeholder, no portrait available for Wes Chiles Wes Chiles
Board Position: Member
Astronomy interest:
Favorite observing object: