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 through “Star Parties” 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 2020
President Doug Goodin
Vice President Russell Valentine
Secretary David Cromer
Treasurer David Cromer
Board Chair Russell Valentine
Janelle Burgardt Gary Hug Justin Prochaska Brandie Wittenburg
Support Positions
Education/Outreach Coordinator Janelle Burgardt
Facilities/Observatory Coordinator Gary Hug

Doug Goodin
Board Position: President
Astronomy interest:
Favorite observing object:

Russell Valentine
Board Position: Vice President/Board Chair
Ocupation: IT, Agriculture
Astronomy Interests: Visual observing 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

 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

Janelle Burgardt
Board Position: Board Chair/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

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.

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

Brandie Wittenburg
Board Position: Member
Astronomy interest:
Favorite observing object: