February 6, 2015

The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association
E-Comet Newsletter


2015 Discovery Camp Registration Open 
Director of Education, Kim Botelho, has added new programs for the coming spring and summer, including:

NEW: Full-day Wee Explorers (ages 5-6)
NEW: Pre-Wee (ages 3.5 to 5 with adult guardian)
NEW: Early Release Day Programs (ages 7-11)
NEW: Community Service Camp (ages 10-16)

Camp scholarships are also available on our website.

Blast-Off! After School Series

The MMA partners with the Nantucket Community School, offering this fun and educational program. Kids discover the wonders of flight and space exploration.

Stargazing Night at Loines Observatory

Where: 59 Milk Street Extension
When: Friday, February 27
Time: 7:30PM-9:00PM

Donations Encouraged


MMA and Nantcket Atheneum Partner for

Join Dr. Michael West, MMA's Director of Astronomy,  

as he facilitates a Harvard University online course  

called "Super-Earths And Life."   


He'll investigate alien life, how we search for it, and what this teaches us about our place in the universe. This is a six week class offered as a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) by HarvardX. The class meets each Tuesday from 5:00PM - 6:15PM at the Atheneum, starting February 10th. Free admission.  

For more information, see the Atheneum's website
or on edX

Mysterious Fowler's Toad Discovered
While wandering Brant Point beach this weekend,
Director of Natural Science Andrew Mckenna-Foster
happened upon a dead Fowler's toad. 

This species has not been seen on Nantucket for over 50 years.  Learn more about the mystery.

Purchase your Membership for 2015 

Members receive exclusive benefits,  
such as discounts on Discovery Classes, Nature Walks,  
Lectures, and other programs.  

Would Maria Tweet?

Learn how Nantucket's Great Fire of 1846 affected Maria's privacy and records keeping, and what our Curator, Jascin Leonardo Finger, thinks Maria would do if she had access to social media in Maria Mitchell's Attic.

REU Student Receives Honorable Mention
at the AAS Conference 

2014 REU Student Jonathan Jackson received an Honorable Mention at the American Astronomical Society conference. Read more about Jonathan Jackson's presentation here.

Dr. Michael West received 189 applications for the 2015 Summer REU program in Astronomy, with almost equal numbers of women and men applying.  


Applications are currently being reviewed and offers for the MMA's six available positions will be sent out in March.  


With 189 applications for only six available positions, acceptance into the  MMA's REU program is actually more selective than admission to Harvard, Yale, or Princeton.  

Library Renovation Update 

Wayne Morris makes improvements to the basement of the Library, a part of a larger transformation of the building into an Ecology Lab.

Maria Mitchell's Attic.

Dr. Michael West on NPR 
Dr. Michael West has been featured on NPR twice, discussing astronomical events happening around us every day.

Listen to him talk about Comet Lovejoy
or hear him speak about the International Space Station, visible in the night sky. Learn how to get email and text alerts notifying you of its passing overhead!   

MMA Board Member's Love for Nature 
Spans the Globe
Board Member Toni McKerrow is in Jamaica, and takes advantage of the opportunity to feed a  Red-Billed Streamertail, or "Doctor Bird" (Trochilus polytmus)  
at a local hummingbird sanctuary.

Juno Slams Nantucket
Winter Storm Juno hit the island hard last week, leaving all residents without power and piling snow high. Luckily, it led to a very beautiful photo opportunity!

Check out MMA
's Vestal Street Campus after the storm here


Intern Application Period Almost Closed 
Available internships include: 

NSF-REU Internships (CLOSED)         Aquarium Internships 

Education Internships          Mitchell House Internship  

Natural Science Museum Internships

Marketing & Development Internship


For more information, check out our website.

Looking for a Place to Volunteer? 

The Maria Mitchell Association welcomes any and all who wish to volunteer.

For inquiries and more information, please email info@mariamitchell.org

Connect with us:


Maria Mitchell's Attic
A blog about Maria Mitchell, the Mitchells, and the Mitchell House

Also follow our Astronomy news and tweets from @ACKstronomy.

 4 Vestal Street
Nantucket, MA 02554
(508) 228-9198
Get Involved!

Have you visited any of our MMA properties?
Write us a review on



Do you have something we could use?  


Here are a few things we could use for our education programs: 


 Fishing Poles & Gear


Digital Cameras for Student Use


Masks & Snorkels


Construction Paper


GoPro Camera


Please call our Administrative Office at 508-228-9198 if you are interested in donating!  


Board and Staff


John L. Daniels, President
Deb Manus, First Vice President
Helene M. Weld, Second Vice President
Michael Nelson, Treasurer
Patricia L.R. Brennan, Ph.D., Clerk
Howard Blitman
Patty Gibian 
Judy MacLeod
Malcolm MacNab, M.D., Ph.D. 
Toni McKerrow

Mary Archibald (Bebe) Poor, D.V.M  

Eileen Rudden
Anne P. Strain
Edward Symes, III
John Hartner
Katherine Rhode, Ph.D.



Administration (508)228-9198
John L. Daniels, Interim Executive Director
George Donnelly, Director of Development & Communications
Joan Alison Stockman, Financial Administrator

Sarah Erichsen, Administrative Assistant
Astronomy (508)228-9723
Michael West, Director of Astronomy, Ph.D.
Vladimir Strelnitski, Maria Mitchell Observatory's Director Emeritus, Ph.D.
Gary Walker, Astronomer and Telescope Engineer

Mitchell House & Archives and Special Collections (508)228-2896
Jascin Leonardo Finger, Curator of the Mitchell House
Natural Science (508)228-9198
Andrew Mckenna-Foster, Director of Natural Science
Education (508)228-9198
Kim Botelho, Director of Education 
 Robert Kennedy, Senior Research Fellow, Ph.D.
Edith F. Andrews,Ornithologist Emeritus
Peter Boyce,  Research Associate, Ph.D.
Valerie A. Hall, Research Associate, Ph.D. 

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Maria Mitchell Association
4 Vestal Street, Nantucket, MA 02554
phone: (508) 228-9198
fax: (508) 228-1031
Maria Mitchell Association