June 4, 2015
The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association
E-Comet Newsletter
       Welcome and Thank You
The Maria Mitchell staff would like to thank John Daniels for all of his hard work filling in as Interim Executive Director during our Executive Director search.  We are pleased to announce that David Gagnon has started as Executive Director.  John will continue with us as President of the Board of Directors. 

Sponsorships and Tickets are Available Here
For Soir?e fashion ideas, please visit www.nantucketreds.com

Start spreading the news, all facilities will be open for the season starting June 8th!


Here is a list of our days and hours:


Aquarium: 10am-4pm Mon-Sat.

Natural Science Museum: 10am-4pm Mon-Sat.

Mitchell House: Guided Tours 10am-4pm Mon-Sat.

Vestal Street Observatory: 2pm Mon-Fri.

Loines Observatory: 9pm - 10:30pm MWF



Private Educational Programs

Available weekdays between 2 and 4 pm and on Saturdays.  Activities include marine walks, orienteering/geocaching, nature hikes, and more.  Please contact Kim Botelho at kbotelho@mariamitchell.org

History Programs

Historic Mortar and Plaster Demonstration:
Come learn about the fantastic scientific process behind slaking lime for mortar and plaster (see it boil and bubble!) and how you can preserve your historic house using centuries old techniques.
When: Saturday, June 6th
Where: 55 Union Street
Cost: FREE in celebration of Nantucket's Preservation Month

How to Properly Clean Gravestones:
Join the curator of the Mitchell Hou se and the Prospect Hill Cemetery Association historian for a short talk about stone monuments and their conservation. The class will then move to the Prospect Hill Cemetery where participants will learn how to properly clean stone monuments.
When: Saturday, June 13th
Cost: $10 for Members, $15 for Non-Members
Registration Required.  Call 508-228-2896


Family Astronomy Programs



MMA offers a variety of astronomy and space exploration programs for children and families including ARTstronomy, Blast Off!, and the Stars and Senses Night Hike! You can also drop your children off for an evening of stellar fun during AstroKids Nights.  For inquiries or more information, please call (508) 228-9198 or visit our website.

Stargazing Nights at Loines Observatory

Where: 59 Milk Street Extension
When: Mondays, Wednesdays,  and Fridays
$10 for non members; FREE for members



Plan Your Child's Birthday Party with MMA! 
Choose from the themes of Meet the Animals; Amazing Marine Life; ARTstronomy; and Animals, Authors, Art! A skilled naturalist will be on site to provide a fun and educational experience for all children.
Available on Saturdays at 33 Washington Street or our staff can travel to your home. For inquiries and more information, please visit our website or email kbotelho@mariamitchell.org .



Please join us in congratulating our own Director of Education Kim Botelho - she has been appointed as the newest board member of the Massachusetts Environmental Education Society
Also, two of our incoming astronomy REU students, Rayna Rampalli and Missy McIntosh, have been awarded prestigious NASA Space Grants in support of their research projects this summer.  Great work Rayna and Missy!


    Curator and Deputy Director of MMA

      Publishes Book on Island Women


Jascin Leonardo Finger has recently published a book on Nantucket women based on her masters' thesis.  Titled Daring Daughters of Nantucket Island: How Island Women from the Seventeenth through the Nineteenth Centuries Lived a Life Contrary to Other American Women the book is already receiving attention and has been selling well.  It details the role of women on Nantucket, the factors that allowed women on Nantucket freedoms not found elsewhere in America at the time, and delves deeply into the lives of some little known island women and female centered industries on the island.  In April, Mitchell's Book Corner asked her to do a book signing the Saturday of Daffodil Weekend and the book can be found at Mitchell's, the Nantucket Historical Association's Gift Shop, the MMA Gift Shop, and online.

Director of Astronomy Pens Invited Essay for "Scientific American Magazine"
Illustration by Julian Callos

"Scientific American Magazine" has published an invited essay by MMA's Director for Astronomy, Dr. Michael West, on the controversy surrounding the planned construction of the giant new thirty meter telescope on Maunakea, a dormant volcano considered sacred land by some native Hawaiians. "Scientific American" has almost half a million readers, and more than a million online followers. The essay, titled "On Mauna Kea, Astronomers and Hawaiians Can Share the Skies," will appear in the July print issue of the magazine, and is also already available online.


Director of Astronomy Publishes

Paper on Star Clusters


Dr. Michael West and a team of astronomers from Canada, Chile, China, France, and the United States recently published a paper titled "A Gemini/GMOS Study of Intermediate Luminosity Early-Type Virgo Cluster Galaxies. I. Globular Cluster and Stellar Kinematics" in "The Astrophysical Journal." The study explored the motions of star clusters in the outer regions of galaxies to learn more about how galaxies are born.


Members Receive Exclusive Benefits
Discounts on Discovery Classes, Nature Walks,  
Lectures, and other programs .  

Looking for a Place to Volunteer?
The Maria Mitchell Association welcomes volunteers to help at our aquarium, natural science museum, and Mitchell house.  Many great opportunities available.
For inquiries and more information, please email info@mariamitchell.org.

Follow us
@ maria_mitchell_association
t o see amazing and entertaining photographs. 

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         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



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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
Joan Gulley 
John Hartner
Judy MacLeod
Malcolm MacNab, M.D., Ph.D. 
Toni McKerrow

Mary Archibald (Bebe) Poor, D.V.M  

Katherine Rhode, Ph.D.

Eileen Rudden
Anne P. Strain
Edward Symes, III



Administration (508)228-9198

David Gagnon,Executive Director

dgagnon @mariamitchell.org

Joan Alison Stockman, Director of Finance & Administration

George Donnelly, Director of Development & Communications

Sarah Erichsen, Development Coordinator

Lauren Berlin, Administrative & Marketing Assistant
Astronomy (508)228-9723
Michael West, Ph.D. Director of Astronomy

Gary Walker, Astronomer and Telescope Engineer
Vladimir Strelnitski, Ph.D.,
Maria Mitchell Observatory's Director Emeritus 
Mitchell House & Archives and Special Collections (508)228-2896
Jascin Leonardo Finger, Deputy Director & Curator of the Mitchell House, Archives, and Special Collections
Natural Science (508)228-9198
Andrew Mckenna-Foster, Director of Natural Science
Education (508)228-9198
Kim Botelho, Director of Education 

Research Associates 
 Robert Kennedy, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow
Edith F. Andrews, Ornithologist Emeritus
Peter Boyce,  Ph.D., Research Associate
Valerie A. Hall, Ph.D., Research Associate

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