March 6, 2014

The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association
E-Comet Newsletter

Summer Discovery Camp & Teen Programs

Spaces are filling up fast!  Be sure to reserve your spot and register today!


One Book One Island

The MMA is proud to be one of the sponsors of One Book One Island.  One Book One Island is a collaboration of 12 island organizations that annually select a book for the community to read.  Free copies of the book are distributed at various locations around the island, and there are a series of events held that are related to the book.  This year's book is Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird.

To check out the schedule of events or to find out where to pick up your free copy of the book, please visit the Nantucket Atheneum's website.

In celebration of this year's book, MMA will be hosting a Collections Open House on March 16th from
10 AM-12 PM.

Astronomy Director Invited to Write New Book

Dr. Michael West, Director of Astronomy, has been invited by the University of Hawaii Press to author a new book commemorating fifty years of astronomical research on Mauna Kea, the Hawaiian mountaintop that's home to many of the world's leading telescopes. West, a former professor of astronomy at the University of Hawaii, previously wrote another book titled A Gentle Rain of Starlight: The Story of Astronomy on Mauna Kea.  His new coffee table book will be rich in photographs and accompanying text. It will be published in 2015 to coincide with the International Astronomical Union's General Assembly that will take place in Honolulu. This astronomy conference is expected to be the biggest ever, attracting some 4,000 astronomers from around the world.

Nantucket Amble: Monomoy Beachcombing

Join Andrew Mckenna-Foster, Director of Natural Science, for a family friendly nature adventure! We will take a casual hike and focus on birds, plants, geology, and whatever interesting things we come across. Meet at 4 Vestal Street to carpool to site or call 508-228-9198 to find out about locations.  Free for everyone!

Wednesday, March 19th

1:30-3 PM
Pre-register online!

Record Number of Applications for MMA's Summer REU Program in Astronomy 

A total of 230 applications were received by the February 15th deadline for our NSF-funded summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates program in astronomy, shattering last year's record of 181 applications. The quality and enthusiasm of the applicants, who come from universities all over the country, are most impressive. Offers were made to six students this week. We look forward to welcoming them to Nantucket this summer to continue MMA's great tradition of mentoring young scientists.

Spring 2014 Pre-season Beach Cleanup

WHEN: Saturday, March 22, from 9 AM until Noon  

WHERE: We will meet at 8:45 AM at the

Wauwinet Gatehouse

RAINDATE: Saturday, March 29


We hope you can join us in our continuing effort to keep our beaches as clean, safe, and inviting as possible for the benefit of beachgoers, anglers, and the wildlife that inhabit our refuges. You are encouraged to drive your own 4WD vehicle. Limited transportation to the beaches will be provided by the Trustees' van leaving from the Wauwinet Gatehouse.

Please dress appropriately; it can be cold and windy.


In the case of bad weather, consult The Trustees of Reservations website and find "Announcements & Alerts" in the right-hand column.


Organized by the Nantucket Committee of

The Trustees of Reservations in cooperation with the Nantucket Conservation Foundation and The Clean Team



Director of Astronomy Strengthens International Ties Between Observatories

Dr. Michael West served on the Ph.D. examination committee of Joachim Vanderbeke, attending his Ph.D. defense at the University of Ghent (left) in Belgium in February. While in Europe he also gave an invited talk about his research at Tuorla Observatory (right) in Finland, the oldest and largest in that country. 

Winter Programs

Ravenous Reptiles
Ages 4 and older. Select Saturdays,
11-11:45 AM.  Pre-registration required.

Turtles & Tots
Ages 2-5. Select Wednesdays, 9:30-10 AM.   Pre-registration required.

For specific dates offered check out our calendar

Upcoming Stargazing Nights

Loines Observatory
Friday, March 7th and
Saturday, March 8th, 7:30-9 PM

For additional upcoming Stargazing Nights view our calendar!

2014 Membership Renewal!
Don't forget to renew your membership for 2014 and register for summer Discovery Camp!  The purchase of a 2014 membership allows you to use our special benefits until December 31, 2014!   Membership with the MMA comes with many benefits including unlimited free admission to all of our locations, discounts on classes and special members only events, and a ten percent discount in the MMA gift shops.

Let us know what you think!

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Write us a review on Trip Advisor

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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
Caren Lambert, Ph.D., Second Vice President
Michael Nelson, Treasurer
Malcolm MacNab, M.D., Ph.D., Clerk
Howard Blitman
Patricia L.R. Brennan, Ph.D. 
Patty Gibian 
Judy MacLeod 
Toni McKerrow

Mary Archibald (Bebe) Poor, D.V.M  

Eileen Rudden
Anne P. Strain
Edward Symes, III
Helene M. Weld



Administration (508)228-9198
Janet E. Schulte, Ph.D., Executive Director
Joan Alison Stockman, Financial Administrator

Kyra Taylor, 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              

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Maria Mitchell Association
4 Vestal Street, Nantucket, MA 02554

phone: (508)228-9198
fax: (508)228-1031
Maria Mitchell Association