February 13, 2014

The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association
E-Comet Newsletter

2014 Summer Discovery Camp & Teen Programs Registration Open!


Discovery Class Scholarship Program!

Thanks to a generous grant offered by the EGCF, a non-profit foundation, the Maria Mitchell Association is offering up to 24 scholarships for eligible Nantucket residents and visitors.  The grant reduces the cost of the Discovery and Naturalist Leadership Programs by 80% with the purchase of a Family Membership for $25.00.

For more information or to download an application, visit our website.

Island Explorers Camp
(Nantucket Residents Only)

To celebrate the end of the school year, we are offering a special camp for year-round residents of Nantucket for a discounted price during the weeks of June 16th and June 23rd.  Program discounts are applicable with the purchase of an Island Family Membership.

Visit our website for more information or to register for these programs.

Brrr...It's Cold Outside

Join Kim Botelho, our new Director of Education, at the Natural Science Museum for her first family program with the Maria Mitchell Association.  This program features one of Kim's original stories, Brrr..It's Cold Outside, which teaches children how common animals prepare for the cold winter months. Following the story, you will meet one of our education animals and then make a bagel bird feeder to take home for your outdoor feathered friends. If you wish, you can hang it outside the museum instead. This program is appropriate for children ages 3-6 years and they must be accompanied by an adult. 

Thursday, February 27th, 10-11 AM
Members: $5  Non-members: $10
Pre-registration required

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.

Successful Ph.D. Defense on  

Nantucket Bay Scallops!


Dr. Valerie Hall, MMA Research Associate, successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation on January 31, 2014 at UMass Dartmouth's School of Marine Science and Technology (SMAST).  Titled Impact of the second seasonal spawn on reproduction, recruitment, population, and life history of the northern bay scallop, her work is the culmination of many years of scallop monitoring, field experiments, and lab work in and around Nantucket Harbor.



A large part of her work is trying to understand the influence of nub scallops in the population. Scallops usually reproduce twice a summer; there is an early spawn around late June and a late spawn that occurs late in the summer or early fall. Scallops produced in the late spawn are referred to as "nubs" because they are very tiny their first fall.


Congratulations Dr. Hall!


Visit our website for more information. 

In Memoriam Elizabeth "Betty" Daniels


Vassar College and the MMA have lost a treasure.  For the MMA, it is the loss of another friend.  Betty Daniels was the Vassar College historian for at least twenty years.  Before that, she had been a professor of English at Vassar, also serving as dean (several times in various capacities) and head of the English Department.  Before that, she was a Vassar student.  Except for the years she earned her master's degree, Betty was always at Vassar, commuting to NYC for many years to get her Ph.D. while teaching at Vassar.  


We at MMA came to know Betty largely because of her work as the Vassar College historian, a post she took up (she was the college's first historian) after retiring from the English Department.  Betty discovered a trove of Maria Mitchell papers that Maria's sister and niece felt should remain at Vassar when Maria left in 1888.  Maria was not well enough to go back to remove her belongings - and it was likely also sad for  

her - so she sent Anne and Frances to complete the task.  Betty found these papers decades and decades later in a basement and made sure they became a proper and protected part of the Vassar archival collections. 


Betty was a remarkable woman.  Like Maria, she accomplished a great deal in a time when women were still expected to remain at home.  Think about raising four children in the late 1940s and 1950s, teaching at Vassar, and also working for something like seven years towards your Ph.D., this at a time when people were a lot less supportive of such a situation.  Maria Mitchell and she had a lot in common.


Betty leaves her son, John Daniels who is the president of the MMA's board of directors, her daughters, and numerous grandchildren.


To learn more about this remarkable woman, you can visit the "Vassar College Encyclopedia" and read this piece about her from 2003 in the "Vassar Quarterly".


"The step, however small, which is in advance of the world, shows the greatness of the person, whether that step be taken with brain, with heart, or with hands." Maria Mitchell



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. 

Upcoming Stargazing Nights

Loines Observatory
Friday, February 14th and
Saturday, February 15th, 7:30-9 PM

Check out our calendar for additional upcoming Stargazing Nights!

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!

Which of our sites have you visited?

Write us a review on Trip Advisor

Connect with us:


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
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              

You are receiving this monthly newsletter as a member or friend of the Maria Mitchell Association. To opt out of our distribution list, please click the SafeUnsubscribe link at the bottom of this email.

Maria Mitchell Association
4 Vestal Street, Nantucket, MA 02554
email: info@mariamitchell.org

phone: (508)228-9198
fax: (508)228-1031
web: http://www.mariamitchell.org
Maria Mitchell Association