December 12, 2014

The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association
E-Comet Newsletter


MMA Goes to NASA 
The Maria Mitchell Association's Director of Astronomy Dr. Michael West was one of a select few chosen to attend the first test launch of NASA's new Orion spacecraft!
Dr. Michael West was got a behind-the-scenes
look at preparations for the launch.
Read more about his trip on our Facebook page.

MMA and WHOI Band Together to Discover
Cause of Humpback Whale Death 
On November 25th, a juvenile humpback whale washed up on Miacomet Beach. On November 30th, scientists from the
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) and from the International Fund for Animal Welfare came out to the island to necropsy (autopsy) the whale.  

More details are available on our News page.

Nantucket's Eelgrass Declining 

Maria Mitchell Research Associate Dr. Peter Boyce has managed the eelgrass restoration project for the last four years. He will present his report to the
Harbor and Shellfish Advisory Committee:

WHEN: Tuesday, December 15 at 5:00 pm
WHERE: Community Room, 4 Fairgrounds Road

Check out our YouTube page for a video of our harbor's eelgrass or read more about the report here.

Library Conservation is Underway! 

Stay up to date with regular updates as the Science Library becomes the MMA's new ecology lab/classroom and natural science collections storage on Maria Mitchell's Attic!

Over $78,000 Research Grant from Hubble Telescope

Dr. Michael West and his colleague Dr. Michael Gregg of the Univ. of California Davis have been awarded a research grant of $78,573 from the Hubble Space Telescope program  

in support of their project,  

"Morphological Transformation in the Coma Cluster."

 The first observations will begin in January 2015.

Subscribe to AstroAlerts  for more information. 

Katherine Johnson, Maria Mitchell Honored by the National Women's History Museum 


Now Accepting 2015 Summer Internship Applications 
Available internships include: 

NSF-REU Internships          Aquarium Internships 

Education Internships          Mitchell House Internship

Natural Science Museum Internships

Marketing & Development Internship


For more information, check out our website!

Discovery Camp Survey
Help plan Discovery Camp activities for 2015!

Participate in Director of Education Kim Botelho's survey.

The deadline for submitting feedback through this survey is December 21st, so don't miss your opportunity to be a part of the planning process!

Have you seen the Year-End Appeal Letter?  
The Maria Mitchell Association  
and its programs, activities, and research  
would not be possible without donations like yours.

Please help us make 2015 an amazing year with
your year-end, tax deductible gift.

For more information, click here.  

Donate your Red Tickets to the MMA!
You must be present to win! But, if you will not be able to attend the Christmas Eve drawing, non-profits around Nantucket are accepting donations of tickets. Please donate your red tickets to the Maria Mitchell Association!

Drop them off or mail them to:
4 Vestal Street, Nantucket, MA 02554


Winter Discovery Camp Program
Register Now!

Earth & Sky

Join us for MMA's first winter camp during school vacation!  

Build rockets, race robots, travel to different  

island ecosystems, and much more!


Monday, December 22: Science of Flight

Tuesday, December 23: Earth Biomes - make a life sphere

 Monday, December 29: Robots and Space Exploration

Tuesday, December 30: Deep Ocean Exploration  

& Hydrothermal Vents

 Wednesday, December 31: Moons, Craters, and Constellations


Camp will run from 8:50 am - 1 pm each day.

Dates for this program are December 22, 23, 29, 30, and 31.

 Appropriate for ages 7-11

Stargazing Night at Loines Observatory

Where: 59 Milk Street Extension
When: TONIGHT! (if skies are clear)
Time: 7:30-9:00 pm

Donations Encouraged

December 13 & 14

Geminids meteor shower will peak this weekend! The meteor shower produces as many as 50-100 shooting stars per hour!

The best time to look is after 10:00 pm!

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