May 8, 2015
The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association
E-Comet Newsletter


Where: 59 Milk Street Extension
When: Friday, May 8th
Donations Encouraged


A Walk with Maria Mitchell of Nantucket Town
A unique collaborative walking tour that brings the natural and historical world of Nantucket together in one!  How would Maria have interpreted what she saw on a stroll through downtown Nantucket?

When:  Saturday, May 9th


Limited space available, please call

508-228-2896 for reservations


$10 Member

$15 Non-Member 

2015 Birdathon
In partnership with the Linda Loring Nature Foundation, the MMA hosts this annual fundraiser to raise money for education programs and our biological collections.   It's easy to contribute!  Consider pledging an amount per species to support this good cause.

When: May 15th-16th


Discovery Camp Scholarships 


Thanks to the generosity of EGCF, a non-profit foundation, MMA is offering 12 discovery camp scholarships.  These scholarships provide an 80% discount plus a reduced priced membership of $25.  To learn more and to apply, please visit the scholarship page on our website.

New Book by Dr. Michael West to be Published in August 2015


A Sky Wonderful with Skies: 50

Years of Modern Astronomy on Maunakea, is in the final stages of printing.  This book which, will be published by the University of Hawaii Press, tells the story of the world's most powerful collection of telescopes through beautiful photos and light text.  The book includes a foreword by Brian Schmidt, who won the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe.

 Ecology Lab Update


The new Ecology Lab at the Maria Mitchell Association continues to move forward. Thanks to significant funding from grants and individual donors including a $50,000 grant from the Tuppancy- Harris Foundation, the interior work has begun.


When complete in 2016, the Ecology Lab will be a year-round laboratory and classroom space. The top floor will hold a lab/classroom space for students of all ages. The lower level will serve as a state-of-the-art collections storage for MMA's vast collection of flora and fauna. The facility will also contain space for scientists conducting research.


New Board Member

Joan L. Gulley of Nantucket and Vero Beach, Florida was elected to the Board of Directors at the April 2015 meeting of the Maria Mitchell Association.  Joan retired in 2014 from the PNC Financial Services Group where she was Chief Human Resources Officer and a member of the company's Executive Committee. Over her 20 year career with PNC, she held a number of senior roles including CEO of PNC Advisors, the company's wealth management group, Deputy Director of Retail Banking, Chief Marketing Officer and Director of Strategic Planning.


Joan and her husband Phil reside in Pocomo. They have one son, Colin.



Our Director of Astronomy, Dr. Michael West, was present at the International Astronomy Conference in Santiago, Chile where he discussed his research on "Satellites and Streams".


Dr.West also spoke at Cape Cod Community College's Spring 2015 Innovation Speaker Series.  West's talk, titled Astronomers, Astronauts and Engineers: How to Get Paid to Explore the Universe, provided information about diverse paths to a career in science.   



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 those who wish to volunteer.
For inquiries and more information, please email

   A Special Thank You   


MMA would like to thank Burton Went, the Water Closet,  and Jim Badera of Badera Engineering for generously giving their time and supplies to make things happen for MMA. No small task. We are grateful to all involved for helping us out as we work to improve and protect the historic buildings that make up the MMA and its museums. Thank you!

On April 15th, we created a brand new Instagram account.  Follow us
@ maira_mitchell_association
t o see amazing and entertaining photographs. 

 View on Instagram
Oarfish image from : Mike Strazzula,

Tyler Bradbury, and Chris Kinch

Connect with us:


            Follow us on TwitterLike us on FacebookView our videos on YouTubeView on InstagramView our profile on LinkedInFind us on Google+ 


         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 
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

Joan Alison Stockman, Director of Finance & Administration

George Donnelly, Director of Development & Communications

Sarah Erichsen, Development Coordinator

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

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