The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association Begins Virtual Science Speaker Series with Jack Dubinsky

Nantucket, MA – The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) is moving its summer Science Speaker Series online due to COVID-19. The series will kick off with Aquarium Manager Jack Dubinsky on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 at 7:00 pm. Jack’s talk is entitled, “Lovely Oceans: A discussion of the fascinating reproductive biology and contemporary issues affecting procreation in marine organisms.”

Join Jack for a fascinating discussion about reproductive behaviors in the ocean. First, he will discuss the basics about reproduction in the ocean. Then he will look at the most romantic, dramatic, and bizarre case studies of reproductive strategies. Finally, he will discuss how human activity is affecting the success of procreation in important marine species.

Jack has been interested in sea creatures since he was a child. He began his journey with MMA at the age of 12, when he first volunteered at the aquarium. He later received a marine science degree at The Evergreen State College and is currently the director of the MMA Aquarium. Jack’s research background includes goby-shrimp symbioses, Green Crab population dynamics, and comb jelly physiology.

The Maria Mitchell Association will be hosting a virtual speaker each Wednesday evening from 7:00-8:00 as part of its summer Science Speaker Series. The lectures will be free and viewable on Zoom. The link to each lecture will be shared on the Maria Mitchell Association’s website and social media.

ACKlimate sponsors the Maria Mitchell Association Speaker Series.

The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) is a private non-profit organization. Founded in 1902, the MMA works to preserve the legacy of Nantucket native astronomer, naturalist, librarian, and educator, Maria Mitchell. The Maria Mitchell Association operates two observatories, a natural science museum, an aquarium, a research center, and preserves the historic birthplace of Maria Mitchell. A wide variety of science and history-related programming is offered throughout the year for people of all ages.

Ginger Andrews, MMA Field Ornithologist, Beginning Birding Advice

First, you probably already know more than you think you do. It is virtually impossible to know ABSOLUTELY nothing about birds. So, start where you are. And get to know the birds you already recognize even better.

Look for movement. Listen. Before you can identify birds, you have to find them first.
Then start asking questions about what you see or hear.
The first thing to observe is their size.

A Robin makes a good measure. Once you know a Robin, ask yourself if the bird you are looking at is smaller than a Robin? Bigger than a Robin, but smaller than a Crow? Crow-sized or bigger?

Then, where is the bird and what is it doing?

Is it a small bird darting from tangle to tangle?

Is it long legged, standing in water? Is it soaring overhead, wings extended?

Habitat is a helpful clue, but birds do not read the books and do not always land or stay where the authorities think they are “supposed” to be.

Then look at the bill, the wing, the tail, the way the bird moves, what it does.

Birding by ear is perfectly legit. But it takes practice to hear birds at first. Chances are you have already put in a lot of unconscious effort trying to ignore the extreme noise pollution around human neighborhoods. But paying attention to sound pays off.

If you are in your house or car, you can look out from behind glass without disturbing birds, and you may get reasonably good looks even with the naked eye. But it does require patience. So yes, binoculars are very helpful. As a near-sighted person I would never have been able to become interested in birds if I had not had a good pair of binoculars. And for stealth and distant viewing a telescope is even better. But some people just bird with a camera, which has the virtue of documentation at the same time. And even the blind can bird by ear, learning songs and calls.

When it comes to identification, the newest thing is the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Merlin app. It will ask you a few simple questions, and give you photos to choose from, that help you identify what you are seeing based on what is most common or likely where you are. There are lots of on-line resources.

Some of us old-school types still prefer a field guide, of which there are many. We enjoy just looking at the pictures even if we haven’t seen all the birds yet. Sometimes a surprising record or rarity has been discovered by someone who just happened to have looked at a colorful bird illustration and recognized it in a completely unexpected place.

For beginning I still like the Roger Tory Peterson guides best, for the little arrows pointing to the salient differences, and the ease of flipping pages to look for similar patterns. It made me look harder at certain differences, and to tease out which details to look for.

It takes a while to amass mental reference points for all the families of birds, but once you have a rough idea, then you can start delving into more detail. This is a skill, which requires practice, which is rewarding because it takes effort, and is therefore a real thing.

Birding is also useful as a point for developing critical thinking. People want a “special” bird, a totem, a message. But setting out to find a particular bird is often a quest doomed to disappointment, even if someone else has recently seen one. “Did not see an Eagle again today,” might diminish what would otherwise be a very rich experience of a dozen or more well-seen species. It is the sense of discovery, of going out to look with an open mind, that is the essence of birding.

Birds have wings and they use them. So, the bird you see is your bird. It is not easy to see a bird well. A good clear look is a gift of the moment, an experience shared by you and the bird.

There is no such thing as an un-interesting bird, so don’t be disappointed by common ones. Pigeons inspired Darwin as much as Finches; Song Sparrows provided Margaret Morse Nice with a life’s work. Any species may enable someone to make an interesting discovery about something.

The “wishful thinking” test is also useful. A brief glimpse might tease the brain into thinking it is a particularly desired rare bird. But ask yourself, “What if I wanted the opposite? What would be the more common, more likely interpretation or outcome?” This has obvious real-life uses as a planning strategy, too.

One last thing to remember: Nothing is impossible! But the improbable requires documentation.

And a warning: birding can become habit-forming, providing hours of simple pleasure in the outdoors.

Text and photos by Ginger Andrews.

Bird-at-home-a-thon on Nantucket

 Nantucket, MA – On May 15-16, we invite birders young and old, experienced and novice, from all over Massachusetts and especially on our beautiful Nantucket island to join Mass Audubon and the Maria Mitchell Association in an annual Bird-a-thon. This effort helps our organizations collect information on the biodiversity of our feathered friends on the island and beyond.

Due to COVID-19, the event was re-imagined by Mass Audubon as its first ever Bird-at-home-a-thon. With social distancing in mind, team members will bird from the safety of their own homes or from a nearby greenspace within walking or biking distance. We encourage participants to ask family and friends to bird as well

It will be a carbon-free, safety-focused, and family-friendly event! We hope the accessibility of this event will enable more people on Nantucket and those with connections on Nantucket to participate.

The goal will be to identify as many species of birds in a 24-hour period and also complete other fun, nature-based activities to earn team points. We need the help of the entire Nantucket community to make this event a success.

This Bird-at-home-a-thon serves as a reminder of the variety and abundance of wildlife that surrounds us and our responsibility to preserve the habitats of our beautiful and varied bird species.

All donations and pledges raised for the Nantucket WS/MMA TEAM will be equally shared between the Maria Mitchell Association, Nantucket’s Science Center and the Nantucket Wildlife Sanctuaries of Mass Audubon.

Nantucket residents and non-residents can participate in a number of ways. Donors can choose to pledge an amount per species seen (we typically observe around 100 species), or donate any amount regardless of the number of species we record!

Are you new to birding or are you participating with your kids? There will also be a number of activities for families including bird drawing and bird photography.  It will be a blast!

Sponsors this year include Presenting Sponsors Ream Design of Ayer and Camosse Masonry Supply of Worcester and Media Sponsor, public radio station WBUR.

To participate, donate, and to learn more about Bird-a-thon, please visit www.mariamitchell.org or www.massaudubon.org/birdathon.

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Mass Audubon protects more than 38,000 acres of land throughout Massachusetts and 950 acres on Nantucket, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts’ largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state’s natural treasures for wildlife and for all people—a vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women.

The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) is a private non-profit organization. Founded in 1902, the MMA works to preserve the legacy of Nantucket native astronomer, naturalist, librarian, and educator, Maria Mitchell. The Maria Mitchell Association operates two observatories, a natural science museum, an aquarium, a research center, and preserves the historic birthplace of Maria Mitchell. A wide variety of science and history-related programming is offered throughout the year for people of all ages.

$100,000 in Massachusetts Historic Preservation Grant Awards Announced: 14 Projects To Receive Matching Funds For Exterior Work On Historic Buildings

Press Release
For Immediate Release, April 27, 2020

Preservation Massachusetts Contact
Jim Igoe or Erin Kelly, jigoe@preservationmass.org , ekelly@preservationmass.org, 617-723-3383
1772 Foundation Contact
Mary Anthony The 1772 Foundation, maryanthony@1772foundation.org

Plymouth, MA – Preservation Massachusetts, in partnership with The 1772 Foundation, has announced the final recipients of a new historic preservation grant program for Massachusetts. Preservation Massachusetts is the statewide non-profit historic preservation organization dedicated to preserving the Commonwealth’s historic and cultural heritage and The 1772 Foundation, based in Providence, RI, plays a leading role in promoting historic preservation nationwide.

In their most recent grant round, the 1772 Foundation worked with the six New England statewide historic preservation organizations, including Preservation Massachusetts, to administer 1:1 matching grants of up to $10,000. Grants will be given to historic preservation projects for building exteriors. At their quarterly meeting, the trustees of The 1772 Foundation awarded $100,000 in grants to 14 Massachusetts projects, based on recommendations from Preservation Massachusetts. A total of

$600,000 was awarded to seventy-nine grants from all six New England statewide organizations.

Grant recipients in Massachusetts were Historic Deerfield, Inc. (The Creelman House $10,000), Alden Kindred of America, Inc. (Alden House Historic Site $2,600), Great Barrington Historical Society (The Truman Wheeler House $7,500), Historic New England (The Walter Gropius House $10,000), The Royall House Association (The Royall House and Slave Quarters $5,000), The Maria Mitchell Association (The Maria Mitchell House $8,250), Waterfront Historic Area League (First Baptist Church $10,000), Historic Newton (Durant-Kenrick House $10,000), Sons and Daughters of Hawley (East Hawley Meeting House

$10,000), Plymouth Antiquarian Society (The Spooner House Museum $3,358), Essex National Heritage Commission (Assistant Light Keeper’s House on Baker’s Island $5,000), Old Colony History Museum (Bristol Academy $10,000), Chase Library Association, Inc. (The Chase Library $4,812) and Canton Historical Society (David & Abigail Tilden House $3,480).

President and CEO of Preservation Massachusetts Jim Igoe states, “This new funding opportunity brought to Massachusetts by the 1772 Foundation was a great opportunity for stewards of historic buildings all across the Commonwealth. The reception to this grant was overwhelming with over

$700,000 in funding being requested through our first round of inquiry letters. It clearly demonstrates the great need for funds to ensure these historic structures remain intact and in use for years to come. The organizations we have awarded grants to are remarkable stewards of these shared community assets and we are pleased to see their projects come to fruition. We are also extremely grateful to The 1772 Foundation for this collaborative opportunity which has enriched our organization and staff with deeper knowledge and connections with organizations and communities from the Cape to Berkshires. We look forward to continuing to work with The 1772 Foundation and also find other opportunities to expand funding for historic preservation projects like these across Massachusetts.”

1772 Foundation Board President B. Danforth Ely remarked, “Small matching grants for brick-and-mortar preservation projects have long played an important role in the 1772 Foundation’s grant making, as it was the passion of it’s founder, Stewart B. Kean. However, this is the first year that we have opened the program up to all six New England states, and the expansion has been enthusiastically received. We have been fortunate to work with six fantastic statewide organizations, whose local community knowledge has proven invaluable. The vast response to this grant has also shown to the Foundation how necessary these brick-and-mortar grants are to keeping our historic structures standing.”

About Preservation Massachusetts:

Preservation Massachusetts was established in 1985 as Historic Massachusetts, Inc. We are the statewide non-profit organization that actively promotes the preservation of historic buildings and landscapes as a positive force for economic development and the retention of community character. The organization is supported entirely by grants, fundraising events and the support of our membership. In keeping with our mission, we work in partnership with national, state and local organizations and individuals across the Commonwealth to advance and understanding, appreciation and utilization of our historic built and natural landscapes. More information about Preservation Massachusetts may be found online at www.preservationmass.org

About the 1772 Foundation:

The 1772 Foundation was named in honor of its first restoration project, Liberty Hall in Union, NJ, which was built in 1772 and is the ancestral home of the Livingston and Kean families. The late Stewart B. Kean was the sole benefactor to The 1772 Foundation. The 1772 Foundation works to ensure the safe passage of our historic buildings and farmland to future generations. More information about The 1772 Foundation may be found at www.1772foundation.org.

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Astronomy Intern at The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association Wins Prestigious Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Award at National Conference

 

 Nantucket, MA – The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) congratulates summer 2019 National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) intern Abby Mintz on winning a prestigious Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Award at the winter American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting in Hawai’i that took place January 4-8, 2020.

At this 235th meeting of the AAS, Mintz presented her summer research in a poster entitled, “Probing the High-Redshift Circumgalactic Medium Through Quasar Absorption Line Tomography.” This research represents an important step in understanding how chemical elements are formed in stars and distributed out into the Universe through galaxies.  Mintz was mentored by the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association’s Maria Mitchell Observatory’s (MMO) Dr. Regina Jorgenson.  A record 355 students participated in the Chambliss Award competition and there were fifteen Chambliss Medal recipients.  “It was a pleasure to work with Abby this past summer and I could not be more delighted that all of her hard work was honored by the AAS in this incredible way.  I’m happy to report that Abby has been continuing her research with me and we are currently in the process of preparing a scientific publication summarizing her results,” Jorgenson said.

Mintz is currently a junior at Yale University where she is a double major in Astrophysics and Statistics and Data Science.  She will be participating in the Harvard Center for Astrophysics REU this summer and will be applying to graduate programs in the fall.

MMO interns have won Chambliss Awards for four of the past five years, a testament to quality of the MMA’s internship program.  Approximately 90% of MMO interns have gone on to astrophysics Ph.D. programs.

The MMA’s Maria Mitchell Observatory operates the NSF-REU program each summer and has done so for decades.  The program is funded by the National Science Foundation.  Six students are selected out of a pool of approximately 200 undergraduate student applicants from around the United States.  REU interns come to Nantucket for ten to twelve weeks during the summer to participate in astrophysics research projects.  While on Nantucket, the REU interns also participate in the outreach efforts of the Observatory – primarily by hosting Open Nights at the Loines Observatory twice weekly and by leading daytime tours of the Vestal Street Observatory, complete with solar telescopic observations of the Sun.

The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) is a private non-profit organization. Founded in 1902, the MMA works to preserve the legacy of Nantucket native astronomer, naturalist, librarian, and educator, Maria Mitchell. The Maria Mitchell Association operates two observatories, a natural science museum, an aquarium, a research center, and preserves the historic birthplace of Maria Mitchell. A wide variety of science and history-related programming is offered throughout the year for people of all ages.

 

 

An Important Letter from the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association’s Executive Director Regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 Cancellations

Nantucket, MA – Earlier this week, the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association’s Executive Director, Dave Gagnon, released a statement regarding the Association’s plans in light of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic (Pandemic).  “This Pandemic has impacted every one of us, both from a personal, as well as an economic perspective,” shared Gagnon. “Most of us know someone who has become seriously ill, is facing financial uncertainty, or has lost their job.  It is heartbreaking. This outbreak has forced the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association to make a decision that would not seem possible even four short weeks ago. Based on our analysis, we determined that we will not be able to operate our facilities and offer programming at the level we have in past years, including our award-winning Discovery Camp program.  We have also cancelled our major summer fundraiser, the Stargazer Gala, scheduled for July 9,” stated Gagnon.  “We are working on an alternative event to the Gala and will keep our Members and Supporters informed as plans are solidified.  Our priority is to ensure the health and safety of our staff, interns, volunteers, visitors, and Island community.”

Moving Forward:

Over the last month, the MMA have found ways to virtually share content and experiences that people have come to know and look for from us, such as the Nantucket Science Festival which was held in a virtual form and which is still available online for people to participate in via at-home experiments and activities.  The MMA’s various social media platforms are being updated regularly with activities, content, and science challenges. The MMA’s educators have been working with Nantucket teachers to provide STEM curriculum ideas and hands-on, at-home activities. And although the Pandemic significantly limits the MMA’s summer offerings, the MMA remains optimistic that it will be able to offer limited programming later into the summer.  The MMA is working on ways to continue our popular Science Speaker Series every Wednesday night whether it be virtually or in person with social distance seating.  We hope to offer limited capacity tours at the Mitchell House, and are planning ways for visitors to continue to meet the animals, bird watch, and observe the night skies with us.

The MMA’s education programming will continue. The MMA’s research will continue. So please stay tuned.  While the MMA’s doors may be closed physically, the doors are still open virtually and the MMA is hoping to widen that entry later this summer.

This decision is very difficult and will result in a significant reduction in the MMA’s income but the MMA feels strongly that this is the right decision for the safety of its staff, interns, volunteers, visitors, and the Nantucket community.

The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) is a private non-profit organization. Founded in 1902, the MMA works to preserve the legacy of Nantucket native astronomer, naturalist, librarian, and educator, Maria Mitchell. The Maria Mitchell Association operates two observatories, a natural science museum, an aquarium, a research center, and preserves the historic birthplace of Maria Mitchell. A wide variety of science and history-related programming is offered throughout the year for people of all ages.

The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association is Hosting a Winter Naturalist Speaker Series

For Immediate Release
February 13, 2019
Contact: Lydia Gullicksen
508-228-9198
lgullicksen@mariamitchell.org

The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association is Hosting a Winter Naturalist Speaker Series

Nantucket, MA – Throughout the months of February and March, the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association will be hosting speakers at its newly opened Research Center at 2 Vestal Street on select Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm. The series will focus on natural science and the natural world of Nantucket. Each hour long lecture will feature a local scientist or specialist and will be comprised of a talk, followed by a question and answer session.

The first lecturer in the Winter Speakers Series will be Julia Blyth on February 20th, the Biological Collections Manager at the Maria Mitchell Association. In what promises to be a unique experience, she will prepare a specimen of a bird that was found dead on Nantucket.  Once processed, the specimen will become a permanent part of the MMA’s biological collections. This demonstration will be projected on a big screen so the audience can see her work in real time and up close. Blyth prepares specimens, maintains the collections, and carries out field research with Barn Owls, Odonates (dragonflies and damselflies), and leafminers. The Maria Mitchell Association has been carefully preserving and curating biological specimens from Nantucket Island for over a century. Blyth has herself been adding to the MMA’s collections since 2011.

Up next will be Vincent Murphy on March 6th. Murphy is an ecologist who has worked with a large variety of species and habitats in Europe and North America. Murphy is now the Protected Species Technician for the Town of Nantucket. His talk entitled “Nantucket’s Protected Shore Birds” is about the protected species that breed around Nantucket each summer and the Town’s efforts to protect these species. The legal standing, conservation strategies, future management, and beautiful pictures of shorebirds will be featured in his talk.

On March 20, Nantucket’s very own Ginger Andrews, the MMA’s field ornithologist, will talk about bird rehabilitation Andrews the daughter of acclaimed ornithologist Edith Folger Andrews and ichthyologist J. Clinton Andrews, grew up in an ornithological world. With birds often in rehabilitation in the very house she lived in, she has a very unique perspective on birds and will share her stories and wisdom. Come hear her discussion on the needs, individual personalities, and conservation of bird species she has encountered, including the Barn owl.

Jack Dubinsky, the Maria Mitchell Association’s aquarist, will speak on March 27th about the Gelatinous Zooplankton of Nantucket. He will discuss the odd and puzzling world of the “gelata,” which are drifting marine animals that lack rigid structure and are often translucent. While jellyfish are the most famous of these creatures, there are gelatinous representatives from almost every animal phylum, including Arthropods, Molluscs and even Chordates! At the end, he will discuss species commonly seen around Nantucket.

Each lecture will be free for Members of the MMA and $5 for Non-Members.

The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) is a private non-profit organization. Founded in 1902, the MMA works to preserve the legacy of Nantucket native astronomer, naturalist, librarian, and educator, Maria Mitchell. The Maria Mitchell Association operates two observatories, a natural science museum, an aquarium, a research center, and preserves the historic birthplace of Maria Mitchell. A wide variety of science and history-related programming is offered throughout the year for people of all ages.

Astronomy Intern at The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association Wins Prestigious Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Award at National Conference

NEWS
For Immediate Release
February 12, 2019
Contact:  Dr. Regina Jorgenson
508-228-9198

Astronomy Intern at The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association Wins Prestigious Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Award at National Conference

 Nantucket, MA – The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) congratulates summer 2018 National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) intern Caeley Pittman on winning a prestigious Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Award at the recent American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting in Seattle, Washington that took place January 6-10, 2019..

At this 233rd meeting of the AAS, Pittman presented her summer research in a poster entitled “Searching for Intermediate-Mass Black Holes in the Optical Time Domain.”  Pittman was mentored by Dr. Suvi Gezari of the University of Maryland, a former NSF-REU intern herself, and by the MMO’s Dr. Regina Jorgenson.  A record 360 students participated in the Chambliss Award competition, of which 214 were undergraduate students.

Pittman is currently a junior at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, and is spending this year abroad studying physics and English at Oxford University in Oxford, England.  Pittman will spend this next summer at another REU program at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, before beginning her senior year at William Jewell.  Pittman plans to apply to graduate programs in astrophysics.

The MMA’s Maria Mitchell Observatory operates the NSF-REU program each summer and has done so for decades.  Six students are selected out of a pool of approximately 200 undergraduate student applicants from around the United States.  REU interns come to Nantucket for ten to twelve weeks during the summer to participate in astrophysics research projects.  While on Nantucket, the REU interns also participate in the outreach efforts of the Observatory – primarily by hosting Open Nights at the Loines Observatory twice a week and by leading daytime tours of the Vestal Street Observatory, complete with solar telescopic observations of the Sun.

Additional information about the Chambliss Awards and other winners can be found at:

https://aas.org/posts/news/2019/01/congratulations-aas-233-chambliss-student-awards-winners

The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) is a private non-profit organization. Founded in 1902, the MMA works to preserve the legacy of Nantucket native astronomer, naturalist, librarian, and educator, Maria Mitchell. The Maria Mitchell Association operates two observatories, a natural science museum, an aquarium, a research center, and preserves the historic birthplace of Maria Mitchell. A wide variety of science and history-related programming is offered throughout the year for people of all ages.

 

The Natural Science Museum is Open

For Immediate Release
January 7, 2018
Contact: Lydia Gullicksen
508-228-9198
lgullicksen@mariamitchell.org

 

Nantucket, MA – The Maria Mitchell Association is excited to announce that the Natural Science Museum will be open on Saturdays this winter from 10 am to 2pm.  While open, the Museum will run a feeding program, “Very Hungry Vertebrates,” in the mornings.

“We are delighted to offer year round families and winter visitors an opportunity to enjoy our Natural Science Museum with all our new hands-on exhibits and interesting animals” said Executive Director, David Gagnon.

The Natural Science Museum is located at 7 Milk Street and is a great way to pass the winter weekends with children of all ages. There are live animals, all found on Nantucket or its surrounding waters, including a bullfrog, jellyfish, turtles, snakes, and tropical fish. The tropical fish were found around Nantucket, but are not native species; they find their way up in summer trapped in warm core eddies. This winter the Natural Science Museum is hosting animals that have never been on display at the Maria Mitchell Association before, including the Ocyropsis crystalline, which is a type of comb jelly, and the bioluminescent crystal jellyfish. Marine exhibits will rotate throughout the winter and will feature new species in the future.

The Museum has interactive, educational exhibits where children can learn while playing, as well as biological collections, fossils, and a topography table where imaginary landscapes can come alive.  Before the Museum opens, the MMA will host “Very Hungry Vertebrates” from 9:00-9:40am. Participants will get to watch the Museum staff feed the snakes, fish, turtles, and tortoise and learn about the animals feeding ecology and how they are affected by seasons. The program is $5 for Members and $10 for Non-Members. Limited space is available so pre-registration online at mariamitchell.org is recommended. The Museum will be open from 10:00am – 2:00pm and will be free for Members, $5 for Non-Members. Membership purchased before the end of 2018 will be valid through 2019. Memberships can be purchased online at mariamitchell.org.

The Maria Mitchell Association is a private non-profit organization. Founded in 1902, the MMA works to preserve the legacy of Nantucket native astronomer, naturalist, librarian, and educator, Maria Mitchell. The Maria Mitchell Association operates two observatories, a natural science museum, an aquarium, a newly opened research center, and preserves the historic birthplace of Maria Mitchell. A wide variety of science and history-related programming is offered throughout the year for people of all ages. This year celebrates Mitchell’s 200th birthday with special lectures, events, classes, and exhibits all year-long.

 

For Immediate Release
October 29, 2018
Contact: Lydia Gullicksen
508-228-9198
lgullicksen@mariamitchell.org 

Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association Natural Science Museum Will be Open This Winter

Nantucket, MA – The Maria Mitchell Association is excited to announce that the Natural Science Museum will be open on Saturdays this winter from 10 am to 2pm.  While open, the Museum will run a feeding program, “Very Hungry Vertebrates,” in the mornings.

“We are delighted to offer year round families and winter visitors an opportunity to enjoy our Natural Science Museum with all our new hands-on exhibits and interesting animals” said Executive Director, David Gagnon.

The Natural Science Museum is located at 7 Milk Street and is a great way to pass the winter weekends with children of all ages. There are live animals, all found on Nantucket or its surrounding waters, including a bullfrog, jellyfish, turtles, snakes, and tropical fish. The tropical fish were found around Nantucket, but are not native species; they find their way up in summer trapped in warm core eddies. This winter the Natural Science Museum is hosting animals that have never been on display at the Maria Mitchell Association before, including the Ocyropsis crystalline, which is a type of comb jelly, and the bioluminescent crystal jellyfish. Marine exhibits will rotate throughout the winter and will feature new species in the future.

The Museum has interactive, educational exhibits where children can learn while playing, as well as biological collections, fossils, and a topography table where imaginary landscapes can come alive.  Before the Museum opens, the MMA will host “Very Hungry Vertebrates” from 9:00-9:40am. Participants will get to watch the Museum staff feed the snakes, fish, turtles, and tortoise and learn about the animals feeding ecology and how they are affected by seasons. The program is $5 for Members and $10 for Non-Members. Limited space is available so pre-registration online at mariamitchell.org is recommended. The Museum will be open from 10:00am – 2:00pm and will be free for Members, $5 for Non-Members. Membership purchased before the end of 2018 will be valid through 2019. Memberships can be purchased online at mariamitchell.org.

The Museum will be closed on November 24th.

The Maria Mitchell Association is a private non-profit organization. Founded in 1902, the MMA works to preserve the legacy of Nantucket native astronomer, naturalist, librarian, and educator, Maria Mitchell. The Maria Mitchell Association operates two observatories, a natural science museum, an aquarium, a newly opened research center, and preserves the historic birthplace of Maria Mitchell. A wide variety of science and history-related programming is offered throughout the year for people of all ages. This year celebrates Mitchell’s 200th birthday with special lectures, events, classes, and exhibits all year-long.