Press Release: Maria Mitchell Aquarium Seaside Stories

Press Release   
For Immediate Release   
August 8, 2018   
Contact: Trinity Foreman   
508-228-9198 
tforeman@mariamitchell.org   

Setse tells Seaside Stories by the Nantucket Seashore (Try Saying that Three Times Fast) Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association Intern to Tell Seaside Stories at the MMA Aquarium  

Nantucket, MA – Grab a beach chair and bring your little ones to hear ocean-based stories on the harbor front by the Maria Mitchell Association Aquarium staff. Every Tuesday at 10:10am, one of the Maria Mitchell interns will read an illustrated children’s book to the group and then lead an ocean-education based discussion which will include a small arts and crafts project, aquarium specimen observation, and sometimes live animals. Children and adults alike will be able to ask questions and learn more about the ocean world right in front of them. Through these seaside narratives, children will learn more about marine life and oceanic ecosystems. Seaside stories will combine creativity, imagination, and science in a fun activity for the entire family. After the story, families can join the MMA intern on a guided tour of the Aquarium to look at and better understand the animals present in the story. It is the perfect morning for any child, from a budding scientist to a future artist.  

“Seaside Stories” are included in admission to the MMA Aquarium and other MMA properties. Simply visit the Maria Mitchell Aquarium at 28 Washington Street during story time, purchase a property pass or present your membership card, and head back to the beach to participate. A blanket will be provided to sit on, but participants can bring beach chairs or their own towels or blankets. Stories may focus on anything from scallops to hermit crabs to shore shrimp.  

Despite its small size, the MMA Aquarium has over sixty species and has a variety of educational opportunities for visitors to learn about Nantucket’s ecosystems, the biodiversity of Nantucket’s waters, animal interaction, invasive species, and ocean-related conservation efforts. The Aquarium is led by a team of MMA interns and volunteers, and houses a variety of animals found of the shores of Nantucket, including a rare orange lobster named Clementine. The Aquarium is committed to providing an educational experience for visitors, as well as a high quality of life for its inhabitants. 

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, culminating in the Maria Mitchell Women in Science Symposium in October 2018 in Boston.  

Press Release: Christy Hudak

Press Release
For Immediate Release
August 6, 2018
Contact: Trinity Foreman
508-228-9198
tforeman@mariamitchell.org

For Immediate Release: Christy Hudak to speak about The Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale at the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association 

Nantucket, MA – The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) is hosting a lecture given by Christy Hudak on August 15 from 7:00-8:00 at 33 Washington Street. Her talk “Tracking the Annual Return of the North Atlantic Right Whale to Massachusetts Waters” is about the critically endangered species that was once abundant in this region. Hudak is a research associate in the Right Whale Ecology Program at the Center for Coastal Studies.

Right Whales are a critically endangered species with a total population estimated to be only about 450 whales. They have a high mortality rate and a low birth rate. The whales are in danger of becoming extinct unless steps are taken to help the populations grow. Though they are a protected species, they still suffer casualties from entanglements and ship strikes. Right Whales are a part of Nantucket’s history: they were killed in large amounts by whalers in the eighteenth and nineteenth century because the oil they produced was so prized.

Right Whales can grow up to fifty-six feet in length and in the spring, their feeding ground is Cape Cod Bay. Hudak’s research focuses on the food resources of the Right Whale, which is being impacted by climate change, another danger for Right Whales. The year 2018 has not been a good year for the population. As of April, no calves had been seen in Cape Cod Bay and the previous year contained the highest mortality rate on record; eighteen whales were found dead.

The Maria Mitchell Association will be hosting a new speaker on Wednesday evenings from 7:00-8:00 as part of our summer Science-Speaker Series which will feature astronomers, authors, environmentalists, biologists, professors, and doctors. The MMA Speaker Series is sponsored by the Bank of America, Cisco Brewers, and Don Allen Ford. For a full schedule and description of each speaker, please visit our website at mariamitchell.org. The event is free for MMA members and $10 for Non-Members.

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, culminating in the Maria Mitchell Women in Science Symposium in October 2018 in Boston.

Press Release: Maria Mitchell Association Meteor Shower Party

Press Release
For Immediate Release
August 3, 2018
Contact: Trinity Foreman
508-228-9198
tforeman@mariamitchell.org     

Don’t Miss the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association Meteor Shower Party   

  Image result for Perseids

Nantucket, MA – On August 12 from 10:00pm-12:00am, the Maria Mitchell Association will host a free viewing party at Surfside Beach for the Perseid meteor shower. Weather permitting, there will be astronomers onsite to answer questions and explain more about the meteor shower, which will be one of the brighter meteor showers of the year. Up to sixty meteors per hour are expected to be visible.    

Meteors are the flashes of light that are visible when meteoroids enter the Earth’s atmosphere.  A meteoroid is a space rock, ranging in size from a small grain of sand to several feet across. Travelling upwards of 45,000 miles per hour, when a meteoroid hits the Earth’s atmosphere, it experiences an extremely large drag, which slows the meteoroid down, usually burning it up completely, and in the process, producing a bright steak of light that is commonly referred to as a “shooting star.” Annual meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through the debris left over from a comet and comes into contact with many small rocks, which then enter Earth’s atmosphere. These rocks are generally the size of pebbles and burn up as they hurdle towards Earth, making them nothing to worry about, as they are unlikely to ever reach Earth’s surface.    

Meteor showers are named for the constellation in the sky from which the meteors appear to be radiating. The meteor shower taking place on August 12 is named for the constellation Perseus, which lies in the Northern sky and is home to the famous star Algol. The constellation was first recorded by a Greek astronomer in the 2nd century and is named after the mythical Greek hero, Perseus, who is probably best known for slaying Medusa and saving Andromeda from a sea monster. The star Andromeda is located near the constellation of Perseus.    

The night of August 12 should be ideal for star gazing providing the weather cooperates. The moon, which will be a small crescent, will provide very little additional light, allowing for dark skies  ̶ ideal for meteor watching.   

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, culminating in the Maria Mitchell Women in Science Symposium in October 2018 in Boston.   

Press Release: REU Student Presentations

Press Release
For Immediate Release
August 2, 2018
Contact: Trinity Foreman
508-228-9198
tforeman@mariamitchell.org 

For Immediate Release: Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association Astronomy Interns to Present on Research Projects Conducted at Maria Mitchell Observatory in Summer 2018 

Nantucket, MA – The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) is hosting a research presentation on August 8 from 7:00-8:00 at 33 Washington Street. For more than fifty years, the Maria Mitchell Observatory (MMO) has offered summer research opportunities in astronomy and astrophysics for students on Nantucket. Six students will present their individual research projects developed under the guidance of experienced astronomers. Students will later present their research at the American Astronomical Society. The Astronomy intern positions are funded by the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program which is made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

Maria Mitchell believed in learning-by-doing thus the hands on learning involved in research opportunities such as this one at the MMA/MMO follow Maria Mitchell’s philosophy on education. The Maria Mitchell Observatory is recognized as being a leader in shaping future astronomers and received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from President Barack Obama in 2009.  

Current areas of research include formation and evolution of stars and galaxies; groups and clusters of galaxies, stellar populations, star clusters, astrophysical masers and lasers; cosmology and the early universe; and the history of astronomy. Each MMA student is working on an individualized project under the guidance of experienced astronomers, as well as a collaborative team project. All of the projects are focused on student leadership and original research that will produce publishable results. The students share the results of their research at the winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society where three students in recent years have won the prestigious AAS Chambliss Awards. They also share their research at other conferences and in peer reviewed journals.     

The Maria Mitchell Association has been hosting speakers on Wednesday evenings from 7:00-8:00 as part of its summer Science Speaker Series, featuring astronomers, authors, environmentalists, biologists, professors, and doctors. The MMA Speaker Series is sponsored by the Bank of America, Cisco Brewers, and Don Allen Ford. For a full schedule and description of each speaker please visit our website 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, culminating in the Maria Mitchell Women in Science Symposium in October 2018 in Boston.

America’s First Woman Astronomer

Maria Mitchell

JSTOR Daily published an article in honor of Maria Mitchell’s 200th birthday.  The article outlines Maria Mitchell’s fight for women’s equality in the sciences.  Read the article here to celebrate Maria’s 200th and commemorate her fight for gender equality.

Press Release: Dr. Martha Hanner

Press Release
For Immediate Release
July 27, 2018
Contact: Trinity Foreman
508-228-9198
tforeman@mariamitchell.org   

Dr. Martha Hanner Will Discuss NASA’s Stardust Probe at the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association’s Weekly Speaker Series   Image result for martha hanner

Nantucket, MA – The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) is hosting a lecture by Dr. Martha Hanner on Thursday, August 9 from 7:00-8:00pm at 2 Vestal Street as part of its Summer Science Speaker Series. Dr. Hanner will discuss the mission of NASA’s Stardust probe which launched in 1999, travelled to a distant comet, collected dust samples from that comet, and returned them to Earth in January of 2006. It was an unprecedented accomplishment and took the probe four years and 2.12 billion miles to accomplish its task. Dr. Hanner is a retired Senior Research Scientist from the Earth and Space Sciences Division at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She is also graduate of Wellesley College, Class of 1963, and obtained her Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1969. She has co-authored over 100 scientific publications.  

Her talk, “The Stardust Mission: Snatching a Sample of a Comet,” will focus on the discoveries regarding the early formation of the universe and how comets have shaped the formation of the Earth, possibly providing water and the beginning of life to the planet. Additionally, Dr. Hanner will speculate what this information could mean for the future. Comets are frozen, unchanged moments of history that could provide scientists with incredible insight into the past. Wild 2, the target of the Stardust probe, is a particularly interesting comet to research because it has spent most of its existence in the outer solar system, farther away from the sun, leaving it in more pristine condition than other potential targets. The capsule used to bring the dust back to Earth is now on display in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Although the Stardust mission ended in 2011, Dr. Hanner’s talk will lend insight into the value and legacy of this exciting mission.   

The Maria Mitchell Association will be hosting a summer Science Speaker Series on Wednesday evenings and select other evenings from 7:00-8:00 PM, which will feature astronomers, authors, environmentalists, biologists, researchers, and others each week throughout the summer. The MMA Speaker Series is sponsored by the Bank of America, Cisco Brewers and Don Allen Ford. For a full schedule and description of each speaker, please visit our website at mariamitchell.org. The event is free for MMA Members and $10 for Non-Members.    

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, culminating in the Maria Mitchell Women in Science Symposium in October 2018 in Boston.

Press Release: Pop-up Science Cart

Press Release
For Immediate Release
July 27, 2018
Contact: Trinity Foreman
508-228-9198
tforeman@mariamitchell.org

Catch “Pop Up Science” at Your Favorite Town Locations All Summer Long

Nantucket, MA – All this summer the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association is sending a “Pop Up Science” cart around the island thanks to a generous grant from the Nantucket Community Foundation’s ReMain Nantucket Fund. Pop Up Science can pop-up anywhere in town to provide family oriented science experiments every weekday, unless it’s raining. There are exciting and engaging demonstrations and experiments for the audience to try themselves, birds from the MMA’s Education Collection, paper airplane contests, and on Tuesdays there will be an aquarium touch tank. Experiments include testing everyday liquids to see if they are acids or bases, demonstrating inertia, using solar energy, learning about birds, exploring magnetism, making a homemade lava lamp while learning about density, and much more. And, there are prizes!

The locations change throughout the week as Pop Up Science moves about town. Most days it will “pop up” in the afternoon but one day a week visitors might find the cart while getting their morning coffee at a favorite local coffee shop. Some days the cart might be a little more “British” than usual, and some days one might find the cart while shopping for outdoor gear or while perusing a book in the same place where Maria Mitchell was the first librarian. Look for the cart and stop by to watch the show and learn something new about science.

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, culminating in the Maria Mitchell Women in Science Symposium in October 2018 in Boston.

A Star Was Born

Nantucket Magazine published an article celebrating Maria Mitchell’s life just in time for her 200th birthday celebration.  Read the article here to learn more about Maria Mitchell.

Press Release: Sarah McGrath

Press Release

For Immediate Release
July 24, 2018
Contact: Trinity Foreman
508-228-9198
tforeman@mariamitchell.org

 

 Former Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association Natural Science Museum Intern to Speak at Weekly Science Speaker Series

Nantucket, MA – The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) is hosting a lecture on Maria Mitchell’s 200th Birthday – August 1 – at 7:00 PM by former MMA intern, Sarah McGrath. The talk will focus on the importance of the microbiome and taking lessons from the world of amphibians.  It will be held at 33 Washington Street.

Sarah McGrath is a National Geographic Young Explorer and collaborator at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. McGrath is a graduate student in Biology at James Madison University where she is conducting research surrounding the amphibian microbiome. Her work focuses on how tadpoles develop their microbiome to potentially generate a better way to help conserve amphibian populations, which are one of the fastest declining vertebrates on the planet. She is conducting fieldwork in Brunei, a very small country on the island of Borneo in Asia.

McGrath will discuss the importance of her research and how an unlikely amphibian, a frog, might offer incredible insight into our own bodies, immune systems, diets, and even behavior. She will discuss the answers to questions and how those questions might be answered by the study of frogs such as, “Where do our microbes come from and why do some remain in a particular habitat while others simply pass through? Is it how or where we were born or where we live that makes the most impact on our microbiome and subsequently our health?

The Maria Mitchell Association will be hosting a new speaker on Wednesday evenings from 7:00-8:00 as part of our summer Science Speaker Series which will feature astronomers, authors, environmentalists, biologists, professors, and doctors. The MMA Speaker Series is sponsored by the Bank of America, Cisco Brewers, and Don Allen Ford. For a full schedule and description of each speaker please visit our website at mariamitchell.org. The event is free for MMA Members and $10 for Non-Members.

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, culminating in the Maria Mitchell Women in Science Symposium in October 2018 in Boston.