The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association Virtual Speaker Series Continues with Astronomer JJ Hermes

Nantucket, MA – On July 1, 2020 at 7:00 pm, Dr. JJ Hermes will give a virtual lecture entitled, “When the Referee Lets You Name Your Stars.”  The talk will be held via Zoom.

Digital surveys have mapped the positions of most stars in our night sky down to a limit roughly 100 million times fainter than can be seen by the unaided eye. It is therefore rare for astronomers to “discover” new stars. However, unraveling new classes of stars by grouping similar types of objects connected by a physical phenomenon happens often at the cutting edge of astronomy. I will discuss the joys (and pitfalls) of naming new classes of stars by focusing on a recent discovery: stellar remnants that were once in a close pair of binary system but have recently been slung-shot out of the Galaxy after a disruptive supernova explosion.

Dr. Hermes is an assistant professor in the Department of Astronomy at Boston University, focused on high-precision observations of the endpoints of stars, planets, and binary systems. Before moving to Boston in 2019, he was a Hubble Fellow at UNC Chapel Hill, an ERC postdoctoral fellow at the University of Warwick in central England, and he completed a Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin. He has also worked as a journalist, served as editor-in-chief of The Daily Texan in 2007, and worked as a reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education in Washington, D.C.

Registration Link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_oArIJeSpR3-EtXCIp-9Ukw

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. The Series is sponsored by ACKlimate and Nantucket Island Resorts.

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.

MMA Statement on Recent Events

The Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) would like to express its sadness and outrage at the recent acts of racial violence including the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and many others, and the systemic racial injustices that have long plagued our country. Black lives matter, and the MMA strongly condemns racism, hate and bigotry. Given the MMA’s longstanding goal of expanding inclusion and opportunity, we feel it is imperative that we state our support for our fellow black citizens and our condemnation of racial injustice.

Our organization was founded in 1902 to honor the legacy of America’s first woman astronomer, Maria Mitchell. Mitchell was a Quaker who worked for the equality of all people. She was a staunch supporter of the abolitionist cause, and refused to wear cotton clothing in the belief that doing so perpetuated slavery. She was the librarian at the Nantucket Atheneum when, in 1841, the Atheneum invited Frederick Douglass to deliver his historic speech. Today though, more than 200 years after her birth, our society, and the scientific community in particular, are still not open to all on an equal basis.

Our mission is to “create opportunities for all to develop a life-long passion for science…” and includes promoting diversity and equality in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. Our work in this area has included our Maria Mitchell Women of Science Symposium, Discovery Playground, camp scholarship program and our efforts to recruit student interns from underrepresented groups. In the spirit of our founder, we will look internally to see what additional actions we must take as an organization to combat racism, better serve communities of color, support black scientists, create a more just STEM community, and ensure that we live up to the values Maria Mitchell demonstrated throughout her lifetime.

While the night sky is unlimited, parking in downtown Nantucket is not!

Nantucket, MA – The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) is delighted to offer a unique opportunity to win a reserved town parking space for the month of July in our WISH UPON A STAR FUNDRAISER. Between 9AM Monday, June 15 and 9AM Tuesday, June 30, you can earn chances to win by making an online donation of $125 or higher to the WISH UPON A STAR FUNDRAISER via the MMA’s website.

One parking space is located at 28 Washington Street and three spaces are located at 33 Washington Street.

On June 30 at 12PM, MMA Executive Director, Dave Gagnon, will draw four lucky winners, streamed via Instagram and Facebook Live, each receiving one private town parking space for the month of July. Please find the complete rules below.

All donations will support the MMA’s mission to create opportunities for all to develop a life-long passion for science through education, research, and first-hand exploration of the sky, land, and sea of Nantucket Island. This online auction is one of a few fundraisers planned in lieu of the MMA’s Stargazer Gala, which has been postponed until 2021.

How to Enter:

You can earn chances to win by making an online donation for the WISH UPON A STAR FUNDRAISER between 9AM Monday, June 15 and 9AM Tuesday, June 30.

$125 donation – One chance
$250 donation – Two chances
$500 donation – Four chances
$1000 donation – Eight chances * plus two bonus chances (10 total)

One space, located at 28 Washington Street, is available as a BUY IT NOW item with a  $5,000 donation. This is being offered on a first come, first serve basis.

When you submit your donation, you will be able to select your preferred numbers for the drawing (1-200). Numbers will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis. Four numbers will be drawn on June 30.  We will share regular updates regarding available numbers via our website and social media platforms.

Prizes:

(1) parking space located at 28 Washington Street
(1) parking space located at 33 Washington Street
(1) parking space located at 33 Washington Street
(1) parking space located at 33 Washington Street

The winners will have access to their parking space from 6AM Wednesday, July 1 – 9PM Friday, July 31. We will select the prizes in the following order:  Space 1A at 33 Washington Street, followed by space 1B at 33 Washington Street, followed by space 1C at 33 Washington Street, followed by space 1 at 28 Washington Street (unless it is purchased in advance via BUY IT NOW. The winners will be contacted on June 30 following the drawing.

For more information, please contact Logan Gomes, Director of Advancement at (508) 228-9198.

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.

Join William McKeever for a Virtual Author Talk on ‘Emperors of The Deep’

Nantucket, MA – On June 19, 2020 at 7:00 pm, William McKeever, author of Emperors of the Deep, will share new research about sharks, including the impact human activity and climate change are having on their migration patterns and their ability to survive. This talk is part of the Nantucket Atheneum’s Virtual Author Talk Series and is held in partnership with the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association.

McKeever is an author, filmmaker, and ocean and shark enthusiast, who has travelled the world documenting his journeys. Through his books, film, and non-profit, he has worked tirelessly to bring the issues of ocean and shark conservation to the forefront through education and activism.

His book ‘Emperors of the Deep’ is now available in paperback at Mitchell’s and Nantucket Bookworks.

Registration Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87023849868

The Nantucket Atheneum, a private non-profit organization, provides public library service to the island’s year-round and seasonal residents, housed in a historic 1847 building and the Weezie Library for Children. The Atheneum collects, organizes and disseminates books, literature and other materials in a variety of formats to help users of all ages meet their recreational, personal, professional and intellectual needs. In keeping with its heritage, the Atheneum also serves as a cultural center for the Nantucket community by sponsoring educational programming and maintaining special collections related to the history and culture of the island.

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 Virtual Speaker Series Continues with Astronomer Meredith MacGregor

Nantucket, MA – On June 17, 2020 at 7:00 pm, Dr. Meredith MacGregor will give a virtual lecture entitled, “How to Form a Habitable Planet.”  The talk will be held via Zoom.

Most young stars are surrounded by ‘circumstellar’ disks of gas and dust, the initial material for the formation of planets.  Dr. MacGregor will discuss how planetary systems form from these disks and evolve over millions to billions of years, with a focus on what conditions might create a ‘habitable’ planet. For the first time, we can see baby planets forming in circumstellar disks, and watch as they sculpt their surroundings through gravitational interactions. Dr. MacGregor will also discuss what other factors impact the habitability of planets, including the effect of space weather produced by the host star.  In the future, the development of new telescopes presents an exciting path towards understanding our Solar System, its formation and evolution, and its place in the universe of exoplanet systems.

Meredith MacGregor is an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Boulder in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences. She also serves as the Co-Chair of the NASA Infrared Science Interest Group. Previously, she was a NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at the Carnegie Institution for Science after finishing her PhD at Harvard University. Back in 2009. Dr. MacGregor was an intern as part of the Maria Mitchell Astronomy REU program! Dr. MacGregor’s research program leverages multi-wavelength observations to explore the formation and potential habitability of planetary systems.

Registration Link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_CaD_ZxkaSdG5etVBw2trjA

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.

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 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.