The Maria Mitchell Association Exceeds Matching Grant from the Triad Foundation

NEWS October 24, 2016
Contact: Lauren Berlin
508-228-9198 or

The Maria Mitchell Association Exceeds Matching Grant from the Triad Foundation

Funds to be used to expand marine research in Nantucket waters

Nantucket, MA – This past August, the Maria Mitchell Association (MMA), Nantucket’s Science Center, received a $15,000 matching grant to fund marine research for on-island and visiting scientists from the Triad Foundation.  Nearly one month ahead of the Triad Foundation’s November 18 deadline, the MMA exceeded the match.  A total for sixty individuals made donations totaling nearly $18,000 as of October 15, nearly $3,000 above the goal.  This means the MMA has received $30,000 towards its important research concerning Nantucket’s waters.

“Our members and supporters are passionate about Nantucket and its surrounding waters. That’s why they rose to the challenge and took the opportunity to double their donation for a cause that resonates with their interest.  Best of all, the combination of the grant and donations will provide much needed funds to maintain our Aquarium and marine research programs in Nantucket waters,” says David Gagnon, Executive Director of the Maria Mitchell Association.

The grant will also help fund the cost of maintaining the MMA’s 15-foot Boston Whaler.  The boat is used for a variety of research projects including mooring effects on eelgrass, harbor phytoplankton biodiversity, and barrier dune snake surveys.

In addition to meeting local research needs, the boat and MMA Aquarium is available to visiting scientists to further their research. The MMA works with a variety of scientists and organizations including the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution which this summer conducted local research on non-native tunicates and rare jellyfish.

The Maria Mitchell Association is named after America’s first female astronomer, Maria Mitchell.  She is known for discovering a comet over Nantucket in October 1847.  She went on to become the first professor at Vassar College. The Maria Mitchell Association was founded in 1902 to preserve her legacy of scientific achievement and to carry on her passion for hands-on learning. Today, the Maria Mitchell Association operates two observatories (Loines and the Maria Mitchell Observatory), as well as the MMA Aquarium, the Natural Science Museum, and the birthplace of Maria Mitchell.  More information about the Maria Mitchell Association can be found at


# # #