Chatfield-Taylor Real Estate  91 Washington Street • Nantucket, MA 02554 • (508) 228-5828

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Nantucket Conservation and Preservation Groups

Maria Mitchell Association

To quote from their materials "The MMA is dedicated to furthering science education, encouraging women in science, and serving as a science resource for Nantucket. Our Mission is to increase knowledge and public awareness of the universe and the natural world through programs of scientific research and education."

The association is named after the woman astronomer and teacher who made her name while on the roof of the Pacific National Bank, when she was the first woman to discover a telescopic comet ( "a comet not visible to the naked eye.") She went on to become an esteemed teacher at Vassar.

They have quite extensive facilities - a science museum, a library, a small aquarium at the harbor, a historic house museum the Mitchell house, and two astronomical observatories.

The association also sponsors research and intrepretative programs. They offer an extensive children's program in the summer, with groups of all ages studying ponds, estuaries, habitats of flora and fauna in seas and on land.

The Maria Mitchell Association, in cooperation with the Nantucket Shellfishing Association has recently undertaken a study of the life cycle of scallops, and have discovered, that storm beached scallops can live normal productive lives if put back into the water within a cerain number of hours. It was thought before this fact was established that a beached scallop was a dead scallop - so this has changed Nantucket's reaction after storms - now fisherman and interested Nantucketers are seen gathering up beached scallops for return to the harbor to help maintain future shellfish stocks.

For more information make sure to go to their website Maria Mitchell Association - MMO.org

Sources for this summary were Mariia Mitchell Website, materials, and "Before we Begin", a publication of the Nantucket Association of Real Estate Brokers, Inc.