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Island Science

Sundial at Maria Mitchell Association | Nantucket

What Is This? A Sundial!

~ by Katherine Brooks, Maria Mitchell Association ~ Sundial or Sun d’Isle, as so cleverly named and crafted by Robert A. diCurcio (Bob), was designed as a piece of functional art and commissioned for the Maria Mitchell Association in 1989. The sundial is designed based on the latitude (41 degrees, …

Maria Mitchell Association | Nantucket, MA

What Is This? – Wood Fern

The Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) biological collections’ oldest specimen is the Wood Fern (pictured above). Maria Louisa Owen, an expert in mosses and moss-like plants, collected this fern in 1879. This was during the height of “Pteridomania” – also known as the Victo- rian fern craze – which was sweeping …

Barn Owls, Nantucket, MA

What Is This? – Barn Owls

~ by Katherine Brooks Maria Mitchell Association ~ Have you heard a piercing shriek in the night accompanied by a flurry of white light? Although it sounds like the making of a summercamp ghost story, what you might be observing is the barn owl – unique in its aesthetics with …

Cicada Mania

~ by Dr. Sarah D. Oktay, Director, University of Massachusetts Nantucket Field Station ~ I was sifting through a bunch of rainfall data trying to wrap my writing around the topic of drought, when the buzz of a cicada reminded me of one of my favorite sounds of the summer. …

Nantucket BioDiversity Initiative

Nantucket Nature Year in Review – 2014

• by Dr. Sarah Oktay, Director, University of Massachusetts Nantucket Field Station • 2014 has been an interesting and eventful year for the world of Nantucket nature. Winter Storms on Nantucket In March we had a serious winter storm similar to the doozies we endured in February and March of …

Name that Lobster | Maria Mitchell Association | Nantucket | MA

Creative Thinkers Needed for Naming

In continuation of their family-friendly tradition, Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) recently announced their annual naming contest. Last year, a pair of seahorses had the honor of being named (Hide and Seek) by an 8-year-old MMA patron. For this season, the MMA brings to the stage two very different critters: a …

Winter Weather

• by Dr. Sarah D. Oktay, Managing Director UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station • I am writing this article on an unseasonably warm Sunday in November. According to Weather Underground (http://www.wunderground.com ) which is usually my go-to source for weather data the maximum temperature was 57 degrees Fahrenheit on Nantucket …