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  • Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association Welcomes Dr. Valerie Hall as Featured Guest for Science Speaker Series

    The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) announces that it will host Dr. Valerie Hall as a featured presenter as part of its Science Speaker Series. Dr. Hall’s lecture, “Scallops and Students: A Unique Approach to Marine Biology Research,” will take place September 28, 2022, from 7pm-8pm, both in-person and virtually via Zoom. This event is free to all. Dr. Hall has been a research associate with MMA since 2006.
    To kick off Nantucket’s recreational scalloping season, which begins October 1, Dr. Hall will give an overview of the biology of the bay scallop and its unique fishery. She will illustrate the bay scallop’s hermaphroditic reproductive cycle, and explain its life history and population dynamics. Dr. Hall will then elaborate on the ecological conditions required for a healthy bay scallop population, and juxtapose those with the perpetual environmental problems that threaten the sustainability of bay scallops and the impacts that these problems have caused for the fishery of bay scallops on Nantucket. Lastly, Hall will provide an overview of the student-driven summer research and mentoring program she developed, which provides high school students the opportunity to participate in authentic marine biological research—while working alongside college student mentors—with a focal point on the Nantucket bay scallop and its vulnerability.
    Dr. Hall has lived on Nantucket for 46 years. After a 35-year career teaching high school science, mostly on Nantucket, she earned her Ph.D. in Fisheries Oceanography at the University of Massachusetts’ School for Marine Science and Technology in 2014. She then began a research and mentoring program at the MMA which has just completed its seventh summer. During that time, Dr. Hall has worked with over 80 high school and college students alike. Students earn community service hours and have benefitted immensely from Dr. Hall’s program, many of them asking to return for subsequent seasons.
    For additional details on this event, please visit https://www.mariamitchell.org/science-speaker-series.
    This series is generously presented by our lead sponsor, Bank of America.
    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 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.


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