Mission: The mission of the association is promotion of the legacy of maria mitchell and exploration, education and enjoyment of nantucket's land, waters and skies beyond. In fulfilling the mission they recognize the historic persona of maria mitchell, the foremost american woman scientist and educator of the 19th century, and her potential impact on contemporary thought by passing on her legacy of intellectual curiosity, respect for and love of nature, learning by doing, and the ideal of individualism. The association's contributions to astronomy, science, and education are the basis for their continuing tradition of high quality research and teaching which inspires today's learners and tomorrow's scientists. The association also provides scientific resources and educational programs for the community, uses nantucket island as an exceptional natural laboratory in which to study science and the environment, and maintains research and/or representative collections of nantucket's biodiversity.
Programs: The assocation conducts programs of research and education in astronomy and the natural sciences. For these purposes it maintains two observatories, a library, an aquarium & exhibit and the maria mitchell birthplace museum.