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The Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) is pleased to announce that its popular June Lecture Series will take place every Monday evening in June at 6 P.M. at the Whaling Museum, 13 Broad Street.

The NHA June Lecture Series features a variety of speakers who provide engaging talks on topics from ocean life to Nantucket history. These lectures are free for NHA members and only $10 for the general public. 

The schedule is as follows:

Monday, June 5: “The Singing Planet: Ocean Voices in a Rising Sea of Noise” with Dr. Christopher Clark

Join the NHA and the Center for Coastal Studies for a lecture with Dr. Christopher Clark, Cornell senior scientist, as he presents his research about noise levels in the ocean and how they impact North Atlantic right whales. Dr. Clark reveals how in the waters just off the coast of Massachusetts, whales are dealing with a chronically noisy environment that is affecting their day-to-day and long-term survival.

Dr. Christopher W. Clark, an engineer and biologist, is the founding director and Imogene Johnson senior scientist for the Bioacoustics Research Program at Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology and Department of Neurobiology & Behavior. Clark is also a senior research scientist at Marine Acoustics, Inc., and the senior advisor for Planet OS. Clark’s research concentrates on animal acoustic communication with a particular interest in the application of advanced acoustic technologies for scientific conservation of endangered species, from birds to elephants to whales.

Clark has pioneered ocean listening systems for studying whales and the influence of noises from commercial shipping and offshore energy activities at ocean-basin scales. He led the development and application of the near-real-time, auto-detection network for North Atlantic right whale acoustic monitoring in Boston shipping lanes.


Dr. Christopher Clark


Monday, June 12: “The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire” with Author Stephen Kinzer

Join the NHA for a special lecture and book signing with Stephen Kinzer, author of The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire. Kinzer brings to light the political debate that erupted at the turn of the twentieth century when the United States found itself with the opportunity to dominate foreign lands. He explores how this debate set America’s interventionist course in the world and continues to remain a relevant debate in America’s current political affairs.

Stephen Kinzer is the author of The BrothersResetOverthrowAll the Shah’s Men, and other books. An award-winning foreign correspondent, he served as The New York Times’s bureau chief in Turkey, Germany, and Nicaragua and as The Boston Globe’s Latin America correspondent. He is a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University and writes a column on world affairs for The Boston Globe. He lives in Boston.


Author Stephen Kinzer


Monday, June 19: “Tinker, Traitor, Coward, Spy! The (Mis)adventures of William Rotch” with Historian Sarah Crabtree

Join 2015 NHA Verney Fellow and historian Sarah Crabtree as she tells the story of William Rotch, who had the unusual and unfortunate distinction of being accused of disloyalty four separate times by three different governments in less than two decades.

Crabtree explains how Rotch’s official charges were often complicated and varied in each case, but the underlying accusations were strikingly similar and, for Rotch, incredibly tiresome. She explores how Rotch suffered greatly during this time period, but also profited enormously and found success in an increasingly globalized economy through his male family members.

Sarah Crabtree is an assistant professor of history at San Francisco State University. Her first book, Holy Nation, explored the role of religion in the American Revolution.  She is a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) fellow at the John Carter Brown Library in Providence, Rhode Island, which has brought her back home to the east coast to complete the research for her second book on William Rotch, Nantucket’s most infamous resident.


Historian Sarah Crabtree


Monday, June 26: “50-Ton Patients: Adventures of a Whale Veterinarian at Sea” with New England Aquarium’s Dr. Rosalind Rolland

Join the NHA for a lecture with Dr. Rosalind Rolland, New England Aquarium director of ocean health, as she presents her research on whale health and reproduction, and what whales can reveal to us about the ocean’s health in general. 

In 1999, Dr. Rolland, a research veterinarian, embarked on a mission to understand why highly endangered North Atlantic right whales were having so few calves. Since that time, Dr. Rolland and her colleagues have developed unique approaches and non-invasive methods to study health and reproduction in these 50-ton leviathans.

Dr. Rosalind (Roz) Rolland is the director of ocean health and a senior scientist in the research department at the New England Aquarium. She also holds a research faculty appointment at UMASS-Boston. Dr. Rolland received her bachelor’s degree in natural sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her doctorate in veterinary medicine from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to joining the New England Aquarium 15 years ago, she worked as a conservation scientist at the World Wildlife Fund and as science director of the Center for Conservation Medicine at Tufts Veterinary School. Dr. Rolland has held faculty appointments at Tufts, Harvard Medical School, MIT, and the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.

Dr. Rolland’s research at the New England Aquarium is focused on development of non-invasive methods to study health, reproduction, and stress responses in free-swimming large whales. She pioneered methods to measure an array of hormones in whales using a variety of sample types including scat, baleen and respiratory vapor (blow). Dr. Rolland and her colleagues created a method to monitor endangered North Atlantic right whales using photographs to assess the health of individual whales and health trends at the population level. She has led projects investigating diseases, marine biotoxins, and the effects of underwater noise on large whales.


Dr. Roz Rolland


Tickets for each of these programs are free for NHA members and $10 for the general public. Advance ticket registration for these lectures is recommended at Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the lectures beginning promptly at 6 p.m.

For more information, visit or call (508) 228-1894.