I have supported Friends of Blue Hills (FBH) for years.  Does that count as an Observatory member?

I have supported Friends of Blue Hills (FBH) for years. Does that count as an Observatory member?

| February 24, 2014 | Reply

The FBH is a good organization and we appreciate their support and advocacy for the entire Blue Hills Reservation, but they do not provide financial support to Blue Hill Observatory. If you would like to join the Friends of the Blue Hills, click on this link.

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I am a member of Mass. Audubon, does that count as an Observatory member?

I am a member of Mass. Audubon, does that count as an Observatory member?

| February 24, 2014 | Reply

Blue Hill Observatory has no affiliation with Mass. Audubon and is not part of the Trailside Museum. Your membership in Mass. Audubon does not count as an Observatory member. Please note: we do offer members of Mass. Audubon, Friend of Blue Hills, WGBH, WERS, KONE, AKA a 10% discount in our Gift Shop and discounts […]

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What is the best way to hike up to the Observatory and how long will it take?

What is the best way to hike up to the Observatory and how long will it take?

| February 24, 2014 | Reply

The Service Road, located at the junction of Rt. 138 and Canton Avenue, is one mile and takes about 20 minutes to hike. A slightly shorter, but somewhat rougher and steeper route, is the Red Dot trail. A lot of people like that because it is a “real” hike and it also takes 20 to […]

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How do I make arrangements to drive up to the Observatory?

How do I make arrangements to drive up to the Observatory?

| February 24, 2014 | Reply

Please contact Program Director Don McCasland. You can phone him at 617-696-0562 or e-mail dmccasland@bluehill.org . You will get specific instructions for the date as well as for your group and vehicle(s).

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May I drive up to the Observatory?

May I drive up to the Observatory?

| February 24, 2014 | Reply

The Service Road is open to “authorized vehicles” only. Directions will be provided when you make arrangements for Service Road Access.

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Does the Observatory provide daily forecasts?

Does the Observatory provide daily forecasts?

| February 23, 2014 | Reply

The Observatory does not forecast the weather. That is the job of the National Weather Service and other meteorologists. We gather, record, and distribute weather data, some of which is provided to the National Weather Service as input to their computerized weather forecasting models. The climate data we provide helps broadcast meteorologists and others give […]

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Are there fees to access and use that data?

Are there fees to access and use that data?

| February 23, 2014 | Reply

 The ASOS data from the NWS is available on-line for free and is also streamed to end users who subscribe to WSI or other weather information providers. Our Daily Discussion which is a summary of the prior full day and the manual observations of 0700, 1000 and 1300 is e-mailed to many meteorologists and atmospheric […]

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Who uses the data you collect?

Who uses the data you collect?

| February 23, 2014 | Reply

The data we collect is provided to many users in a variety of ways. The data has been used in courtroom cases, for medical research, and in protecting our marine resources from contamination. As a benchmark climate station our data is especially useful to researchers studying long term climate trends. Whereas “weather” is usually thought […]

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Where do you get your funding from?

Where do you get your funding from?

| February 23, 2014 | Reply

: Like most nonprofits we get our funding from a variety of sources. The National Weather Service (NWS) underwrites a portion of our observer program. Other sources of funding include memberships, gift shop sales, foundation grants, and private and corporate donations.  

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Have different organizations operated the Observatory?

Have different organizations operated the Observatory?

| February 23, 2014 | Reply

. Four different groups have run the daily weather observations since 1885: A.L. Rotch from 1885 until 1912, Harvard College from 1912 until 1959, The National Weather Service/NOAA from 1961 until 1999 and the Blue Hill Observatory Science Center from 1999 to the present.

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Who owns the Observatory?

Who owns the Observatory?

| February 23, 2014 | Reply

The Observatory has had three owners. Abbot Lawrence Rotch the founder, from 1885 until 1912, Harvard College from 1912 to 1971 and since 1971 The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has owned the Observatory.  

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Do Observatory members need to schedule a visit?

Do Observatory members need to schedule a visit?

| February 23, 2014 | Reply

Though appreciated, that is not necessary. Just bring your member card and go to the Staff/ Volunteer door if the gift shop door is locked. Simply knock on the door, walk in and call out “I am an Observatory member here for a visit” and a staff member will greet you ASAP.

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How do I make arrangements to drive up to the Observatory?

How do I make arrangements to drive up to the Observatory?

| February 21, 2014 | Reply

Please contact Program Director Don McCasland. You can phone him at 617-696-0562 or e-mail dmccasland@bluehill.org . You will get specific instructions for the date as well as for your group and vehicle(s).

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How do I become a member of the Blue Hill Observatory & Science Center?

How do I become a member of the Blue Hill Observatory & Science Center?

| February 21, 2014 | Reply

Please visit our Membership page for all your options or call 617-696-0562 or e-mail dmccasland@bluehill.org .

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When is the Observatory Open?

When is the Observatory Open?

| February 21, 2014 | Reply

The Observatory is open 365 days a year for Observing and scheduled visits, shopping or programs. For general tours and the gift shop we are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Monday holidays year round. We are open 10 to 4 Sundays from Presidents’ Day weekend in February through the last Sunday […]

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