Island Astronomy Institute, educating Maine's starlit communities






The Board of Directors meets quarterly to provide strategic planning and governance of the institute's programs. Our advisors provide valuable assistance and support.


Board of Directors



PETER W. LORD, Founder/President
(Stanford University, MLA, 2002; Syracuse University, BS Mechanical Engineering, 1984)


A passionate observer, writer, and lecturer for over a decade, Peter received his master's degree in Liberal Arts from Stanford University in 2002. His thesis, Dante's Guiding Light: The Astronomy of the Divine Comedy, reintegrates the act of observing the universe within the origins of the classical humanities. Dante's previously unrecognized use of spatial metaphors to structure his epic journey—the astronomical poetry of time and space—inspires the Institute's cultural mission.


A veteran aerospace engineer with twenty years of experience, Peter holds four patents for spacecraft antenna designs, and was the lead systems mechanical engineer for the Sirius Satellite Radio constellation.


Peter and his wife Linda operate a guest cottage at Meadow View Observatory at their home in Tremont. He is currently a consulting Senior Satellite Systems Engineer with Stellar Solutions in Palo Alto, CA.





JAMES R. B. SNOW, Treasurer
(Snow2 CPA, Southwest Harbor)


Jim has over fourteen years of experience in public and corporate accounting. Having grown up working in the marine industry, he has since worked in manufacturing, distribution, and service companies in a variety of industries. Prior to rejoining the practice on a full-time basis in 1999, he was the Director of Finance for Martin's Point Health Care in Portland, a physician group with revenues in excess of $50 million.


Jim has two sons and lives in Southwest Harbor.





(Hutchins Cottages at Acadia, Southwest Harbor)


Kristin operates a summer cottage rental business on Mt. Desert Island near Acadia National Park. KristinBWthmb She is currently president of the Board of Directors of the Southwest Harbor/Tremont Chamber of Commerce and has previously served on her hometown’s Board of Selectmen as well as volunteering on Southwest Harbor’s Comprehensive Plan Committee.


Since 2003 she has been volunteering for the Next Step, the Domestic Violence Project serving Hancock and Washington Counties.


Kristin enjoys sailing with the Southwest Harbor Fleet in her 23 foot sloop, Adagio, hiking in Acadia National Park, and reading.





Board of Advisors




A communications specialist for Brown's Communications in Ellsworth, Jim is responsible for public safety radio and commercial two-way communications in Hancock County, including police, fire, EMS, federal government, and private sector voice and data wireless systems.


A veteran deep-sky observer and astrophotographer, Jim has been studying, teaching, and "doing" astronomy for well over twenty years. Jim has produced some stunning astrophotography and knows his way around the heavens. Several of his photographs are featured on this site, and he has posted many more at Nightfly Astrophotography.


You can find him out in his observatory under the relatively dark skies of Sullivan, Maine, with his wife Kerri, and two daughters Jacqueline and Maria.





A retired Master Teacher at Pemetic Elementary School in Southwest Harbor, Anne taught 3rd and 4th grades. In 2005 she was selected as a finalist for Maine's Teacher of the Year Award. Anne lives in Southwest Harbor.





Ruth is Nature Columnist for the Mount Desert Islander, and has authored several books on the natural wonders of Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park. Her natural history pursuits have taken her up and down the East Coast of the U.S. and Canada, as well as to the rain forests in Central America, the remote hills of the British Isles, and special birding areas in Europe.


A native of Connecticut, Ruth moved to Mount Desert Island in 1972 and is a year-round resident of Bass Harbor. She is also a violinist and violist, and participates enthusiastically in musical activities on MDI, including the Teahouse Trio. She has a B.S. degree in music from Westchester University.




Linda co-founded Island Astronomy LLC in September of 2003. She manages the popular guest cottage at Meadowview Observatory. Her support and financial sacrifice made possible the founding of the Island Astronomy Institute.

Linda has a long history of accounting and office supervision at such large organizations as the City of Sunnyvale (CA), Stanford University, and Litton.




Joe received a Ph. D. in experimental physics from Princeton University in 1961. After eight years of teaching and research at Harvard, he joined the Physics Department at Oberlin College in Ohio. He and his students at Oberlin built a solar telescope to measure the sun's rotation rate and spectral effects produced by the Sun's gravity. They also did research at Kitt Peak National Observatory and Mount Wilson Observatory, using equipment that they built at Oberlin.


In 1990 Joe founded a summer astronomy program for college students at Mount Wilson Observatory. He also helped to run summer institutes in astronomy and space science for teachers, in a project funded by the National Science Foundation at the University of California in Berkeley.


In 1999 Joe moved to Southwest Harbor, where he had been a frequent visitor since childhood. He has taught summer courses for teachers at the College of the Atlantic, as well as short courses at the Acadia Senior College. He is particularly interested in developing astronomy demonstration equipment and other teaching aids.




Trained by the United States Marines, David is now an independent film maker and photographer living in Somesville.



Former Board Members


JEFF WHITE—Founding Member


PETER HOMER—Former Advisor




DWIGHT M. LANPHER - Founding Secretary


Educating Maine's Starlit Communities Since 2004

Astronomy Institute of Maine All Rights Reserved







P. O. 249
Bernard, ME 04612