Mary Marcussen, Principal

Mary is a national grantwriter, museum educator, and scientist with more than 25 years of experience in informal science education. She is the former National Grants Manager for the California Academy of Sciences, during which time she launched her highly successful national grantwriting business. Her strong combination of expertise in museum education, scientific research, and fundraising transforms creative ideas into nationally competitive grant proposals.

Mary has achieved a strong reputation for high standards and professionalism in grant proposal development. Her record includes more than 50 successful proposals to the National Science Foundation, and multiple successful applications to the National Institutes of Health, Institute of Museum and Library Services, and numerous other federal, corporate, and private foundations. She has helped to win over $85 million to support museum exhibitions, planetarium shows, large format films, informal learning research, community and youth programs, K-12 curriculum, wildlife research and conservation, and projects to build infrastructure for the informal science education field.

With a B.A. in Biology from Sonoma State University, Mary previously conducted scientific research as a field and systematic biologist for the California Academy of Sciences in addition to conducting biological research for several federal agencies and conservation organizations. As a senior museum educator she developed exhibitions, managed large and complex youth and teacher training programs, produced science curriculum, contributed content to film and radio projects, and was a reviewer for the National Science Education Standards. Fundraising experience includes strategic planning, prospect research and cultivation, and high production grant work for capital campaigns, endowments, annual funds, and special projects. Mary is a Sustaining Member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) and a Professional Member of the American Association of Museums (AAM) and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Associates at Large

The Marcussen associates represent the fields of museum education, exhibit and program development, scientific research, evaluation, and informal learning research. Their work is of the highest standard and contribution to their respective fields. Mary brings these professionals into the project and proposal development process as needed.

Association of Science-Technology Centers
Sustaining Member

Selected Clients & Collaborators

Science Centers and Museums

  • Association of Science-Technology Centers, Washington, DC

  • Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito, CA

  • California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA

  • California Science Center, Los Angeles, CA

  • Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland, CA

  • Children's Discovery Museum, San Jose, CA

  • Clark Planetarium, Salt Lake City, UT

  • COSI, Columbus, OH

  • Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA

  • Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland, OH

  • 'Imiloa Astronomy Center, Hilo, HI

  • Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, CA

  • Lodestar Astronomy Center, Albuquerque, NM

  • McDonald Observatory, Austin, TX

  • Museum of Life & Science, Durham, NC

  • Museum of Science & Industry, Chicago, IL

  • New York Hall of Science, New York, NY

  • Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA

  • Ocean Institute, Dana Point, CA

  • Oregon Museum of Science & Industry, Portland, OR

  • Pacific Science Center, Seattle, WA

  • San Luis Obispo Children's Museum, San Luis Obispo, CA

  • The Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose, CA

Media and Production Companies

  •, San Francisco, CA

  • Explorer At Large, New York, NY

  • Ideum, Inc., Corrales, NM

  • Independent Exhibitions, Berkeley, CA

  • Jeff Kennedy Associates, Somerville, MA

  • K2 Communications, Inc., El Segundo, CA

  • MacGillivray Freeman Films, Laguna Beach, CA

  • The Stephen Low Company, Quebec, Canada

  • Windows to the World Communications, Inc., New York, NY

Nonprofit Organizations

  • Astronomical Society of the Pacific, San Francisco, CA

  • Golden Gate National Parks Association, San Francisco, CA

  • Indigenous Education Institute, Bluff, UT

  • National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Tucson, AZ

  • National Wildlife Federation, Reston, VA

Research and Evaluation Organizations

  • David Heil & Associates, Portland, OR

  • Education Development Center, Waltham, MA

  • Institute for Learning Innovation, Annapolis, MD

  • Inverness Research Associates, Inverness, CA

  • Knight-Williams, Inc., Sacramento, CA

  • Lifelong Learning Group, COSI, Columbus, OH

  • Michael Cohen Group, New York, NY

  • Multimedia Research, Bellport, NY

  • Native Pathways, Albuquerque, NM

  • Palmquist & Associates, Washington, DC

  • Randi Korn & Associates, Alexandria, VA

  • Saul Rockman Et Al, San Francisco, CA


  • Big Sky Institute, Bozeman, MT

  • California Polytechnic State University, Department of Developmental Psychology, San Luis Obispo, CA

  • Cornell University, Laboratory of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY

  • Montana State University, Department of Science & Natural History Filmmaking, Bozeman, MT

  • North Carolina State University, School of Design, Raleigh, NC

  • Center for Research on Informal STEM Learning, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

  • Pennsylvania State University, Department of Science Education, University Park, PA

  • San Francisco State University, Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, San Francisco, CA

  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, CA

  • Stanford University, Department of Genetics, Palo Alto, CA

  • U.C. Berkeley, Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley, CA

  • U.C. Berkeley, Space Sciences Laboratory, Berkeley, CA

  • U.C. Davis, Department of Physics, Davis, CA

  • U.C. Santa Cruz, Department of Developmental Psychology, Santa Cruz, CA

  • University of Hawai'i, Hilo, HI

  • University of Kansas Center for Research, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Lawrence, KS

  • University of Michigan, Center for Human Growth & Development, Ann Arbor, MI

  • University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out of School Environments (UPCLOSE), Pittsburgh, PA

  • University of Pittsburgh, NSF Quality of Life Engineering Research Center, Pittsburgh, PA

  • Yale University, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, New Haven, CT