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Category: Interviews (page 2 of 2)

Jammin with Jellies – Interview with EvoDevo Biologist

One day Lauren came over for a dinner where the discussion had turned to nerdy science topics, as most dinners with curious people do. We had a giant spread of butcher paper over the kitchen table and we turned to Lauren and asked her to share something nerdy with us.

Little did we expect she would be armed and ready for us; Off she went capturing our attention with explanations of the biology and evolution of jellies.

I distinctly remember making a mental note that often times people call them jellyfish when in fact they should just be referred to as “jellies”. From that day on, I always call them by their proper term.

Lauren is incredibly enthusiastic and passionate about her marine invertebrates from jellies, to nautilus, to all the vast array of deep sea creatures. She contradicts all stereotypes of scientists being dull and boring, which you can see immediately by her bright red hair and refreshingly quirky style.  She is down to dress up and strut her stuff in every aspect of life blending friends, family, fun and science!

At the time of this posting Lauren is currently working her way through graduate school studying evolutionary marine biology.  I wanted to capture this time in her life as she continues to carve her niche in her career. She has great perspective and solid advice for those of us figuring out our way in the life sciences, so without further adieu, I give you Ms. Lauren Vandepas.

American Samoa, a few miles offshore. Taking pictures with a nautilus we caught before divers returned the nautilus to a depth about 70 feet and released it. We took tissue samples for DNA and RNA, weighed, measured, sexed, and x-rayed the nautiluses. Photo by Tom Tobin

1. What did you study during undergrad? Did you know at the time you wanted to study jellies and ctenophores?

I double majored in Biology and Marine Science at the University of Miami with a minor in Chemistry. Deep sea animals and ecosystems were especially fascinating (we didn’t talk about them nearly enough in my classes!). I always loved jellies and thought that ctenophores were the most alien things I’d ever seen. I was interested in how these awesome animals evolved, why deep sea critters look so strange, and how animals make their own light.

Ctenophore Bolinopsis infundibulum at Friday Harbor Laboratories, WA.

Developing tunicate tadpole larvae (Ciona) at the Misaki Marine Labs.

2. What type of job opportunities have you had over the years during college and after college?

When I was in college, I was eligible for a Federal Work-Study. That allowed me to get a paying job working in a coral research lab. The skills I learned there really helped with my job hunt after college. I graduated in 2008, when the economy was still “free-falling”, and I was living in a job market that was one of the hardest hit from the crash. It took me a year after graduating to find full time work in science. I was exploring research technician jobs at universities and colleges in my area, as well as looking into government jobs. I eventually got a position in a medical research lab. It initially bummed me out what I wasn’t able to find a job in marine science, but I learned so much by switching disciplines.

Doing something completely different allowed me to build on the skill set I had in genetic work and learn a ton of other techniques that I wouldn’t have necessarily been exposed to. My mentor, Dr. Suzy Bianco, was awesome and my time in her lab allowed me to become a stronger applicant for graduate school and a better scientist.

I was worried for a while that working in another field might reflect negatively on me down the road (not sticking with just one thing), but it turned out to be the opposite!

Paris – Scientists vacation sometimes! Photo by Diego Valdes.

Bit of an aside… A lot of people end up volunteering in labs to get research experience, and it’s really critical to have that experience under your belt (one year commitment is minimum to get a lot of skills down) when applying for jobs post-undergrad or for graduate studies (med school, etc). So to anyone hoping to go into life sciences as a career, I’d highly recommend joining a lab during undergrad to get some experience!

Lauren showing off Ctenophore wound healing assays at Friday Harbor Laboratories in the San Juan Islands.

Sonicating tissue at the Misaki Marine Labs

3. Where have your studies and work taken you?

One of the awesome things about science as a career in general, and marine science in particular, is that there’s a lot of opportunity for travel. It’s one of the rewards of the job! There’s data to collect, collaborators to visit, conferences to attend, courses to take. Many universities (and marine laboratories) offer graduate-level courses for specific disciplines. Because there’s such a large international network of scientists in any field, a lot of conferences rotate between countries.

Here are some of the places where my studies have brought me, whether for collecting samples, having the chance to learn from others, or attending conferences:

  • Bocas del Toro, Panama – I took a course on larval invertebrate (mostly plankton!) diversity, form and function at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
  • Pago Pago, American Samoa – I got to join collaborators on an expedition to collect nautilus. We used the tissue we obtained on a project examining the relationships of separate nautilus populations
  • Eilat, Israel – The Coelenterate Biology meetings were held in Israel (“coelenterate” is a term that used to be more commonly used to describe comb jellies and cnidarians.).
  • Misaki, Japan – As part of the E. S. Morse Institute (a scholarly exchange between marine biologists at the University of Washington and University of Tokyo). I attended an invertebrate embryology course at the University of Tokyo’s marine labs.

Pago Pago, American Samoa

It’s been fantastic to be able to connect with and learn from scientists around the world, as well as see some amazing nature first hand (the Red Sea! the amazing diversity of Indo-Pacific coral reefs!).

4. What kind of scientist do you consider yourself?

Biology is a huge discipline! I think cases where scientists are completely encompassed in one field are pretty rare. Usually research is spread across several sub-disciplines and the science is under a few different headings simultaneously. Broadly, I would say I’m a marine biologist – I study marine invertebrates. But what do I study about them? I’m interested in why the life we see is so diverse in form and color. How did all of this biodiversity evolve? So I’m an evolutionary biologist, but the way I study evolution is to look at the development of different animal groups (which genes are involved, etc.).

Sharing research with other students at the Misaki Marine Labs

In the lab, x-ray of a live nautilus (the animals are unharmed during this process). Pago Pago, American Samoa

5. Did you have any preconceived notions about science, or scientists, and did that change once you explored your career in it or do some of them remain?

Originally, I thought there would be a lot more outdoor exposure. It turns out field work makes up a small amount of the actual time I spend doing science. A majority of the efforts are actually spent analyzing the samples or data collected in the field. Also, you get very, very attached to your set of pipettes.

One great thing about marine biology, and something that was always attractive to me, was that I didn’t associate working in this field with the (often negative) stereotypical image of a stuffy scientist in a lab coat working in a stuffy acrid-smelling lab. Although, I did make the lab smell pretty awful just the other day when I was working with chemicals. I mean, does β-Mercaptoethanol have any olfactory equivalent? Smelly chemicals aside, I’ve come to discover that science is not stuffy.

Tidepooling at the Misaki Marine Labs.

Live crinoid! Misaki Marine Labs.

6. What led you to get a higher degree? How did you decide between staying at a Bachelor’s vs getting a Masters, or PhD?

I really wanted to be a scientist, as my career. I wanted to do research in marine science and after talking to people in the field and exploring job postings online, realized that to be able to have the career I wanted, I’d need a PhD.

Snorkeling in American Samoa. Photo by Tom Tobin

7. What were/are some big compromises or struggles you’ve experienced trying to make a career for yourself in the science world?

One of the biggest struggles that I’ve faced and witnessed friends deal with is balancing a career in science while still paying attention to other aspects of life (family, hobbies, friends). There’s a perception that if you’re going to be a successful scientist, you have to work 80 hours per week, to the detriment of spouses, family, health…

It seems like that paradigm may be slowly changing and that there’s a pretty recent, more active, conversation about work-life balance. There are many articles on the subject by people who are way more eloquent than I! I think that’s probably the largest functional challenge I have made or will have to make.

It’s something that I’m still struggling with and thinking about as I look to what my career might be like after I finish my PhD. Doing research is so satisfying, challenging, fun, and often dirty/salty/muddy (in short, awesome), and I’m not sure I’d be happy in another field. However, I don’t want the work to make up 100% of my day-to-day either. Everyone deals with it differently and I haven’t figured out what the best path forward for me would be yet.

Chilling next to a whale vertebra, Misaki Marine Labs

8. Did you get hooked by science immediately or was in more of a natural progression?

I grew up in South Florida and we have some awesome nature there. Coral reefs! The Everglades! Mangroves!

Spending time in this environment and exploring was such a joyful and comforting experience that I wanted to figure out a way to be around and think about the ocean all the time. I took advanced science classes whenever I could in school and was fortunate enough to have parents and family who signed me up for marine biology summer camps or took me to the beach, or snorkeling, or tide-pooling. I’ve always wanted to remain immersed in this field, and if I can even get paid to do it, hot damn!

Snorkeling in American Samoa. Photo by Tom Tobin

9. What keeps you motivated when you’re feeling the drudgery? What keeps science FUN for you?

I go outside! I head to the rocky intertidal here in Seattle, or make a point to go snorkeling when I visit my family in Florida.

Volunteering and outreach really keeps things fun, too. Working with kids and the public, I remember why I’m so jazzed about plankton and volcanoes and all things science. I get re-energized showing others how awesome our world is. Having a 2nd grader exclaim, “THAT’S SO COOL!” at a big green isopod you just handed them is a real pick-me-up.

 

 

bluefish Upper: Sorting fish caught in a trawl on the R/V Centennial. Friday Harbor Laboratories, WAl; Lower: Snorkeling in American Samoa

10. Advice you would tell youngsters; Some key points you wish you knew before you set out.

This is going to sound hugely cliché, but… do what makes you happy. If science classes are your favorite, keep at it! Don’t let anyone tell you it’s too hard or there’s MATH or that you have to have perfect standardized test scores. There are a lot of opportunities out there at any level (bachelor’s degrees, PhDs, whatever!) to do what makes you happy.

No one goes into this field for the money, it’s not exactly the most well paying gig, but I do science because I love it and wouldn’t be as satisfied with any other career.

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars. – Les Brown

Want more?
Make sure you check out more photos from Lauren’s scientific adventures in the Woman Scientist  Facebook album.

All photos courtesy of Lauren Vandepas.

(Featured Image Thumbnail: Selfie with a turtle at the aquarium in Eilat, Israel)
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Nothing Fishy Here — Interview with a Wildlife Conservationist

 

Samantha amidst a field of carcasses in Cordova, Alaska. Prince William Sound Science Center Wild-Hatchery Salmon Project. Photo by Kate Ruck

Samantha amidst a field of carcasses in Cordova, Alaska. Prince William Sound Science Center Wild-Hatchery Salmon Project. Photo by Kate Ruck

Meet Samantha Goebel: hiker enthusiast, wildlife field biologist, and self proclaimed fish geek.

Her love for the outdoors and willingness to travel has allowed her to work during and post college in a variety of locations ranging from North Dakota to Alaska, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. During her undergraduate, she spent time as an intern at Shenandoah National Park participating with a fish monitoring project conducting electrofishing sampling surveys, collecting morphological data, and assessing riparian stream habitats.  Immediately after graduation, she flew to North Dakota to begin her first field technician position working with the USGS on a study looking at the impact of oil activity on prairie bird distributions. This summer, Samantha is heading back out for her second field season with the Prince William Sound Science Center’s Hatchery-Wild Salmon Research Project in Cordova, Alaska. To bridge her time in  between jobs, Samantha works at an outdoor gear and apparel company where she gleans the thoughts of similarly minded outdoor junkies.

She doesn’t stop there! Next summer, she has grand plans to hike the Appalachian Trail and she eventually plans to return to school to complete a graduate degree in Fisheries Science.

Samantha has some great stories and great advice for those who wish to follow in similar footsteps. Let’s find out what she has to say!

 

Brown Bear Tracks photo credit: Samantha Goebel

 

What was your Bachelor’s degree in and at what point in life did you know what you wanted to do?

For as long as I can remember I always wanted to be a scientist. As a child I was drawn to marine science. During family trips to the Outerbanks and the Chesapeake Bay, I enjoyed listening to environmental educators talk about protecting our waterways from pollution and liter. Marine life, especially dolphins, fascinated me.

 

When beginning college, I was torn between art and science. During high school I found art as an outlet. I highly respect professional artists but it was a hobby for me not a career. Naturally, I followed the path of science. I began college with an emphasis in Environmental Science at New England College. My sophomore year, I decided to transfer to Juniata College, another small liberal arts school with extremely strong academics. At Juniata College, I changed my major to Wildlife Conservation. I was not interested in working an office job and most Environmental Science majors become consultants, lawyers, or engineers. I wanted to be in the field researching and implementing conservation strategies. I graduated from Juniata College in May 2014 with an emphasis in Wildlife Conservation.

Orca Whale. Photo credit: Samantha Goebel

 

What type of related job opportunities have you had over the years during and post college? Were they difficult to find? How did you decide which ones to go after?

I had a variety of seasonal field technician positions mostly related to bird and fish research. A field technician is a researcher who collects data to be analyzed by the head biologist of a larger agency. A bachelor degree in a related field of science is require for most technician positions.

Searching for technician positions is fairly easy but the jobs are extremely competitive as they receive many applicants. The best search engine I have used is the Texas A&M Job Board. I found that applying to as many jobs that interest you is the best strategy to ensure you have a summer field position, especially for your first job. My first job out of college, I found on the Texas A&M Job Board. After applying to about thirty positions I landed a job working with USGS as a prairie bird research technician in North Dakota. Be persistent and apply to as many jobs that you can. Once you have some experience under your belt, you become more competitive in the job market and job hunting becomes easier.

The second most important way to obtain a job is by maintaining connections. Three jobs I obtained by having connections with professors and friends who informed me about job openings. My first internship during college was at Shenandoah National Park as a fisheries monitoring and management intern. The position was advertised on USAJOBS and SCA job boards but I missed the posting. I heard about the position through a friend and called to see if there was still an opening. Sure enough, they had a person bail last minute and I was hired. USAJOBS is a great resource for government positions. SCA is a good resource for summer internships. Also, stay in contact with your professors. Through my connections with my professor, I was able to volunteer with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and work as a fisheries technician in Alaska. Maintain your connections and job opportunities will open up to you.

Lastly, be willing to travel. I never thought I would end up in North Dakota but it was a great experience to work with USGS. I have worked in North Dakota, Alaska, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. In this career field, you have the opportunity to travel and see places most people never see in their lifetime.

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Working on an Eastern Wild Turkey research project with Pennsylvania Game Commission. Photo Credit: Talia Valencia and Rex

 

Did you have any preconceived notions about science, or scientists, and has that changed once you explored your career in it? 

I had a preconceived notion that scientists spent a majority of their time in the field researching but that is not true. A full time biologist spends the majority of their time analyzing data in the lab, writing research papers and completing paperwork. The field technicians do the majority of the field work and collecting data.

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Collecting every crucial piece of data. Photo by DJanka www.auklet.com

 

What kind of scientist do you consider yourself?

I consider myself a seasonal field technician. I take seasonal full-time research positions and collect data for biologists who work for government and/or private agencies. I enjoy what I do because I like to get outside and collect data for research projects that have important implications to future conservation and management plans.

Electrofishing riparian streams in Shenandoah National Park for the fish monitoring internship. Photo Credit: Matt Lippy

You said you eventually want to get a graduate degree in Fisheries Science. What do you personally see as the pros and cons of either staying in the work force or getting a higher academic degree like a masters or PhD immediately? What were your reasons for not going directly into a graduate program? 

I have discovered that a graduate degree is necessary to obtain permanent positions in the career field today. I did not go into a graduate program immediately after graduating college because I wanted to explore my career field more. I wanted to gain a better understanding of what I would like to focus my research on. A bachelors degree in Wildlife Conservation gives a person the opportunity to focus on many fields including: botany, fisheries, birds, reptiles, mammals, and more. When graduating from Juniata College, I thought I wanted to study birds. However, after working a few bird-related jobs, I have decided that is not the path for me. Then I thought about working with fish. After working a few field jobs with fish, I believe this is the path I want to follow for graduate school. I really enjoy the high activity involved with fish research and the many implications to fisheries management. I am not in a rush to go to graduate school. I want to spend the next two years traveling and working field positions across the nation. Plus I plan on hiking the Appalachian trail next summer. My current plan is begin applying for graduate programs in 2016 after hiking the Appalachian trail.

Hogan Bay. Photo credit: Samantha Goebel

 

Have you had to make any big compromises or had struggles trying to make a career for yourself in the science world?

Yes, I believe every scientist struggles with balancing personal life and career life. Post-graduation I immediately flew to North Dakota and started working for USGS as a prairie bird technician. I had three days to move out of my off-campus house, take all my things home, visit family, and pack for North Dakota. I worked in North Dakota from May to July.

After completing the job, I was offered another position in Alaska working for Prince William Sound and Science Center. I had two weeks to book flights, fly home, unpack from North Dakota, pack for Alaska, visit family in Virginia, visit my boyfriend in Pennsylvania, and fly to Alaska. I worked in Alaska as a fisheries technician seven days a week from July to September with limited internet and phone connection. I was able to use my phone once a day for about five minutes. This was stressful for my family and my boyfriend because they would rarely hear from me and would never know when I was going to call.

After finishing the job in Alaska, I took some personal time to visit my cousin in California and I took a trip to Sicily with my family. I traveled until the end of October and I had not visited my boyfriend much. In November, I was offered a job with an observing company to work as a scientist aboard a fishing boat in the Bering Sea. I badly want to take the position but this would mean being away from my family and my boyfriend for another three months with limited phone connection. I knew my relationships would suffer so I declined the position and moved to Pennsylvania to be close to my boyfriend. Currently, I am working at an outdoor retail store in State College called Appalachian Outdoors. Yes I would rather be working on the Bering Sea but sometimes in the field of science you have to make sacrifices to maintain your relationships. There will always be positions available once I have enjoyed some time at home.

It’s the small things that keep life fun. Photo credit: Alex Witter

 

Who inspired (or currently inspires) you to go down the path of science? 

My parents were my largest inspiration. Growing up we spent most of our free time outdoors hiking, biking, skiing, and kayaking. They took me to environmental education programs for kids where I listened to different science talks. I was encouraged as a young child to protect our environment and respect nature. My passion for the outdoors nourished a passion for science. My parents encouraged me to do what makes me happy. They always said, “Money does not pay for happiness”. They supported my decisions to study science at the college of my choosing. I didn’t make the right decision at first. But I found my path along the way and I am a proud alumni of Juniata College.

tbt

Growing up in the outdoors: Me as a little girl at Shenandoah River Outfitters, my family’s canoe company in Luray, VA. Photo credit: Andrea Goebel

 

Who do you aspire to be like? 

I aspire to be me. I aspire to live a life that inspires others, to accomplish impossible things, and to achieve many goals.

Galapagos Tortoise. Photo credit: Ashley Foguel

 

What keeps you motivated when you’re feeling the drudgery? What keeps science FUN for you? 

Good humor keeps me motivated. Sometimes the sky will unleash a terrible storm but you must work on to collect the data. I simply make light of the difficult situation and remember that I am doing this to make a difference. I am working towards a goal to preserve wildlife for future generations; each project has an important goal and it is my job to achieve that goal.

Strictly for bear protection. Photo Credit: Kate Ruck

 

Advice you would tell youngsters (high school/college age); Some key points you wish you knew or that you keep in mind as you go forward in your career. 

I would recommend youngsters in any career to try and gain career-related experience through volunteer opportunities or internships before graduating college. Also, I recommend them to maintain good connections and to apply to any job that interests them even if they do not think their qualified. Do not get discouraged, just keep applying to as many jobs as possible and the hard work will pay off.

Starfish Stomach. Photo credit: Samantha Goebel

 

What is your favorite job thus far?

My favorite job was working for Prince William Sound Science Center in Alaska. Not many women would be willing to jump aboard a vessel to collect bone and tissue samples from rotting salmon carcasses. But the job absolutely fascinated me. I enjoyed hiking through wild salmon streams where I had more contact with fish than people. Further, I was excited to work on a project of such importance. The results of this project will help determine whether more hatcheries are built in Prince William Sound, affecting the local economy and fisheries management strategies. If you would like to read more about my time in Alaska or other travels visit my blog.  I will be returning to Alaska this summer and I will continue to blog about my journeys.

Me holding rotting chum salmon, YUM! photo credit: Kate Ruck

Check out more stories on Samantha’s personal blog!

Interested in finding jobs like Samantha’s? Check out this Career Resource.

See more photos in this album. All photos courtesy of Samantha Goebel. 

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Biology, Art, and Technology – Interview with Allison Kudla

Allison Kudla has an unconventional career: she has mastered a creative solution to work at the interface of three disciplines: biology, art, and technology.

We first met when she joined the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) as an artist to make our work look as gorgeous visually as it was scientifically. I was amazed with her portfolio, and watched in fascination as she made changes to ISB’s graphic designs. She is certainly a talented artist, and incorporated so much technology and science into her work that she had me confused as to whether she was an engineer or a biologist! I had never imagined a job position like hers before. Naturally, I needed to understand more.

 Allison didn’t set off early in her career knowing she would, or even could, blend all three disciplines. She pursued one interest at a time–art being the catalyst–and with each step in the journey more and more was revealed to her. She took on new ideas and new concepts along the way, working them into her ideal framework, and created a space for herself that incorporated her vision for her career. Her journey is not over; She still strives to reach that perfect ideal blend where all of her talents and education can be used.  It just goes to show that you can create and accomplish amazing things during your hunt for the elusive career unicorn without getting discouraged that you haven’t yet “arrived”.

Allison’s career creativity is an example we can all follow. I hope you enjoy reading her interview below.

kahkikudla

1. Were you first in to art, science or technology? Or were you in to all three at the same time?

I would say art first. In high school I set a goal of creating a portfolio of work that would get me into an art school. Indeed, I was accepted into a few and decided on the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). While there, in my second year, taking a class on Conceptual Painting at the same time as a class on Digital Tools for Painting, I really began questioning why my medium was painting. My concepts were perhaps better conveyed with new media / digital media. From there, I switched to the Art and Technologies Studies program at SAIC and began working with interactive platforms such as: physical computing (sensors and micro-controllers), sound synthesis and graphic programming. I was so excited to be making works that were driven by data taken from the external world. When I finished my BFA, I felt I had only begun this work. After a short time, I was accepted into the first waive of a new practice-based PhD program in the arts at the University of Washington’s newly established Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS). Here I was challenged again to question my medium, and my knowledge of the systems I use in my work, and there I began exploring the life sciences. This is where biology has its first direct emergence in my artistic work.

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2. What led you into art and how did it evolve over time? Did you start out using a certain media and then evolve your preferences from there until you found your niche?

I suppose I am sponge, meaning if it is available to me as a medium, and I am interested in working with it, I soak it in and start using it! It wasn’t until I came to the arts as a graduate student at a research university (UW) that I realized that my medium could involve a greenhouse or a tissue culturing lab just as much as it did a fabrication studio, a machine shop, or a computer lab. I tried to be as imaginative as I could and really think in an interdisciplinary way to solve creative challenges and create visual art.

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3. Can you remember your first art project that was at the interface of three disciplines: science, technology, and art?

Definitely. It is called “The Search for Luminosity”. It was a system that watched the circadian rhythm of the Oxalis plant and enabled it to control its light source. Oxalis is phototropic and has very broad and large leaves that seem to “open” and “close” when it is attempting photosynthesis. Because the opening and closing gesture is based on a bio-chemical memory of the plant’s previous routine or cycle, even in darkness the plant will lift its leaves. For this reason, I was able to create a robotic system that watched for the plant to lift its leaves, and when it did, it would turn its overhead light on.  In short, a poetic framing for reversing the hierarchy of the biological and the physical world, The Search for Luminosity equips the phototropic plant Oxalis with the ability to communicate directly with the acting sun in its universe through the mediation of a technological system.

kudla luminosity2Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 10.10.40 PM

4. When did you realize, or decide, you could blend all those fields into a successful career? Did you have any idea at first that you’d end up using your artistry in the science world?

I didn’t have an idea. It really happened gradually and in part due to the people around me.

5. Who inspired you  to investigate a path involving science and technology? What hooked you onto the sciences and technologies?

Shawn Brixey, my PhD advisor. Check out his work, it is so rad! He asked me a deceptively simple question:

“In art, what is the difference between simulation and emulation?”

This question prompted me to explore what the “operating system” for my work was. I realized that instead of it being Mac OS X drawing a picture to a screen of a representation of a plant or botanical form, I wanted to learn the operating system of the botanical form itself. I wanted to know what algorithms were running on biological systems, and to know this, one has to study biology.

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6. Do you have a favorite type of science?

Accessible, breakthrough science that I haven’t heard about before! I am a visual person too, so I really love it when the sciences discover something that can be imaged or visualized in a way that is beautiful. I am really looking forward to seeing data visualizations over the next 10 years and hope to be a part of that work.

I am also fascinated by science that studies how species have evolved to adapt to climate change. I think we can learn a lot from organisms with faster evolutionary cycles and therefore shorter life spans.

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Credit: Dr. Allison Kudla, Institute for Systems Biology, illustration featured on U.S. NIH website for The Cancer Genome Atlas Project.

7. What were some preconceived notions about art, artists, science or scientists and did that change once you explored your career in it?

 I think when I was younger, I thought scientists were not imaginative. I really don’t know why I thought that because the more scientists I interact with, the harder it can be to tell them apart from artists. 🙂

kudladress

8. What were some big compromises or struggles you experienced making a career out of this? Did you have any roadblocks (mental, emotional, physical) or did you feel supported along the way?

This is a really hard question. I have had a lot of support and interest, but I have also faced some serious challenges. If you think science is under funded in America, check out art! And if your art is living and temporal, something to be “experienced” but not necessarily bought and sold, then it can be even harder!! I still wonder if I will ever have a salaried job that takes advantage of every aspect of my education. At the same time, I think it is my responsibility to blaze this trail for others like myself — and it will take decades, likely. There are so many art residencies, but these opportunities force artists into being nomadic — moving from place to place every four months or year without knowing what the next year or two will look like or where they will be. This adds to the stress and struggle, and also can severely limit an artist’s ability to work on projects that are longer term, or involving science and technology. As you’ve heard before “science is slow” and so is art + science research.

9. What keeps you motivated when you’re feeling the drudgery? Do you ever hate it? What keeps it fun for you?

Any long process that involves precision, technique, conceptual robustness and creativity is going to involve drudgery. I think I hate it most when I am not sure if it will be a success, or I try to explain it to someone else and I don’t see any sparkle in their eye. Then I have to just hope it was a failure in my words and they will get it when they experience the work. 

Working with other people keeps it fun. Being in a feedback loop with the finished product keeps it fun. Having a plan as to where it will be presented also keeps it fun.

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10. Who are some personally inspirational people in this field?

There are so many. First three that I hadn’t already mentioned: Natalie Jeremijenko, Daisy Ginsberg, and Paul Vanouse.

nataliedaisy  paul

11. What are some key points of advice you wish you knew before you set out?

Geometry is incredibly important in art and visualization. And in general Math is a universal language and key to understanding operating systems in biology, computation and technology. It’s okay if you forget formulas because the internet can help you. However, understanding the concepts are essential for success. If something isn’t making sense in class, talk to your peers and mentors. There may be other angles you need to see some of these concepts from in order to understand them better.

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Conservation Field Biologist — Interview with Annie Hawkinson

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Photo courtesy of Tambopata Macaw Project Facebook Page

I met Annie while volunteering at the Tambopata Research Center in the Amazon jungles of Peru and was to be her roommate for the duration of my stay.

I was worried that I’d be cramping her style by moving in to the room she had enjoyed by herself but she immediately helped get me set up.

Every morning the alarm went off at 4:30am, just before the howler monkeys started up their thunderous wind-storm-like territorial roars.

We would lie motionless in our mosquito-net-enshrouded beds listening for rain. If there was no rain, or just a drizzle, we had to get up and get to the boats to start the days work.

One morning, it had been down pouring on and off up until the alarm. The alarm went off and we listened for the boss, Gustavo’s voice indicating if we had to get up to work or not. We were tired and secretly hoped we could go back to bed and sleep in until 7:30am breakfast.

“Andele!”  Gustavo says its a go. Time go get up!

Annie grumbled and started crawling out of her mosquito net.

I didn’t want to get up either, so I put on my sarcastic happy voice and in an overly chipper tone said, “But Annie, isn’t it fun to be out in nature?!”

“I hatechoo…” she sleepy mumbled in an unenthused response.

It was that moment I knew Annie and I would get along great. She is also the perfect young aspiring woman scientist to interview, so let’s begin:

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What type of science do you love (if you could categorize the topic e.g., psychology, neurobiology, conservation, wildlife, chemistry, molecular, physiological, etc.)?
I have always loved working with animals and working outside. I really enjoy learning how something fits into it’s environment. Over the years that has lead me to pursue a lot of macrobiology, and I particularly love studying evolution and conservation biology.
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Annie Hawkinson: Head full of blonde curls. No shortage of hairdressers here!

What kind of scientist do you consider yourself?
I consider myself to be a field biologist, because the greatest skill I have developed working in the Amazon is how to deal with a demanding environment. The elements have me at their mercy! For example, at 5:00 in the morning I found myself shoveling mud off an observational site that had been buried from the flooding river.
annie shovel mud
What is your earliest memory of being hooked by science? 
I would say when I got to dissect a shark in 4th grade science class. Being from Minnesota, the ocean is pretty far away and as a kid it seems impossibly far. I think my teacher showed me that it was possible to study something foreign at a really close range and it opened my world.
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Who inspired you to go down the path of science? 
Indirectly, my parents. They have encouraged me to do whatever makes me happy and since I have always been an animal lover I ended up pursuing biology.
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What were some preconceived notions about science or scientists and did that change once you explored your career in it?
I sometimes got intimidated by the belief that “real” scientists have some natural ability making them experts in their work. In reality, although having an intrinsic passion for ones field is beneficial, it takes a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and time to be successful in the science community.
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What have been some big compromises or struggles you’ve experienced?
The hardest thing I had to do was accept that this once in a lifetime opportunity I was being offered might end my current relationship. Being in such a remote part of the world for months at a time (with slow and unpredictable internet) has often strained my relationship with my boyfriend, and in general I often feel disconnected from the lives of the people I care about. Thankfully those important people in my life are incredibly supportive, and just a month ago my boyfriend and family came to visit me! They were able to see what I do everyday and why it means so much to me- why I left them! I’m grateful for them in so many ways.
AnnieCoffee
What keeps science FUN for you when you’re feeling the drudgery? Do you ever hate it? 
There’s no doubt that it’s challenging working at Tambopata Research Center. The team can go for months without any days off, doing physically demanding work, and sometimes it is absolutely exhausting. I have learned the importance of taking breaks, but when a siesta doesn’t do the trick, I have to remind myself where I am- that I live in one of the last untouched environments on earth. It may take a long time before I truly appreciate the significance of that, but while I can, I think it’s crucial to believe that our work is contributing to the conservation of tambopata. No matter what though, if I’m having a bad day, all I need is to see one if the macaw chicks.
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Scarlet Macaw Baby

Do you have any advice you’d tell youngsters? Some key points you wish you knew before you set out?
My advice for anyone interested in working in the field is prepare to fail! I found it really stressful not being able to do everything perfectly when I first started facing setbacks from weather and other complications. Those experiences taught me that failure will happen and all you can do when it does is learn and move on.
AnnieBlue
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Bi-Polar Explorer — From Antarctica to the Arctic — Interview with Kate Ruck

Her name is Kate Ruck.

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An Alaskan friend of mine told me that he had an Alaskan friend who I needed to meet. I love collecting Alaskan friends, so I told him to let her know she’s welcome to come by my house in Seattle anytime!

The day I met her I happened to be throwing a costume party after my 2013 return from Antarctica and I was showing everyone photos on my laptop. After I gave my shpeel I turned around and there was Kate Ruck standing quietly in the door frame. Xtratuf boots and long brown wavy hair framing her big bright eyes.

Instantly I knew who she was and I gave her a huge hug while also feeling completely embarrassed that this Antarctica-Traveling Queen had just listened in on my amateur brag about my travels to The Ice!!

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The very evening that I first met Kate Ruck.

Kate travels a lot for work/school.

She is gone multiple months out of the year but always returns to Seattle. She was traveling to Antarctica via icebreaker, obtaining her Master’s Degree at Virginia Institute of Marine Science doing work for the Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research (Pal LTER) project and US Antarctic Program.

This work resulted in her first-author publication: Regional differences in quality of krill and fish as prey along the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Kate E. Ruck, Deborah K. Steinberg, Elizabeth A. Canuel.

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Every time she is in Seattle we hang out and it’s been a friendship going on strong for two years now.

Kate is the definition of badass. She sails with salty sailors, lives out of a suitcase, wields a gun, bosses people around, siences the shit out of everything, hangs out with slimey fish, travels to Antarctica and gets a kick out of animals being dicks. I mean, who doesn’t, right?!

I thought she’d be perfect to interview. For obvious reasons.

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Let the interview begin.

  1. What type of science do you love (if you could categorize the topic e.g., psychology, neurobiology, conservation, wildlife, chemistry, molecular science, physiological, etc.)?

Throughout my career, I have been consistently drawn to Marine Science, more specifically, Biological Oceanography and Fisheries Science. My early experiences in the field were overwhelmingly positive and engaging and I fell in love with all aspects of going out to sea and working on the ocean. Stepping out onto the deck of a boat to have a sea-bound horizon stretching in every direction cultivated an inexplicable sense of home for me and I felt compelled to delve deeper into the science behind my fieldwork. Our oceans are such a large, global resource that are highly utilized and still have not been fully explored or regulated. When I was beginning my career this field seemed ripe with opportunities for meaningful contributions while still providing an outlet to advocate for something that I valued and was passionate about.

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  1. What kind of scientist do you consider yourself?

For the last two years I’ve been making my living as a contract field-biologist, meaning I take short-term seasonal positions working for different research groups as needed. This has been great in terms of travel, experience and getting my feet under me financially, but I am beginning to miss the ability to contribute to the broader impact goals of an established research project. It’s hard to invest two to three months of your life in an assignment you’re passionate about, only to say farewell it when the field season comes to an end.  In the broader brush, I’ve lately become very interested in education and outreach. Informing the general public about environmental issues such as climate change, conservation, and our global oceans.

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  1. What is your earliest memory of being hooked by science?

Oddly enough, I remember being captivated by ‘Alba’, the glowing rabbit that was engineered in France by splicing the green fluorescent protein (GFP) of a jellyfish into her genome. It was the early 2000’s, I was just starting high school and thinking about college when genetics and molecular science topics began big in the news. I remember being fascinated by what was possible within the confines of the lab and was delving into books and documentaries on the topic. As I transitioned into college, I moved away from molecular biology because of the political and commercial interests that were starting to invade the field and the amount of competition that was associated with such a rapidly growing and hugely profitable industry. I had always wanted a workplace that was inclusive and highly collaborative. Ecology and marine science seemed like a better fit and my early field experiences got me hooked on the opportunities to be outdoors and immersed in the ecosystems I was studying. katedeck

  1. Who inspired you to go down the path of science?

A long string of incredibly engaging, charismatic, and supportive teachers kept me on the road to a career in science. Listening to lectures and taking labs from people who were so passionate about their profession instilled a love for the natural world that I felt could be the base of a career, rather than a hobby. I also have to give credit to my parents for encouraging me in what I was interested in rather than pushing professions that were less exciting to me but offered a higher degree of job security and financial stability.

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  1. What were some preconceived notions about science or scientists and did that change once you explored your career in it?

I was pleasantly surprised by how relaxed and open I found the professional world of Oceanography could be. I realize that this isn’t everyone’s experience in academia, but my time at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and my involvement with the Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research (Pal LTER) project was filled with interdisciplinary collaborations, sharing of resources, and a free flow of ideas.

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  1. We can get caught up in the romance of being a “world traveling scientist” but it takes real hard work and a lot of sacrifices to actually do. What were some big compromises or struggles you experienced choosing to go down this path?

While I ultimately love what I do, there are a lot of personal sacrifices that I’ve made by doing this job, the way that I want to do it. Working as a contract field biologist took me away from home for roughly ten months out of the year in 2014. I’ve missed weddings, birthdays, funerals, Thanksgiving, New Year’s celebrations, and the day-to-day companionship of family and friends. Maintaining relationships with significant others is also challenging because there is always a component of long-distance and I am usually working in remote environments where there is no cell phone service or an Internet connection. Starting out, there is also a lack of financial stability and job security. I have seen colleagues leave this profession to pursue careers in the medical or business sectors because the demand and starting salaries are so much higher. Academic science is often operated on shoestring budgets, and when fieldwork is located in an exotic location, it is easy to find well-qualified volunteers or people who are willing to work for travel and living expenses in exchange for the experience. My biggest challenge right now is finding permanent employment with a science platform I respect that is also offering a salary that I feel is commensurate to seven years of experience I’ve accumulated and the two academic degrees that I’ve earned.

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  1. What keeps you motivated when you’re feeling the drudgery? Do you ever hate it? What keeps science fun for you?

Like any job, there have been some awful, overwhelming workweeks that I’ve had to slog through. I have been lucky enough to live and work in some of the most pristine wilderness on the face of the planet, including Antarctica, Prince William Sound, Alaska’s North Slope and the Bering Sea. The other side of the amazing field experiences is that I’ve also logged 40+ hour workweeks for months at a time to organize, prep, and analyze the 1000s of  samples we collected in the field; a stationary, monotonous task that still requires a high attention to detail. For me, getting through weeks of long hours or the disappointment associated with failed work is the responsibility associated with ensuring that you’re delivering high quality science to eventually share with the scientific community. I was also lucky enough to have worked in labs where there was a supportive and humorous group of coworkers and graduate students to bring relief to the routine. Opening up and asking for motivation from your peers has helped me through a lot of my unenthusiastic days. Creating and cultivating a supportive work community will bring fresh perspectives and energy to projects that may have become mundane from long hours of myopic familiarity.

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  1. Advice you’d tell youngsters , some key points you wish you knew before you set out.

Surround yourself with people you trust and who are always inspiring you to continue investing in and pushing the limits of your work. Sometimes you may feel compelled to chase an opportunity because it’s the ‘right time’ or the location is ‘too good to be true’, but this work can occasionally require that you invest a lot of your personal time to achieving project goals. Working for and with people who recognize and value the amount of effort you’re contributing will increase your overall satisfaction with the job and ensure that all your effort won’t be taken advantage of. My bosses and peers have been great advocates for me and their connections, support and recommendations have opened up opportunities that I would have never considered within my reach. I also wish that I had done a better job of prioritizing my personal time when I was going through graduate school. When I initially started my thesis project, the amount of work that needed to be done seemed so overwhelming that I would feel guilty when taking time out to do something for myself. In retrospect, making clear definitions between time at work and time at home would have made me more efficient in the lab while making the time to myself at home more fulfilling. Don’t be afraid to carve out those hours to yourself!

Want to see more photos of Kate’s journey? Click here.

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An Arctic Researcher Confesses Her Relationship Woes

Women’s magazine featured an article titled: An Arctic Researcher Confesses Her Relationship Woes . Immediately I turned my attention to the words and read every single one written by Alia Khan.

This is exactly the type of honesty I like to hear! Stories of the true compromises that are made by adventuresome world-traveling career woman.

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Photo courtesy of Google Search on Alia Khan.

I originally wanted to re-post the entire article on WOMANSCIENTIST primarily for your gratification and secondarily to provide a safe haven for the article, shall it not remain on its original site, but then I learned about copyright infringement laws and I don’t wanna get mixed up in dat bidness, so you’ll have to go to the original posting and read it for yourself.

I did do a little additional stalking of Alia’s professional work in the field and I want to direct you to her amazing links

Dark Snow Greenland and eight other posts she’s written for the New York Times Scientist at Work – Notes From the Field.

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Photo courtesy of Women’s Adventure | February 3, 2015 | By Alia Khan

Now on to my thoughts about the article:

The reason I loved reading Alia’s confession is because it resonates with my own concerns as an adventure loving female in science worrying I won’t find a partner to support me emotionally and professionally.

Typically guys are the ones that get to go on those grand journeys while their women folk wait for them at home and I ain’t neva gonna be one of them stay-at-home types.

I was once in the Peruvian Amazon and I had more-or-less hired a young guy to tour me around the town of Iquitos–the parts of town where normal Western tourists don’t get to go. We spent the day together and I, as a tall blonde foreigner, managed to avoid all other types of harassments because I was “with a local”. As the day progressed and turned into evening, over beers, this young gentlemen made the joking remark, “You can be my wife and make a home while I’m out leading jungle tours!”

!@$%# ?! What’s that you say?!?! Are you kidding me!?

I informed him that if that were to EVER in his wildest dreams even happen, I would be the one going out on the jungle tours and HE could stay home and be the house man.

Even though I was in Peru for that exchange of nonsense ideas, I feel like this is the common stereotype that still exists in much of modern America. For whatever reasons (I gather it has mostly to do with the woman’s share in child labor and rearing) the woman seems to give up her career pursuits more easily than the man does. So, what if you’re a woman who doesn’t  want to give those pursuits up? You have to battle with the body clock ticking, with family and friends and society telling you you’re selfish for not giving up your pursuits or telling you that you’re suppose to support your family and Mom is your new career.

I think all those barriers are garbage. Obviously they’re honorable endeavors in themselves for those who want that life, but as adventuresome women, we need more women role models to look up to in this arena. And this is why I bring to you Alia Khan’s article.

She has pursued her research interests, her adventure interests and all along hoped Mr. Right would show up during a grand journey. The problem she encountered was that men she met who were also on their own grand journey, and didn’t want to give that dream up for a relationship either.

Alia is not without strong bonded relationships that will last her a life-time, not at all. She’s been in some intense situations with people in remote locations where nothing but a strong bond formed. Yet, none of these necessarily make for a good partner with whom to settle down romantically and perhaps raise a family.

Towards the end of her article, in her voice I sort of hear a little panic everyone exiting their 20’s gets, as she exclaims: “I’m 29 and finding my life focus changing, especially when I’m in places like Scandinavia or Chile, surrounded by young families with adorable babies bundled up against the cold.[…]I wouldn’t make any choices differently. But where does this leave me for dating in my 30s? Do I have to choose between fieldwork and a relationship?

I had to laugh in an empathetic way when I read that last sentence.

I’ve had my fair share of aging crises throughout my 20’s, feelings like I’m going to miss out on big life milestones as I watch the years tick by. During my 20’s I had finished college, been married and divorced and bought a house in between. Things “real” adults did.  Yet, I had a strong wanderlust back then that I remember suppressing big time with my rational brain telling me that I couldn’t pursue all those dreams as a “married person”. So back then, I chose relationship over field-work.

I remember, a couple years into the marriage, there was a trip I really wanted to plan to go on whether my husband wanted to come or not. Someone told me, “You can’t do whatever you want anymore, you’re married.”

My heart stopped right then.  You’re saying marriage now means I’m trapped? That even if I have my own money and vacation time, I’m just not allowed to go travel if my partner isn’t interested or can’t get time off?

I didn’t even have kids! I would have understood that rule more if I had kids, but I was just only married! What kind of bull shit rule is that?!

As I entered my upper 20’s, the relationship dissolved (something I’m not going to elaborate on here) and I executed the D-word, Divorce. Thinking about how I wanted to conduct future relationships, I vowed to myself deep down that traveling was going to be one of my non-negotiables from here on out. I am traveling whenever I want, whether anyone I’m in a relationship with likes it or not! Harumph! (Extra stubbornness added in for effect.)

Now that I am 31, with all those adult things behind me, I feel so liberated from the anxieties that came with all the relationship shoulds I felt were imposed on me.

All of the life lessons I gained from that time in my life I hold valuable to my being. But sometimes I do regret that I spent my 20’s being distracted trying to make the wrong relationship work just because I felt like I needed to be a Suzie Homemaker and settle down before I reached the dreaded 30s!

Now I joke that I am reverse aging. I’m finally free to continue on my journey doing all the things I should have been doing out of college: traveling, making my own decisions, being more selfish with me and my dreams, speaking up, and pursing my career wherever it will take me. I kind of think that subconsciously I’ve aligned my career as a Biologist so strongly with needing to travel that now I always have a way to justify why I need to be heading somewhere.

I’m glad for women scientists like Alia Khan who write about their hardships on the personal front. To answer her question “Do Love and Wanderlust Mix?” I would say, they damn well better if that is what you truly want!

I understand we can’t control what the universe throws at us, much less control the course of a relationship with another human being we may fall in love with. However, it has also been my experience that the moment I truly come to terms with following my bigger purpose in life, things I pine for somehow manifest theme-selves eventually and naturally.

As Alia mentions, “When I feel particularly lonely and like I am making a personal sacrifice for scientific and career advancement, I remind myself that it’s a privilege to be able to explore the world while collecting data for a greater public service…

and that is what it really comes down to: you are the only one you need to make your life feel complete,  so do what you want to do until you don’t want to do it anymore.

I’ve learned it is a waste of energy to get caught up in the panic of needing to reach, or fearing to miss, certain arbitrary age-denoted milestones.

Just let life unfold like a purdy little flower blossom.

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Women in Oceanography

This week a 260 page special issue came out featuring Women in Oceanography  YAY! I wanted to post the link here so you can reference other amazing women doing science!

Women-In-Oceanography

 

A decade ago, in March 2005, The Oceanography Society published a special issue on women in oceanography with the intention of exploring why men vastly outnumber women at the higher levels of the field. Now 10 years later they’ve come out with another feature issue high lighting the progress that has been made, barriers since the last volume was published and areas where further attention might still be needed. The publication has been getting a lot of press featured in AAAS, at Bigelow Laboratory, and at The Institute for Systems Biology.

“We captured our story through statistical measures, longer narratives, articles describing some innovative US programs that were conceived to promote women and retain them in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, and one-page autobiographical sketches written by women oceanographers.” 

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Two senior research scientists at The Institute for Systems Biology are featured on p.189 and p.234: My boss, Monica Orellana, and colleague, Anne Thompson, respectively. Go Monica and Anne!  Click here to download the PDF and read the original publication in full.

Additionally there are 15 more in-depth profiles of women in oceanography on the Women Oceanographers website here.

If you’ve thought about having a career in the marine world, I found a great article in the December 2011 Nature publication.

Marine Dreams : Scientists in a glamour field offer tips — and reality checks — for the next generation of marine biologists. 

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I hope to get more Interview Bios up on WOMAN SCIENTIST webpage but I LOVE LOVE LOVE that women are being high lighted in sciences elsewhere, because surely this site alone is not enough =)

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Reinventing Science Museums with Art — Interview with Nina Arens

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Nina: Artist. Scientist. Educator. Entrepreneur.

I met Nina in 2010 while working in the lab at The Institute for Systems Biology. She was also a lab technician slaving away at the bench doing repeated tedious tasks to advance our understanding peroxisomes in fatty acid metabolism using yeast as a model organism.  This project took a peak into how epigenetics plays a part in disease spreading of lipid disorders which have huge health implications.

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The lab didn’t hold Nina for long. “It was at ISB where I decided not to pursue a scientific career…” Her strong artistic side and desire to blend art and science in an education setting drew her to get a degree in International Museum Studies at the University of Gothenberg in Sweden.  I remember Nina being hesitant, wondering if it was the right move to make. Leaving home, living abroad, leaving science. She took the leap of faith and spent two years absorbing the culture of museum design and curation. She visited 40 different museums, all the while thinking about how she could innovate and improve upon existing science museums of today.

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She has returned to Seattle and is now back in the lab at the Institute for Systems Biology but this time she is working on Desulfovibrio vulgaris, an  extremophile sulfur-reducing bacteria, which can only survive in anaerobic conditions. She mentors students in the summers, and is also focusing on her new entrepreneurial adventure in creating a non-profit Pop-Up Science museum!

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Nina is a perfect example of a woman striving to successfully blend all of her interests of the right-brain and left-brain into a fulfilling career even when traditionally art and science have not gone together. She has a unique artistic style and show cases her work and other artists as inspirations on her website.

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This beautiful image was created by Arie van ‘t Riet using x-Ray radiography. See more beautiful images and Learn more about his work here: http://www.x-rays.nl/index.htm

To read more about Nina and her projects check out her website!

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Extreme Sports Scientist — Interview with Brianna Armour

Brianna Armour

Whoa! Who is this sexy chica?! She can’t be a scientist, can she?

This is Brianna Armour, and she is indeed a scientist.

What or who inspired you to go in to science?

My high school biology teacher.

Why?

She put the time and effort in to creating (labs) that were awesome and applied to life. For instance, she went around to local restaurants and grocery stores and brought back samples of crab whether it be real or imitation. We used PCR to figure out if the crab was real or not and you could actually tell! Also, she had us sample DNA from an elephant  tusk and then gave us information about its region and we determined if it was an endangered species, and thus illegally poached, or a native thriving population. It was always applicable to life and current events and it was fun and she wrote grants to get the money to do it all. She inspired me to go in to science.

Brianna Armour Skydive

Who do you currently work for and what is your role there? 

I work at Emerald Biostructures on Bainbridge Island, Washington. I started in the lab as a Research Associate II and was promoted to the position I’m in now.  I am no longer in the lab but I am still involved with the science and act as a liaison between the scientists and the investors.

Do you have a favorite go-to science website?

There is an awesome online resource that publishes peer reviewed scientific protocols in video format. JoVE.

I’m a very visual learner and I pushed our company to publish a protocol here which helped me really visualize what it was that we do.

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Tell me about your education path. 

Western Washington University — Biochemistry · Mathematics · Bellingham, Washington

Brianna Armour MtBike

Some of Brianna’s favorite quotes:

  • The biggest risk of all is not taking one. Mark Zuckerberg
  • He who thinks he knows doesn’t know.  He who knows he doesn’t know, knows. Joseph Campbell
  • Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. See? There is no Someday. Hannah Root i think

Brianna Armour Sexy

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