(by Marie Clifford)
|Barbara McClintock, giving her Nobel lecture (note demographics of attendees)|
(by Leander Anderegg)
When I met Terry, she was a Stanford Professor who was so busy that one had to email her, call her, and then camp outside her office for 1-2 days to get hold of her. I was a wide-eyed freshman, straight from the lovely hamlet of Cortez, CO (a town of 8,500 people four hours from the nearest city), who was chagrined to learn that somehow all 2000 of my classmates were smarter, more well read, funnier, and better groomed than I was. I began working for her as a research assistant because she was nice, and because my brother had gotten me the job, and because she had awesome pictures of birds in her office. By the end of the year, Terry had not only convinced me to become an ecologist, but had taught me more about science and how it is performed than four years of classes possibly could.
As a graduate student in the 80s, Terry was a rare female scientist in a generation of primarily male ecologists. Perhaps because of this, she is a first rate meta-scientist who taught me that science cannot be separated from the human factors (social interactions, intrinsic gender and racial bias, implicit world views). Sure, Terry taught me a lot of practical things. Terry taught me that if you can't draw a graph of your expected results before you start a project, it's probably not worth doing. She taught me how to make a powerpoint presentation that will keep >50% of an audience engaged and >75% awake. She taught me that most other scientists don't really know what they're doing most of the time either. But Terry also taught me that science is a fundamentally human endeavor, and should be viewed and analyzed as such.
(by Meera Lee Sethi)
|Nina Sandlin. Photo: Field Museum|
I’ve heard people say, “Science is what scientists do”; but that’s not true, today or any other day. Science is the process of making knowledge. Nina is doing exactly that.
For more on Nina Sandlin:
(by Hilary Hayford)
|Jane Lubchenco with P. ochraceus and quadrat.|
Dr. Lubchenco is considered “royalty” in the field of marine ecology, but if you keep up on alums you know she was a UW grad student of Bob Paine, earning a Master’s in Zoology (1971) for work on sea star competition. (Never fear, botany faithful, her dissertation at Harvard (1975) was greatly focused on seaweeds and herbivory). Her body of work targets interactions between humans and the marine environment, particularly marine reserves and sustainable fisheries.
Dr. Lubchenco is most well known as the first woman to be appointed as Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), serving 2009-2013. President Obama selected her to lead the country in marine issues. During her tenure she faced such challenges as the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the Tohoku Earthquake/Tsunami. In another example of her leadership, Dr. Lubchenco co-founded the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO), a long-term research and monitoring program studying the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem. A collaboration of four universities receiving nearly $90 million of funding in its first 10 years, PISCO was unprecedented in the field of marine ecology in its scale, scope, and budget.
Dr. Lubchenco has served as President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Ecological Society of America (ESA), received the Mac Arthur Genius Award and 18 honorary doctorates, is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society… the list of accolades is very, very long. Despite this legacy of outstanding accomplishments, she has consistently taken time to mentor and support developing scientists. She has advocated for effective science communication (co-Founder of COMPASS) and participated in numerous panels/seminars on women in STEM. Dr. Lubchenco and her husband inspired a new approach to the struggle of academia and family by negotiating a novel arrangement with Oregon State University: splitting a full-time, tenure-track professorship, with each scientist working 50% time until their sons were grown.
(by Audrey Ragsac)
|Official US Fish and Wildlife photo of Rachel Carson|
Rachel Carson’s life inspires and motivates me in so many ways. She broke the status quo by studying science and pursuing professional degrees at a time when it was uncommon for women to do so. She was also courageous to write about a controversial subject knowing that the backlash she would receive from the pesticide industry and similar entities would be far less harmful than the effects of these chemicals on both the environment and public health. Lastly, her work demonstrates that it is possible to start a global movement by wielding just your ideas and voice, and it reminds me of the importance of communicating my research and scientific ideas to the public.