I teared up reading this moving, remarkable tribute to limnologist Dr. Ruth Patrick. Growing up in the 1910's, she received her first microscope at age 7, a gift from her father who later urged her husband to allow Ruth to keep her last name. She discovered the significance of diatoms in environmental research, and was the first to show that Great Salt Lake wasn't always saline.
As one of the few women working at the National Academy of Sciences during the Depression, Dr. Patrick wasn't paid for seven years. Her pioneering work on water pollution would later inspire the Clean Water Act, and Bill Clinton later awarded her the National Medal of Science, our country's highest scientific honor.
"How confident are we that these dung fungal spores are recording what we think they are? What if they’re actually influenced by massive population cycles of ground hogs, or deer? The extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna was more than twelve thousand years ago, so this is not a trivial question. To test the effectiveness of the Sporormiella proxy, I went to Konza Prairie, which is home to one of the last surviving native megaherbivores in the Americas: bison."
For today's post, we share a guest post by fellow tenure-track professor "Grace," on her recent miscarriage, which was originally posted last week on Context and Variation (another blog we admire). Grace wanted to share her thoughts, because reading the stories of others comforted and guided her as she experienced her own miscarriage. Please feel free to leave supportive comments for Grace, or share your story or questions for others.
"I’m fortunate that I’ve never been denied housing or employment because of my religion, and my life and health and property have never been seriously threatened. I have, however, been made to feel terrible, made to feel that I’m different and don’t belong and am not welcome. This is an absolutely awful feeling, particularly when it comes from your peers and from people with power over you, particularly when it comes from an environment that’s supposed to be a meritocracy and a beacon of diversity and inclusiveness. If an able-bodied fourth-generation American middle class heterosexual white male can be made to feel this way, I can only imagine what it must be like for other minority groups"
"I love doing science and I’m good at it. But my illness takes away about 3 days every week, and I get less done than many of my peers because of it. I don’t know if my illness will improve, and I worry that I won’t be able to compete for a job."
GracieABD recalls receiving a student evaluation that was sexually harassing: "I worked so hard. I am so knowledgeable. I take such care to present myself professionally. I care deeply about my students’ learning outcomes, particularly with respect to learning critical thinking skills. But none of that matters. I clearly will never be more than a thing to look at. How depressing is that? None of my work, achievements, or intentions matter to people like that—just because I’m a woman, an object. It’s maddening!"
Dame B. Biolock is back from the field season, and shares her thoughts on leaving a baby behind: "Was it worth it for me to only see my 14-month old son via Skype? Would he know that I was coming back? Could we go back to our old loving routines? What milestones would I miss?"
Assistant Professor of Paleoecology & Plant Ecology
Palynology, R programming, lake sediment coring, dynamic vegetation modeling, niche modeling.
University of Maine
Assistant Professor of Paleoecology & Plant Ecology, 2013 - present
Voss Postdoctoral Research Associate, 2012 - 2013
University of Wisconsin
Graduate Research Assistant, 2005 - 2012
Providence, RI - Kittery, ME - LaMadalena, Italy - Nashville, TN - Bradford, VT - Montpelier, VT - Plainfield, VT - Charlotte, NC - Gosnell, AR - Pueblo, CO - Virginia Beach, VA - Exeter, NH - Wells, ME - Madison, WI - Bar Harbor, ME
Like Indiana Jones, but female. And with more mammoths.
I'm a new assistant professor at the University of Maine, affiliated with the School of Biology and Ecology and the Climate Change Institute. I research the climate change, ecology and biogeography of the last 2.5 million years, to help inform the conservation the concerns of the next century. I care passionately about STEM diversity, interdisciplinary research, and public science literacy. I'm a geeky feminist who loves cooking, games and crafting at home, exploring the outdoors and abroad, and reading everywhere.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Geography, 2005 - 2012
College of the Atlantic
Human Ecology, 2003 - 2005
Liberal Arts, 2000 - 2002
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