By Sarah Ferner
scientistLate last year NERR Research Technician Lara Martin and I accompanied Denise De Carion, a graduate student in Dr. Peter Moyle’s lab at UC Davis, for a day of research in Suisun Marsh. We had a crew of four – all scientists and all women. The first task of the day was to anchor a bulky net into oozy mud at the bottom of a tidal channel – no small task under 7 feet of cold, muddy water. A wet-suit clad volunteer jumped in and set right to work, seemingly thrilled for an opportunity to swim for science. Throughout the day, we all waded through deep mud, threw heavy nets, and measured the flopping fish we caught (and released). Denise’s work that day also involved maneuvering a boat through tight channels and trouble-shooting complicated electronic equipment that is part of her research. Despite increases in participation of women in science, it was noticeable and inspiring to have an all “girl” team.  I was reminded of my day out with Denise recently when I saw a lecture in which the presenter showed the results of a Google image search for “scientist”. Try it. What do you see? Pictures of people (mostly men) wearing bright white lab coats, working in labs. I am proud to work in a field where many of the scientists are women, and we all wear muddy boots and warm fuzzy hats. We can each do more to challenge stereotypes. For today, I am posting this image of Denise De Carion, Scientist. (You can learn more about De Carion’s research in an upcoming article in Solano Land Trust’s Spring 2014 Vistas newsletter.)

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