wasn’t thrilled. I had no one in mind for the month-long project. I sat at thekeyboard in the school library, looking for inspiration. Finally, I started a search
for “women scientists.” I found a hit with a quote from Al Gore, calling themystery
person “an outstanding role model for women scientists across America.”
Who was she? The late Dr. Nancy Foster, former Assistant Administrator
for OceanicServices and Coastal Zone Management at the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration, and Director of the National Ocean Service.
The more I read about thisbrilliant, dynamic woman, the more I became
inspired. Not only did I feel impressed with and proud of her many accomplishments,
but her story made me think that I couldtake my love of the
ocean and its creatures and make it into a career as a marine biologist.
Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, orethical
dilemma you have faced, and its impact on you.
When my science teacher suggested a class trip to Belize to study the marine
ecosystem, I was excited. Thethought of escaping the cold New England winter
for sun and sand was my first thought. Then, I wondered if I would be able to
go SCUBA diving there, in a realocean, after only four months of taking
classes in the chilly pool at the local community center. Mr. Carlson told us
that we would be making trips to the coral reef inAmbergris Caye, and writing
up our findings as a report once we got back to school. I didn’t know yet that
the trip would begin to give direction to my life.