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North Atlantic right whale #1950 and new calf © Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, taken under NOAA permit #26919. Aerial survey funded by NOAA Fisheries and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

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Women in science – Bri

The women in science blog series aims to celebrate women in the science field in light of International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11.

Bri Baptista

Education Specialist, WDC

How long have you worked in marine science and/or conservation?

I’ve formally worked in marine conservation for 6 months.

Why is science important to you and how do you use science in your day-to-day role?

Science helps us understand how the natural world works. It’s important to have a solid understanding of natural science so you can understand your place in the world whether you want to be a policymaker or just a well-informed citizen.

I work on our education programs, so I learn something new every day. Science is not static, so I am constantly learning about new research. It is so exciting to know that I don’t know everything.

Who are your influences?

Sylvia Earle, because I always thought she was cool, Greg Skomal, because he was the first scientist I met, and my high school environmental science teacher. I took extra science classes in high school and my teachers didn't understand why, but my science teacher told me that if it was fun for me then I should do it.

What are your career goals?

I want to continue to encourage scientific literacy in the public. I think outreach is exciting and increasing public awareness of science is important. I take for granted the scientific knowledge that I have, and I want everyone to understand science just a little bit more. As I said before, I think everyone should have some basic level of understanding about the world around them.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Worry less about what you think the role of a scientist is. As a kid, I had a vision of a scientist in a lab coat in a lab, and as a kid I thought that was cool but found out later being in a lab was not for me. However, I still wanted to do something science related. Now, I do science all day long and I’m not in a lab coat, unless I want to be.

Anything else you'd like to add?

We want more women in science! Don't give up. Do what’s fun.

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