Close up of a woman's face on the beach

Human Elements

The world of science is full of facts and figures, but behind the study are the people. In the end, it becomes a question not of how they do science — but why.

Climbing for the origins of life

Dr. Robin Kodner regularly goes to extremes in the name of science. That’s because the microscopic algae she studies live only on glaciers and snowfields high in the mountains. At 2 billion years old, these single-celled colonies predate plants, animals and even fungi. By observing these archaic creatures, Robin can learn how all life evolved in the very beginning — and how it might survive into the future.