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.

My ancestors were scientists

Rosa Hunter, lab manager at the Salish Sea Research Center, wants aspiring young scientists to know it’s never too late. Hunter dropped out of high school in the 10th grade and worked every job, from digging ditches to housekeeping, before jumping head first into college at age 32. It was there that she found her love for ancient organisms like tardigrades, trying to reveal their secrets. Her studies led to her work in the sea, where she realized that her grandmother’s guidance clamming as a child could inform her work identifying toxic shellfish in our oceans. “I was like, holy moly, my ancestors were scientists. I come from a line of scientists. That blew my mind,” Hunter said.