Women in Science: Stories from women's scientific careers

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This week, we’re sharing two stories that were recorded before the pandemic, but that we’ve actually never shared on the podcast before. Both are from women in science, as our title suggests, and each one will bring us in to a different career journey in science.

Part 1: While working at a whale research station in northern Maine, Brenna Sowder receives an unexpected visit from a celebrity.

Part 2: Raised in a very traditional Cuban family with very little money, Catalina Martinez has to fight for her place in science.

Brenna Sowder is a writer and nonprofit communications professional. She has spent much of her life on boats looking for whales, first as the daughter of a marine biologist, later as a research assistant in the Bay of Fundy, and now with her family on their sailing adventures. In addition to telling mission-driven stories for nonprofits, she has worked as an environmental educator and freelance journalist. These days, she divides her time between writing and raising two small humans. She is currently working on a memoir, and she also writes essays about how to be an observer of nature and her evolving definition of an adventurous life. She lives in mid-coast Maine with her family.

Catalina Martinez is Regional Program Manager for NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) at the University of Rhode Island. She spent many years sailing on research vessels as Expedition Coordinator for OER, and currently spends most of her time managing partnerships at URI, and working as regional liaison for the program. She also consistently seeks to increase representation of underrepresented scholars and women in STEM, and helps to increase potential for life success for individuals born to challenging circumstances. In recognition of this work, she was honored by the YWCA as one of their 2015 Women of Achievement in Rhode Island for promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity. She also received the 2016 NOAA Oceanic and Atmospheric Research EEO/Diversity Award for Exemplary Service for dedication to improving the representation of women and minorities in STEM. Most recently, Catalina was awarded the 2019 Women of Color in STEM Diversity Leadership in Government Award for leading the way for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive Federal workforce.

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