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Outnumbered: Portraits of women in science

“We owe it to young girls right now to share our own stories, not as cautionary tales, but as motivation,” said Fieseler.

Anne Galyean is a professional downhill mountain biker and UNC environmental engineering doctoral student. While studying nanoparticles by day, she hits the gym before dawn and trains on trail circuits at dusk — like this one in Frederick, Md. (photo by Clare Fieseler)

An environmental engineer who studies nanoparticles and competitively races downhill mountain bikes. A wildlife biologist who traverses across North Carolina’s most remote swamplands to tag wildlife and monitor flooding. A 7-year-old budding scientist who collects rocks, builds circuits and has a pet snake.

Carolina doctoral student and marine ecologist Clare Fieseler features these three women in her documentary photography project, “Outnumbered.” Her goal is to capture female scientists who break stereotypes, to detail their work and passions outside of the lab and in the field, and to inspire young women to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers.

Fieseler is pursuing a Ph.D. in the curriculum for the environment and ecology in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, completing interdisciplinary research in coral reef resilience and marine management. Her project won a 2014 North Carolina Documentary Photography Award from UNC Libraries. Undergraduate and graduate student winners submit photography-focused research proposals, and their resulting images become a permanent part of the photographic archives of the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Library.

Fieseler is a former National Geographic filmmaker and grant recipient, and those connections sparked interest from National Geographic in creating a video about her “Outnumbered” project.

“We owe it to young girls right now to share our own stories, not as cautionary tales, but as motivation,” said Fieseler, who is spending the remaining weeks of November at the Smithsonian’s Carrie Bow Caye Field Station in Belize working on her research.

From her project proposal, she asks: “What do women of science look like? What are their questions, dreams and struggles? … I see female successes and struggles as a powerful visual legacy. The end goal is to communicate current challenges and help motivate young scientists to confront them.”

To keep reading, please see: http://college.unc.edu/2014/11/12/outnumbered/#sthash.SZAZgQ4x.dpuf

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