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World of Opportunity
01.20.05
 
Who Are NASA's Earth Explorers?

The student thinking about El Niño. The scientist studying climate. And the farmer looking at satellite images. All of these people are Earth Explorers. They're all curious about how Earth works. This is a story about a NASA Earth Explorer.


Some people say that science is not for girls. But these two women don't think so. Both of them love science.

How did Camille and Erica get interested in science? What advice do they have for kids? Earth Explorers spoke with both women. Here is what they shared.
Camille Daniels
Image above: Camille Daniels is a college student who wants to be a scientist. Credit: NASA

Meet Camille Daniels

Camille Daniels is a college student. She studies the health of coral reefs. Corals are animals that live in the ocean. But they look more like plants than animals. Sometimes corals form "reefs." This is when they grow next to or on top of each other. Coral reefs can tell you a lot about the ocean.

What made her want to study the ocean?

Her grandfather lived in the Virgin Islands. She never had the chance to visit him there. But her father did. He would come back with pictures of clear blue water. The only other place she saw water that blue was in the pool. This is what started her interest in science and the ocean.

What does she like best about her work?

It is hard work, but she knows that what she learns will help the ocean. And her work helps people, too. She wants to teach people how to take care of the oceans. She also likes working with other scientists.

What subjects in school have helped her the most?

She says that math was the most important. English was also a big help. It wasn't her favorite subject. But it taught her how to write and talk better.

What does she want to do in the future?

First, she wants to finish school. Then she wants to work with other scientists who study coral reefs.

Who were her role models growing up?

She looked up to her parents. They taught her how important school is. And they told her that she could do whatever she set her mind to.

What would she tell someone who isn't sure if they fit into the world of science?

No one should ever feel like they can't be a scientist. It's good to have a person that you trust and talk to.
Erica Holloman
Image above: Erica Holloman is studying the environment. Credit: Hampton University

Meet Erica Holloman

Erica Holloman is a college student. She studies what pollution does to animals and plants in water.

How did she become interested in science?

She always wanted to know how and why things worked. Her mother noticed this and pushed her to learn more about science. She started to dream about being a scientist.

What does she like best about her work?

She likes to work with top scientists. She wants to learn all she can from them.

What subjects in school have helped her the most?

She thinks math, science and English were most helpful. She says that math is important for scientists. She also enjoyed studying history. She learned about other black scientists.

What does she want to do in the future?

She plans to take a lot more classes. She wants to learn as much as she can. Then, she wants to get kids interested in what she does. It is very important to her to be a good role model for future scientists.

Who were her role models growing up?

She looked up to her grandmother, mother and father. They let her know it was OK to follow her dreams.

What would she tell someone who isn't sure if they fit into the world of science?

Everyone has a place in the world of science. And, you can learn from the past, she says. She was glad to learn about other black women in science. Now she wants to be just like them.

See previous Earth Explorers articles:
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Related Resource

Women of NASA
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Dan Stillman, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies