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This Is What a Scientist Looks Like_Exploration Place Article
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This Is What a Scientist Looks Like

December 29, 2021

African-American Pioneers in Earth and Space Science

At Exploration Place, we celebrate diversity in the STEM field. Through a collaboration with the Association of Science and Technology Centers and the National Girls Collaborative Project, we are proud to highlight 12 scientists featured in the IF/THEN Collection.

If we support a woman in STEM, then she can change the world.

Along the river path outside Exploration Place, you will see colorful banners dedicated to these innovative and impactful leaders. We invite you to open this page on your mobile device and then walk the path, reading about each person and reflecting on the impacts they are making to our global community. Please tag us on social media if you take photos!

Learn more about the IF/THEN Collection

Featured Scientists

  • Dr. Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil, Astrophysicist
Uses the world’s largest telescopes to understand the nature of dark matter and galaxy formation by studying the smallest galaxies.
  • Dana Bolles, Spaceflight Engineer

    Wears many hats at a space agency, from engineering to communicating about the search for life beyond Earth.
  • Dr. Danielle Twum, Cancer Immunologist and Translational Scientist Liaison
Conducts research in oncology and clinical immunology.
  • Dorothy Tovar, Microbiologist, PhD Student
Researches antiviral immune responses in bats to understand their remarkable ability to host viruses that are deadly to humans.
  • Kimberly Sass, Architect and Professional Hockey Goaltender
Advocates for the future of both women’s professional hockey and female participation in STEM careers.
  • Dr. Mitu Khandaker, Video Game Designer and Entrepreneur

    Designs, codes and researches games and teaches game design and engineering with an emphasis on gender and racial equality in STEM.
  • Dr. Monica Rho, Sports Medicine Doctor and Medical Educator
Head Team Physician for the US Women’s National Soccer Team.
  • Myria Perez, Paleontologist and Fossil Preparator
Worked with paleontologist Louis Jacobs to unearth never-before-seen fossils from Angola.
  • Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant, Large Carnivore Ecologist
Uses statistical modeling to investigate how anthropogenic factors can influence the spatial patterns of carnivore behavior and ecology.
  • Dr. Ritu Raman, Engineer, Writer and Educator
    Builds machines from living cells.
  • Sarah A. Wilson, Mechanical Engineer

    Intersects engineering with personal passions like skiing and gardening to make a difference in the health and safety of people and the planet.
  • Dr. Yamina Presler, Soil Scientist and Educator

    Studies the many ways that soil organisms control how soils form and function.