How Saving Seeds Might Save the World

Seeds are a powerful part of conservation. The plants they produce are used in cultural ceremonies, medicine and food preparation, and they feed local fauna. If you preserve seeds, you are preserving cultural heritage, according to Sefra Alexandra, also known as the “Seed Huntress.”

“Seeds, tiny, living embryos, are kind of the most boiled-down, salient aspect of conservation if you’re looking at specific ecosystems wherever you are,” she explained.

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Trekking Across Oman Offers an Opportunity to Challenge Cultural Stereotypes

Janey McGill, along with a group of Anglo-Omani women, will carry the WINGS flag across 1,000 km of Oman’s Rub’ Al Khali, a desert in the Arabian Peninsula that spans four countries.

McGill, who spent four years as a soldier in the British Army’s Honourable Artillery Company, sees the trek is a physical journey, but also an opportunity to address stereotypes. Her goal is to encourage understanding, acceptance and respect for cultural and gender differences and identities.

We spoke to Janey to learn more about her plans for the expedition and how she anticipates her military training will help her.

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Bianca FortisComment
Women of Discovery: Q&A With Nergis Mavalvala

Nergis Mavalvala is the associate head of the Department of Physics and the Curtis and Kathleen Marble Professor of Astrophysics at MIT. She is a physicist whose research focuses on the detection of gravitational waves from violent events in the cosmos that warp and ripple the fabric of spacetime. She is part of the scientific team that in early 2016 announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors. She will receive our Air & Space Award.

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Bianca FortisComment
Women of Discovery: Q&A With Eleanor Sterling

Dr. Eleanor Sterling is the Jaffe Chief Conservation Scientist at the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History. She has interdisciplinary training in biological and social sciences and has over 30 years of field research and community outreach experience with direct application to biodiversity conservation in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Oceania. She will receive our Humanity Award.

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Women of Discovery: Q&A With Nalini Nadkarni

For three decades, Dr. Nalini Nadkarni has used mountain-climbing techniques, construction cranes, and hot air balloons to explore life in the treetops of Costa Rica and the Pacific Northwest, documenting biota that are rarely or never seen on the forest floor. She also studies the effects of forest fragmentation on biodiversity, and has published over 110 scientific articles and three scholarly books. She is a Professor of Biology at the University of Utah, and her research has been supported by over 40 grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society. She will receive our Lifetime Achievement Award.

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