Dickhut, Principal Investigator
Institute of Marine Science
Rebecca is not working, she is playing volleyball, brewing her own beer,
watching movies, and hunting for antiques. Rebecca answered these questions
in August, 2001.
are you a scientist?
like to figure out how the world works. It is challenging. One hundred
to two hundred years ago, people could be explorers. Now we explore
through science. I became interested in my special area of "contaminant
transport" because I am interested in pollution and environmental
issues. I can be called an environmental geochemist. I model the movement
of contaminants in the environment.
is an effort to understand nature and how nature works. We do that by
making observations in the environment, by making controlled experiments
to verify our observations, and by analyzing our results in the laboratory.
We are carefully peeling away the layers as we make connections between
physical and biological processes.
skills and qualities are
necessary to be a scientist?
qualities are tenacity and perseverance, because it is possible to get
frustrated when things dont work. However, we wouldnt be
on the cutting edge of research if things always worked. Other qualities
include paying attention to details, because the details can matter.
Math is always a must, and it is important to have good language skills
because it is language that we use to describe natural processes.
is most enjoyable about your job?
Its most enjoyable when you figure something outsomething
that you can explain to others. Also, there is always something new
to work on. I can always shift to new territory, to study a new ecosystem
or a new geographical area.
frustrations do you face with your job?
are still some frustrations in being a woman in science. There is still
a "glass ceiling" in some ways. VIMS is more collaborative
than most places, because there are many interdisciplinary projects.
you go out to make field observations,
what do you plan to do when you arent working?
going to be reading and listening to books on tape. I read everything
from murder mysteries to the classics. I hope it will be possible to
exercise and walk around the area.
to The Team