Dana Campbell

Dana Campbell finished her PhD in evolutionary biology from Harvard University in 1999. Since then she has enjoyed the benefits of exploring many topics in biology as an independent scholar and at-home mom in Maryland. She spends summers with her husband and two daughters, ages 5 and 9, at the University of Washington marine biology research labs in the beautiful San Juan Islands.

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Most Recent Articles

November 9, 2011
October 19, 2011
Last August, while selling cookies and lemonade at a stand she set up with a friend, my 12-year-old daughter met a visiting Chinese scholar who overlapped with us at the marine biology station we call our summer home. The scholar was a little bit lonely. She had received a grant to do research in the US for five months, and had left her husband and teenage son in China while she traveled. Starved for conversation, she was also eager to learn English better.
October 5, 2011
Joshua Kim wrote an interesting post in his blog on Monday about voluntary part-timers.
September 14, 2011
For some unknown reason over the weekend, I felt compelled to check the electronic service that our school system uses for parents to access their children’s grades for each class. I’ve never used this before. But since my daughter just started middle school, I figured I should take a peek at this system, and I’m glad I did! I found that in fact her cumulative math grade was 42. 42% that is. Failing grade. A little panicked, I scrolled down through the assignments and realized that a big part of it was that she hadn’t handed in about half of them.
August 31, 2011
Even without the East coast’s natural disasters of the last week, which punctuated our return to routine with two days of school cancellations, this year brings a big, exciting, but nerve-wrecking adjustment for my older daughter (and thus, the rest of the family), who just started middle school. This fall is a culmination of angst that hovered over us spring and summer, as we sorted and analyzed and discussed the none-ideal options for which school to attend, finally choosing an arts magnet program she got into at a large, urban, public middle school.
August 10, 2011
Over the weekend we celebrated a milestone in our family – my husband entered his 6th decade (it’s always nice to have someone close do this before you do!). It just happened to work out that four families of old grad school friends (that’s nine biology PhDs, several of whom helped me sing the big 3-0 to my husband 20 years ago -gasp!) were able to reunion for a birthday feast/weekend together. What better way to mark the occasion!
July 27, 2011
A couple weeks ago our family got gussied up to go to an evening ball – an annual summer extravaganza our kids have never missed.
July 13, 2011
Every year the fourth grade math teacher at my daughter’s school teaches all the fourth grade students to play chess. Not part of the curriculum or required by the school, it’s just his thing that he somehow fits into lessons. Sometimes the class divides up into partners to play during class “chess time”, sometimes the teacher effectively uses this activity to occupy kids while he teaches math to small groups. And the students love it.
June 22, 2011
I’m visiting my father right now, and was lucky to have enjoyed a wonderful Father’s day with him and my husband, and my brother (for a little while, at least, via Skype): my all-time personal favorite fathers.
June 8, 2011
When the anthology Mama, PhD, was published in 2008, another anthology came at almost exactly the same time, called Motherhood: The Elephant in the Laboratory, edited by Emily Monosson. Like Mama, PhD, it contains wonderfully written personal narratives of academic mothers, albeit with a science bent. Both books examine motherhood through the lens of academics, and academia through the lens of mothers – and their simultaneous publishing reflected the huge need for discussion of this topic (still just as true now, three years after publication of these volumes).


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