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

December 3, 2008
I also read the article from The New York Times that my blogging colleague Libby Gruner referred to in her post yesterday, which discusses corporate world changes in attitude in thinking about the career ladder more as a career lattice.
November 19, 2008
My daughter came home from school with a slick science fair booklet last Friday along with a homework assignment to begin initial explorations into the topic she had chosen in class: “Do different colors of light change how plants grow?” She is excited. This is her first year doing a science fair project. I’ve never done one either, and I’m impressed at how much parents are encouraged to assist with carrying it out.
November 5, 2008
When I was in graduate school I could count on one hand (maybe even one finger) the number of graduate students I knew who had children. In my cohort (which I have blogged about before), not one of the ten of us had children before we finished, and this was true of the cohorts before and after mine in my department. I was the first in my cohort to have a baby; born 6 months after I defended my thesis.
October 15, 2008
Isn’t it funny how after you learn a new word you are suddenly aware of it being used all over the place? I feel like this happened to me with the academic career-family balance thing. Although there was general talk about balancing career and family as I went through my schooling, until recently I lived in a zone where there really was no recognition of the intricacies of balancing kids and academia; you just figured it out (or not).
September 24, 2008
These last few weeks starting kindergarten have been hard! I remember this from my older daughter too; the adjustment is painful for my kids. Every morning I cheerfully walk my daughter into her classroom, trying to dispel her tears and anxiety with light banter, and she grips my clothes to keep me next to her just a little while longer.
September 3, 2008
My baby started kindergarten last week. Well, she’s actually five, and very ready for kindergarten, but she’s my youngest. I’ve been anticipating this for months now, with some trepidation. I haven’t so much been worried about her experience; I know the school and the teachers and I know she’ll enjoy it once she settles in. But I’ve had the creeping feeling of increasing pressure as I advance towards a time when it feels harder to call myself a full-time mom.
July 30, 2008
For the last month, my family and I have been living at the Friday Harbor Laboratories, run by the University of Washington on a small island off the coast north of Seattle. Here my husband, a marine biologist, does research every summer. In fact, I’ve come to the labs most summers over the course of my life, since my dad also did research here when I was a kid, and I took classes here as a grad student.
July 23, 2008
It happened again. In a casual conversation a woman academic I just met said to me “That’s great that you’re at home. I was just not born to stay home with kids; I’d go crazy."
July 2, 2008
I started graduate school 18 years ago in September. I came into the program as one in a cohort of ten first year graduate students, all from different backgrounds and experience, sharing a passion for biology. Getting to know my classmates in this first semester and then throughout the rest of our time in grad school was a true pleasure, one of my favorite parts of grad school. In many ways, the bonds we forged together were similar to the bonds I would make with other parents (much later) when my daughter was born.
June 11, 2008
I recently read a New York Times article describing a new study put out by the Center for Work Life Policy entitled “The Athena Factor: Reversing the Brain Drain in Science, Engineering and Technology”. The study discusses the flight of women from private sector SET (Science Engineering and Technology) jobs and ways to retain these women.

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