Turning point: Tracey Holloway
April 09, 2014
More than ten years ago, Tracey Holloway and her colleagues started what has become the 1,700-member Earth Science Women's Network. Now an air-quality and energy researcher at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Holloway is helping to turn the network into a non-profit organization.
Did you have early intentions to pursue a science career?
No. In fact, a school friend who believed that women self-select out of science made me realize that I may have been doing that. I kept an open mind and found that I liked chemistry and maths as an undergraduate more than I had as a high-school student. After my first year, I spent a summer internship at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and realized that I could use fluid dynamics to look at hurricanes, global warming and air pollution. That put me on track for a graduate degree in atmospheric sciences at Princeton University in New Jersey.
Describe the gender dynamics during your graduate experience.
When I started, there were only ten graduate students across all years. There were a couple of women in my first year, but for a while after that I was the only woman. The faculty were all men.