Following In Darwin's Footsteps

What motivates young people to become scientists?

We’re going along with Mari Jaramillo and Samoa Asigau, two young women scientists from opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean, whose professional aspirations have taken them to the Galapagos Islands.

Following in Darwin’s Footsteps will profile these dynamic UMSL graduate students as they venture to the islands made famous by Charles Darwin himself. Their research will focus on a type of avian malaria threatening native bird populations on the islands.

Our science reporter Véronique LaCapra will join them on their trip and will share her observations along the way.

(This project is part of the STEM Story Project -- distributed by PRX and made possible with funds from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation)

Following In Darwin's Footsteps
5:00 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Two Young Women Scientists From UMSL Forge Their Futures In The Galapagos

Maricruz Jaramillo (standing) and Samoa Asigau wait for their ride back to the Charles Darwin Research Station after an early morning of catching birds in an agricultural area on Santa Cruz Island.
(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

Charles Darwin revolutionized science. His theory of evolution was based on careful observations of birds and other wildlife in places like the Galapagos Islands.

One thing that has been really slow to evolve is the gender mix in science. Men still dominate many scientific fields, just like they did in Darwin’s day, more than 150 years ago.

But gradually, more women are breaking in.

I met up with two young women scientists in ― where else? ― the Galapagos. Here are their stories.

Maricruz Jaramillo fulfills a dream

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St. Louis on the Air
4:54 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

She’s Back! Following Up On ‘Following In Darwin’s Footsteps’

St. Louis Public Radio's Véronique LaCapra reports from the Galapagos Islands
St. Louis Public Radio

Last month, St. Louis Public Radio's science reporter Véronique LaCapra set off on a trip to the Galapagos Islands.

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Science
11:44 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Let's Play Name That Sound... Of The Galapagos

A Galapagos mockingbird.
Credit (Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

Our Véronique LaCapra's trip to the Galapagos Islands has allowed her to see - and hear - things she's never experienced before. Play a little game with us, will you?

This Galapagos mockingbird is pretty good at mimicking other things...

But it's not good enough to make these sounds:

What IS making those grumbling, crunching sounds (nevermind the birds)? And how about that "burp!"

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Special Projects / St. Louis on the Air
4:38 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

To The Galapagos! 'Following In Darwin's Footsteps' Begins

St. Louis Public Radio's science reporter Véronique LaCapra.
(St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis Public Radio's science reporter Véronique LaCapra sets off this week on a trip to the Galapagos Islands.

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