Monday, June 25, 2012


     I just read The Elephant Scientist by Caitlin O'Connell and Donna M. Jackson.  It's a nonfiction book about O'Connell's scientific research on elephants.  Specifically, she was hired to help solve the problem of elephants eating farmers' crops in Namibia.  Sometimes, they'll eat a whole year's worth of a family's food in a single night.  There was a major clash between local farmers and the elephants.  O'Connell and her husband not only helped solve that problem, but observed and studied many aspects of elephant life.  There is a brief biography of Caitlin O'Connell in the beginning which describes how she got interested in studying animals.  I thought it was fascinating that her father is a psychiatrist and her mother is an artist, and Caitlin credits them with introducing her to the natural world.  Her parents and teachers encouraged her from a very young age, and she was inspired to take every science course she could.  The photographs in the book are gorgeous, and the whole thing made me think of gifted girls in school, and how we as teachers and parents of gifted girls can make all the difference in whether or not they pursue their talents and dreams.  We need to recognize their passions, help them pursue them, and provide the emotional and social support they need.  They also need mentors, and books like this can inspire them.  Thank you, Caitlin O'Connor, for writing this book to show girls science is cool!

     Other books by Caitlin O'Connor:

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