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Interview with Sarah Ross, February 20, 2016

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:57 - Work with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

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Partial Transcript: The previous interview ended with Sarah getting ready to leave...

Segment Synopsis: Ross describes promoting science education through numerous positions at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She emphasizes her work on communication both within and outside NOAA, and she talks about the fluctuating nature of federal funding. She discusses her transition from a costal researcher on the Georgia coast to office work in Washington DC. She also talks about the relationship between NOAA and the Department of Defense.

Keywords: Department of Education; National Weather Service; September 11 attacks; bombs; civil service; field work; leadership; nature; nuclear threat; politics

00:14:28 - Work as an innkeeper

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Partial Transcript: So it was a very anxious time, and that is when I decided I would like to have a place that I could drive to...

Segment Synopsis: Ross describes buying an inn in Sparta, North Carolina in order to have a place surrounded by nature and safe from nuclear attacks. She talks about balancing her job in D.C. as the director of the new education department and managing the inn in North Carolina, emphasizing her weekly seven hour commute. She discusses the importance of farmers and educators. She also mentions being on several governing boards including the board of the Blue Ridge Discovery Center

Keywords: Blue Ridge Parkway; gardening; hospitality; nonprofits; organic produce; small business owner

00:25:03 - Determining the future of Wormsloe

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Partial Transcript: Did you start to work at Wormsloe as the president and director at that point?

Segment Synopsis: Ross describes meeting Craig Barrow while she was on the board of the Savannah Science Museum. She discusses the museum's closure and her role in deaccessioning various collections. She talks about how Barrow hired her as a consultant to help determine the future of Wormsloe. She describes working as the director of the Sparta Teapot Museum. She also discusses being the President of the Wormsloe Foundation and creating the Wormsloe Institute for Environmental History.

Keywords: Georgia Southern University; President George W. Bush; Sonny Kamm; archeology; fly fishing; herpetology; hunting; tourism

00:35:31 - Research at Wormsloe

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Partial Transcript: You work with Arnett Mace. He makes this deal.

Segment Synopsis: Ross describes creating a plan for research at Wormsloe with the University of Georgia. She describes the main goals of Wormsloe as conservation, research, and education. She discusses creating the Wormsloe Science Advisory Council and serving as the director of the Center for Research and Education at Wormsloe. She discusses the center's focus on climate change, biodiversity, epidemiology, and water. She details her involvement in creating the infrastructure for a study on monarch butterflies.

Keywords: Arnett Mace; Georgia coast; Paul Sutter; The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); amphibians; environmental history; grants; interdisciplinary research; invasive species; migratory species; reptiles

00:48:50 - Business strategies and grandmother's life

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Partial Transcript: I wanted to switch gears a little bit if we can and sort of talk a about being a woman.

Segment Synopsis: Ross discusses owning numerous small business, crediting her success to understanding delayed gratification. She talks about working multiple jobs at a time which enabled her to pursue different career paths. She describes her work as a cooking assistant on Georgia Public Televisions's New Southern Cooking with Nathalie Dupree. She also talks about being inspired by her grandmother who became an important microbiologist in the 1930s despite rampant sexism.

Keywords: Germany; consulting; education; employment; management; mariage; woman scientists; women's rights

00:58:28 - Experience as a woman in science

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Partial Transcript: So having heard that, can you tell us about your experience being a woman?

Segment Synopsis: Ross describes seeing slow but positive change in the number of female scientists during her life. She talks about her experience of sexism at NOAA where her boss would not let her attend a graduate program because he wanted her to continue to work on various projects. She discusses how women need to demand equal rights and stand up for themselves.

Keywords: discrimination; diversity; patriarchy; women scientists; women's rights

01:04:25 - Advice for young people and cooking for education

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Partial Transcript: What would you--you have spoken to some to what I'm going to ask you--to young people?

Segment Synopsis: Ross says young people should spend time alone, be wary of media, and expose themselves to as many new experiences as possible. She talks about an upcoming dinner party where she will create a meal based on what slaves and poor sharecropper used to eat in the area. She describes the historical significance of the food she will serve, emphasizing science and historical education through cooking.

Keywords: Africa; Genetically modified organism (GMO); art; creativity; education; nutrition; slavery; television; travel