SciMath Career #1, Illustrator Picture Framer

Dinah Bowman is a professional artist and an illustrator here on board the JR who specializes in all things natural and biological. As a child, she dreamed of making a living doing what she loves to do: Art! She has also always loved the ocean and the marine sciences but decided in graduate school that her heart belonged in the colors and imagination of painting and printing. Today, she combines all her loves into a career painting scenes and animals from the ocean for those who love the marine sciences as much as she does! AND she gets to fulfill her lifelong dream of witnessing real oceanography research with the cutting edge science crew aboard the JR.

You wouldn’t think that art requires science but it does! Dinah’s beautiful artwork is often commissioned by museums, natural history societies and universities who are interested in communicating concepts in biology to non-scientists – concepts such as ancient environments and the animals that lived in it, or bacteria that live in the ocean, or the shape, texture and color of fish. In order to paint what the biologists and naturalists want her to paint, she needs to know the terminology – in other words, she needs to speak the scientific language. To paint an animal and it’s habitat, Dinah also needs to be familiar with the anatomy, the environment and the habits of the animal. Or else, she loses the job! Eeek!

She also uses math on a daily basis. She owns and operates a business that frames pictures. On any given day, she is reading rulers, measuring lengths, adding and subtracting fractions, measuring angles and adding and subtracting decimals. Framing pictures would be impossible if you couldn’t measure the size of the picture and you would not be able to make a frame for a 6-sided art piece if you couldn’t measure angles! Dinah also uses air tools that require her to be able to calculate air pressure. Can you imagine where Dinah would be if she didn’t know math?! Out of a job, for sure!

So far, Dinah has made over 20 illustrations of our coring, corking and sampling operations aboard the JOIDES Resolution. Here is only one example of her beautiful work. In this example, our drill bit is shown chewing up the rock disturbing the homes of the bacteria that live in the rock under the ocean. This and other illustrations help you and others back home understand what exactly we’re doing out here on a boat in the middle of the ocean. Without her math and science though, she would never have been a professional science illustrator and she would not have had the opportunity to live her dream and be with us today. Good thing she studied her math and science! Go Dinah!


Editor’s Note:  Amanda is also blogging at , but we liked these career profiles so much that we asked if we could use them here on the JR page!

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