Becca with two of the women who’ve been inspiring her her whole life–her mom and sister. Courtesy Becca Robbins Gisclair.
In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating stand out #WomeninConservation all week long. Here, Becca Robbins Gisclair, Associate Director of our Arctic Programs, reflects on the women who have inspired her throughout her career. Check back every day for new blogs, and don’t forget to join our Twitter chat on Wednesday, March 8th at 1 pm EST!
The title is a bit misleading because the list of women in conservation who inspire me is a long one. I have had the good fortune of working with a large tribe of inspiring women throughout my career in the non-profit, conservation and Alaska Native communities. In fact, throughout my life I’ve been surrounded with strong and inspiring women, including my two grandmothers, my mother and sister and countless friends.
In honor of International Women’s Day, here are a few who rise to the top of my list:
Our blog series on the lesser known (but just as cool) species of the Arctic continues with Arctic copepods. Read our other blogs from the series: polar cod and brittle stars.
I’ve always loved ribbon seals, narwhals and ringed seals to name a few cute Arctic creatures. While these beautiful animals get all the glory, they wouldn’t be around for these important little guys at the base of the food chain: meet the copepod!
“Copepod” means oar-footed, and that is how these aquatic crustaceans, often called “insects of the sea” move around. They use their four to five pairs of legs as well as their mouth and tail to swim. In the Arctic, copepods live on the seafloor, in the water column and on the sea ice. In the water column, there are more copepods than any other multi-cellular organism.
Copepods come in many forms—some are filter feeders, some are predators. Copepods have two major life forms and grow by shedding their shell. They go through 12 stages after hatching—that’s a lot of wardrobe changes! By our standards, copepods are tiny, measuring in at 0.3 to 2cm long at full size.