The DNALC's multi-disciplinary staff has experience in elementary, secondary, and collegiate instruction; biochemistry and molecular biological research; computer programming; design, photography, fine arts, and interior design; science journalism; public relations and development; and opinion research.

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Elna Carrasco-Gottlieb

Middle School Educator

That dinosaur had the wrong head! But I didn't care. I was 5 years old and it was my first visit to the American Museum of Natural History in New York. I looked up in awe at the 70 foot tall "Brontosaurus" skeleton. That was the beginning of my love affair with science. It took 30 years for paleontologists to find the correct skull and rename the creature "Apatosaurus." I am still in awe when I visit him. I became fascinated with the evolution of all living things.

When I saw "Raiders of the Lost Ark" I knew that I wanted to blend science with adventure in my life. As a result my college courses were a patchwork of science and the performing arts. I sang and acted my way through Suffolk Community College and SUNY Stony Brook. In fact, I was the only actress who studied Biology, Geology, Calculus and Astronomy instead of studying my lines for the play. I received a Bachelor's degree in Earth & Space science with a Biology Concentration and my NYS Secondary Science Teaching Certification.

In my graduate studies I worked with my mentor, Dr. Catherine Forster, who is an expert in dinosauria. We related environment to predator-prey ratios on fossils from the Judith River Formation in Montana.

My search for adventure and science has led me to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's Dolan DNA Learning Center. As a Middle School educator I can combine the best of both worlds. I can explore the question "How did we get here" through the doorway of evolution. The key to this doorway is in our own DNA. What a wonderful place for me to learn the secrets of life while sharing my knowledge with the future of our world, our children!

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