Dr. Nalini Nadkarni, spreading life science with Barbies and in prisons
October 21, 2019 10:18 PM   Subscribe

A slingshot and a fishing pole can get you 50-80 feet up, celebrating and exploring the last biotic frontier (NPR article and 8 minute video), just like Dr. Nalini Nadkarni, forest ecologist and a science communicator (The Evergreen State College), and her DIY (ESC) TreeTop Barbies (New York Times). When she's not in the treetops or promoting science and education to young people, she may be bringing life science to prisoners (5 minute TED Talk).

Bonus links: Dr. Nalini Nadkarni's 2009 TED Talk, Conserving the Canopy.

Dr. Nadkarni's personal website, with lots of additional articles and presentations, including a section on science in prisons.

National Geographic partnered with Mattel to present a new product line and co-branded content tied to the themes of exploration, science, storytelling and conservation, with Barbie dolls representing STEAM careers, including wildlife conservation, astrophysics, polar marine biology, wildlife photojournalism and entomology (NatGeo Partners blog).
posted by filthy light thief (5 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
That should read "A sling shot and a fishing pole."

Anyway, I couldn't find any more information on her treetop rope launcher, but the NPR video has a clip of it in action.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:21 PM on October 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:34 PM on October 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

more information on her treetop rope launcher
It's basically Bowfishing - YouTube but with a slingshot. You put a bit of weight on the end of the fishing line, lob it over a branch and let it fall back to the ground (with a bit of jiggling), then use the fishing line to pull some stronger string over the branch, then use the string to pull a stronger rope over the branch. It's a pretty common method of getting a rope high up into a tree. It wouldn't surprise me if every tree-climber has something similar.
posted by zengargoyle at 11:20 PM on October 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

She also appeared in two episodes of the Second Voyage of the Mimi!
posted by lefty lucky cat at 2:17 PM on October 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

(those episodes being the second halves of Up a Tree and In the Canopy, with a pretty comprehensive demonstration of said treetop rope launcher)
posted by lefty lucky cat at 5:38 PM on October 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

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