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This Just In! New Scientist Collector Cards

We have a new batch of scientist and engineer cards joining our collection! We love featuring the huge variety of people and careers in the Forest Service. Learn about how they got interested in their work, some of their most exciting projects, and the important skills and tools they need to do their jobs.

Laurel Haavik, Forest Entomologist

Dr. Haavik started out studying graphic design in college but “immediately discovered [she] would rather be working outdoors and striving to better understand how the natural world works.” Now she studies insects that damage trees, like “an unexpected outbreak of a wood-boring insect that killed a huge number of red oak trees in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.”

  • Ph.D., University of Arkansas
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A forest entomologist studies the habits of insects that live in forests.
PDF preview of the front of Laurel Haavik's collector card featuring Dr. Haavik scraping bark from a tree trunk with an axe.

Monika Derrien, Social Scientist

Dr. Derrien’s tools of the trade usually fit in her backpack – a computer, phone, notebook, and pen. She uses these tools to learn about people and how they interact with nature. In one of her most exciting projects, she “worked with a youth corps program in Seattle to collect moss growing on street trees to understand areas of potentially poor air quality.”

Look for her research in an upcoming Natural Inquirer monograph!


  • Ph.D., University of Vermont
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A social scientist studies interactions among individuals, groups, and societies.
PDF preview of the front of Monika Derrien's collector card showing Dr. Derrien standing outside in a park.

Nathan Havill, Molecular Ecologist

His interest in science began when he was young and competed with a friend over who had the best insect collection. Now, Dr. Havill uses genetic data to study how species interact. In one project, he used DNA extracted from insects to determine exactly where the hemlock woolly adelgid (an invasive pest) came from. With that information, he tries to determine if “predators that feed on it where it came from [could] be brought here to get it under control.”


  • Ph.D., Yale University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As a molecular ecologist, I use genetic data to study how species interact, including how introduced species move around the world.
PDF preview of the front of Nathan Havill's collector card featuring Dr. Havill working at a microscope.

Emilee Poole, Entomologist

Dr. Poole uses nets and simple funnel traps, and sometimes even bucket trucks that lift her 40 feet in the air, to collect insects for her research. One of those projects is determining why sugarberry trees (Celtis laevigata) are dying throughout the Southeast. She “looks at a variety of factors, like insect damage, diseases, location, and climate changes” to come up with answers and possible solutions.

  • Ph.D., University of Georgia
  • USDA Forest Service scientist
  • As an entomologist, I’m interested in the interactions between plants and insects. I study forest health by looking at native and invasive pests, their impact on our forests, and potential management strategies.
PDF preview of the front of Emilee Poole's collector card showing Dr. Poole in a hard hat in the bucket of bucket truck high above the tree line.

Doug Booher, Ecologist, Entomologist, and Evolutionary Biologist

A scientist of varied expertise, Dr. Booher focuses primarily on the important functions of native ants in ecosystems as well as the impacts of invasive species. He says that “naming new species is one of the parts of [his] research [he] really love[s].” In fact, he recently worked on a project to involve students in the naming of a new ant species, and Natural Inquirer got to help!

  • Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
  • USDA Forest Service scientist
  • As an ecologist and an entomologist, I study the functional importance native ants provide to ecosystems and the impacts invasive species have on native ant communities. As a taxonomist, I describe new ant species.
PDF preview of Doug Booher's collector card featuring Dr. Booher in the field.

Karen Dillman, Lichenologist

Another scientist who discovers new species, Karen Dillman specializes in the study of lichens. She explains, “Lichens are actually made up of more than one organism, but the main partners are fungi and algae.” Besides discovering new species of lichen, Ms. Dillman also studies how air quality may be impacting sensitive organisms like lichen.


  • M.S., Arizona State University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A lichenologist is someone who studies lichens in their natural habitat.
PDF preview of the front of Karen Dillman's collector card featuring Ms. Dillman in a forest examining a lichen sample with a magnifier.

Wondering how to use our collector cards?

We have a lesson plan for that! Design your own scientist, engineer, or career card. Play a game of Go Fish! or Stealing Bundles. Use them for a career study in your classroom.

PDF Preview of the Stealing Bundles Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan – Stealing Bundles

PDF Preview of the Go Fish Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan – Go Fish!

PDF Preview of the Make A Scientist or Engineer Card Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan – Make A Scientist or Engineer Card

PDF Preview of the Career Study Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan – Career Study

Nissa McKinney stands outside next to a wooden walkway.

Nissa McKinney

I am a science writer for Natural Inquirer. I work with scientists to translate their research into language that’s easy for students to understand. I used to be a high school English teacher, so I love getting to connect with...