JOLANE ABRAMS majored in biology at Occidental College, in Los Angeles, and launched herself into graduate study in molecular biology at the University of Oregon. After a year, she decided bench work wasn't for her and applied to the Program. She's a black belt computer hacker and did nearly all the Web work on her story. At this writing she hasn't settled on a summer internship, but she has offers from the Palo Alto Weekly and a start-up magazine specializing in serious research in human sexuality. She's on a short list for an internship at Health, in San Francisco.

AMY ADAMS came to Santa Cruz from Cornell University, where she had just finished a master's in molecular biology. She had loved studying science at her undergraduate school--Whitman College--but cooled off on the long hours of bench work at Cornell. While at Cornell, though, she won top honors for her teaching of science, both from college students and from elementary schools in nearby Ithaca. Her gift of gab led her to decide in favor of a career in science writing.

MITZI BAKER circled Santa Cruz for some time before landing. After graduating from Johns Hopkins in behavioral biology, she visited the Program annually for the four years she worked as a lab assistant in a research laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco. She had briefly considered becoming an English major at Hopkins, and finally the siren call of writing overcame her, and she traded her lab coat for a sweater and Levi's. She returns this summer to San Francisco to intern at Health.

KEVIN BOYD graduated from U.C. Santa Barbara with a major in microbiology, then spent three years working as a research technician in laboratories at the University of California, San Francisco. While in San Francisco he wrote for the alternative press and did some volunteer work in radio broadcasting. He pursued his interest in radio further while in the Program, interning part-time at Stanford Medical Center News Office and Santa Cruz radio station KUSP. He will intern at KPFA radio in Berkeley this summer, then at National Public Radio in Washington, D.C., in the fall.

CASSANDRA FERGUSON is the only UC Santa Cruz alum in this year's class. She graduated in biology but took enough studio art courses to approach a degree in that field as well. She developed an affinity for computers, and spent much of her spare time over the past year becoming impressively proficient in the Web language, HTML. She also wrote for Fish Rap Live, the campus's fresh new alternative to its calcifying alternative weekly, City on a Hill Press. At this writing, she is weighing many alternatives for the summer.

BETH MARTIN is one of the few female cousins of rock-and-roller Jerry Lee Lewis who didn't marry him. Instead, she started college at Appalachian State University, in North Carolina, then transferred to University of Illinois, where she earned a bachelor's degree in biology and became expert in the physiology of maize and a closely related science, the home-brewing of beer. While in the Program she showed remarkable skill in writing, voicing and producing radio programs for the local NPR affiliate station, KUSP. She did similar work for a film-video production company in Monterey called Sea Studios. She has not yet settled on an internship.

BARBRA RODRIGUEZ abandoned a Monsanto Chemical Company laboratory in St. Louis to join the Program, after having spent over a decade earning first her bachelor's in biology and biology education at the University of Missouri, and then her master's in cell biology from Washington Universith in St. Louis, with a stopover at the University of Florida for a semester in plant pathology. She is one of this year's six national winners of a Kaiser Family Foundation journalism fellowship. She will spend the summer reporting on urban health care for the Dallas Morning News.

ERIK STOKSTAD circled back to the West Coast for graduate school after leaving his Berkeley home to study geology at Carleton College in Minnesota. Back in California, he earned a master's in geology at U.C. Riverside, then came straight to UCSC to start the Program. Soon afterward, having had articles appear in the magazines Earth and New Scientist (United Kingdom), he developed a taste for magazine writing. He will spend six months in London at New Scientist, as that magazine's only intern.

GRETCHEN VOGEL left Iowa for the first time (well, almost) to join the Program. A National Merit Scholar, she had graduated from Iowa State University in biochemistry and spent a summer interning in the public information office at Argonne National Laboratory, near Chicago. While in the Program she interned part-time at Stanford Medical Center News Bureau, reported on a campus demonstration (among other events) for the local daily newspaper and wrote, voiced and produced programs for the local NPR affiliate. In her spare time she learned to sail on Monterey Bay before leaving for her six-month stint as the only intern at Science magazine, in Washington, D.C.


HILAIR CHISM graduated from Mills College, in Oakland, with a bachelor's degree in biology. Before entering the Program she illustrated Essence of Love (HarperCollins, 1994) and worked as an editorial assistant in the life sciences for Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Co.

JENNIFER CHRISTIANSEN graduated from Smith College, in Northampton, MA, with a double major in geology and studio art. She has illustrated scientific papers on fossils, and she is completing an illustrated honors thesis on the Miocene stratigraphy of the Chesapeake Bay.

KATHARINE JOHNSON completed her bachelor's degree in art at Edgecliff College of Xavier University, in Cincinnati, Ohio. She studied art and science illustration at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, lectured in art and design, and worked as a technical illustrator before entering the Program.

RICHARD JONES earned a bachelor's degree in political science at Washington State University, then a second bachelor's in fine arts from the same institution. He drove sleighs in Colorado, designed posters for a liquor distributor in Boston, and worked for several years as a cook on a sailing ship out of Woods Hole, MA, during which time he kept an illustrated journal of his cruises through the Atlantic and Carribbean.

AUDRA LOYAL came to the Program straight from U.C. Davis, where she earned a bachelor' degree in zoology. While at Davis she also undertook a serious study of Celtic manuscript illumination, and at the same time honed her skills as a cartoonist.

ERIK PETERSEN completed his bachelor's degree in English literature at the University of New Hampshire. He became an illustrator by following a circuitous path. Having composed detailed drawings of natural subjects as a child, he was working many years later as a museum teacher at a small maritime museum in Portsmouth, NH, when he met a woman who was studying natural science illustration. She showed him her portfolio, and the rediscovery of his childhood enthusiasm for precise rendering soon led him back to where he had begun, and ultimately into the Program.

PORTIA ROLLINGS earned a bachelor's degree in English and psychology at the University of Colorado. She was studying graphic design at U.C. Berkeley when a friend, who knew of her interest in natural science illustration, reported seeing the Program advertised on a T-shirt. Portia will intern at the American Museum of Natural History in New York this summer.

RACHEL TAYLOR finished her bachelor's in zoology at U.C. Davis just before entering the Program. She had originally intended to become a doctor of veterinary medicine, specializing in wildlife. It was while she was in a horse's stall carving a clay sculpture of its occupant's head that she realized she was fated to become a natural science illustrator.