Taylor and Collins, our GPS units

Johanna with Taylor the GPS (photo: Geena Z)

During the summer, we use two high-precision Topcon GPS units to map thousands of flowering Echinacea plants. Our GPS units are named Collins and Taylor, after two inspiring female scientists.

Dr. Margaret S. Collins

  • first Black woman to hold a PhD in entomology
  • researched defense mechanisms in termites
  • nicknamed the “Termite Lady”
  • civil rights activist

Dr. Marie Clark Taylor

  • first Black woman to hold a PhD in botany
  • researched photomorphogenesis, how light affects plant development and flowering phenology
  • developed high school science curriculum now used across the US
  • her curriculum promoted the use of real plants and microscopes in the classroom

Dr. Collins and Dr. Taylor were friends in real life, just like our GPS units that are often in the field together!

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