GoldieBlox teamed up with the If/Then Initiative to bring you the YouTube series Fast Forward Girls. The show follows the journey of young women as they learn about STEM in the real world by immersing themselves in it with the help of leading female innovators. In the Fast Forward Girls Spotlight, we take a moment to get to know those innovators a little bit better.
Does catching lizards all day every day sound like a blast to you? If so, Earyn McGee has your dream job! Earyn is a PhD student at the University of Arizona studying lizards and the ways that climate change impacts their populations, behaviors, and evolution.
“It’s such an awesome job that I never thought that I could do as a kid, and that’s what I love about science,” Earyn said. “You can really find and do the things that are interesting to you.”
As an African American woman in a largely non-diverse field, Earyn is strongly devoted to becoming an active mentor for young Black girls who have an interest in wildlife sciences.
“As a Black woman in wildlife, sometimes I feel like I don’t fit in because I’m the only person who looks like me in the room,” Earyn said. “It’s important for me to be a mentor and to be visible because I don’t want other Black women and girls who are coming into this field to feel that way.”
Earyn has relied upon older Black female scientists as her support system to help her navigate the field, reassure her that she could do it and that she belongs, and she wants to be that catalyst for the next wave of young scientists. Watch the spotlight below to hear from Earyn herself and don’t forget to tune in to the newest episode of Fast Forward Girls, where Earyn teaches the GEM sisters how to lasso lizards!