Staff profile: Lindsay Scott

Lindsay Scott working in the Woodwell lab

Lindsay Scott is Woodwell Climate Research Center’s lab manager and a research assistant studying river systems and promoting science outreach. She is a member of the Woods Hole Diversity Advisory Committee and Woodwell Climate’s Diversity, Inclusion Retention and Equity committee, working to identify and dissolve barriers to entry into the scientific community. Lindsay recently took on the role of COVID Safety Director, developing Woodwell Climate’s return to work policy, training staff in proper safety procedures, and ensuring the center is up-to-date on the latest case-loads and changing guidance in relation to the new virus. 

Why did you pursue a career in science?

I think it is a combination of having a science teacher as a parent (my dad), realizing I could combine my interest in the environment with my interest in scientific inquiry, and having a really supportive mentoring environment throughout undergrad. I had work study money that allowed me to intern in different lab spaces while I was in school and with that I met people and learned about research opportunities available to me. 

What questions does your research aim to answer?

I work on river systems with Dr. Max Holmes. Our projects aim to measure and show how climate change is affecting river systems globally and in our metaphorical backyard here on Cape Cod. 

What’s your biggest challenge or obstacle?  

Restarting the lab after the COVID shutdown/pause and then keeping it running with few staff on hand is a challenge because many of our instruments don’t do well when they’re idle for any period of time. Instruments that measure aqueous samples are finicky and need constant care to work properly in the best of times. We’ve also run into compounding issues – for example, I got one instrument running, then, with data from that instrument, I realized our pure water system wasn’t functioning correctly.

Even though it can be frustrating at times, I do enjoy problem solving, getting to the bottom of an issue, diagnosing the problem correctly, and fixing it. 

What brought you to Woodwell Climate?

I worked at Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) for a while, so was in the community. When my former boss (Chris Neill) moved up the road, I joined him as a Research Assistant. 

What makes Woodwell Climate special in the scientific community?

For a small institution, we consistently punch above our weight with the work we do and are involved with. For example, our efforts to expand remote sensing are outstanding.

What’s your favorite climate-related creative work (book, movie, artwork, etc.)?

In this moment in time, the first thing that comes to mind is the #ShowYourStripes project. The images show a lot of information in a simple way.