An Interview with Sheril Kirshenbaum of The Intersection


This time around we're talking to marine biologist, band chick and political junkie Sheril Kirshenbaum, Chris Mooney's new co-blogger at The Intersection.

What's your name?
Sheril Rose Kirshenbaum

What do you do when you're not blogging?
Sometimes marine biology. Other times, I make the rounds on Cap Hill. I love music and play drums in a girl band. I also love riding my bike, reading everything, singing, painting, daydreaming, wandering the wilds of South Africa lately, and getting into mischief in North Carolina with friends.

What is your blog called?
The Intersection

What's up with that name?
Chris named it. Though ironically, my own blog had been called The Nexus. Go figure. Kindred spirits I guess.

How long have you been blogging, anyway?
Since November 7, 2006. I promised my students I'd begin writing if the Dems took the House and Senate.

Where are you from and where do you live now?

I'm from Rockland County, NY and have spent time in MA, ME, and DC. Now I live in Durham, NC. About time to try the west coast I think.

Would you describe yourself as a working scientist?
It's one of many hats at the moment.

Any degrees or work experiences you'd like to mention?
A couple MS degrees in marine biology and marine policy. A year in Senator Bill Nelson's office (D-FL) working on environmental policy. Some time at the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History, The Nature Conservancy, and field work around the tropics. I've been extremely lucky to have had some amazing opportunities.

Still, it's life experience that has taught me the most important stuff.

What are your main academic interests, in or out of your field?
Astrobiology, Paleontology, Marine Biology, Ornithology, Anthropology, Conservation, Sociology, Primatology, Classical Literature and History, and on and on...I'm a generalist.

Last book you read?
Reading two at the moment:
Saving Fish From Drowning, by Amy Tan.
Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates, by Tom Robbins.

What is your idea of a perfect day?
A hammock and a breezy, sunny summer day in Maine. The company of good friends and fine food. Books. Music. A bike ride perhaps.

What's your greatest habitual annoyance?
Gosh this feels like a advertisement. I'm not sure, I'll get back to you.

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
Achilles of the Iliad, and Amanda of Another Roadside Attraction. (I aspire to lead the life of a Tom Robbins protagonist.)

Your favorite heroes in real life?
Seth Kirshenbaum (my big brother). He's an educator working toward social justice. He motivates people to actively engage in improving our world by fostering community. Seth inspires me every day.

What's your most marked characteristic?
I'm fiercely independent.

What's your fatal flaw?
I take a lot of risks. May be too much dopamine courses through my blood?

Who are your favorite writers?
Vonnegut, Homer, Robbins

What would you like to be?
An astronaut.


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