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Emily Graslie
Emily Graslie.jpg
Emily Graslie in April 2013
BornJune 14, 1989
Rapid City, SD
EducationBachelor's Degree in Studio Art from University of Montana
OccupationChief Curiosity Correspondent at the Field Museum

Emily Graslie is an American science communicator and YouTube educator. She started volunteering at the Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum at the University of Montana in 2011. After appearing in a VlogBrothers video by Hank Green in 2012, she was asked to join the Nerdfighter network. She currently stars in her own educational YouTube channel called "The Brain Scoop." Graslie is now employed by the Field Museum as their first-ever Chief Curiosity Correspondent.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Ask Emily! #15
  • ✪ Emily's Recommended Reading!
  • ✪ Where My Ladies At?


Hey, we're gonna do an ask Emily video where you ask questions and I provide some answers it's fairly straightforward Let's go Old wolf at one wolf to love asked on Twitter Hi, Emily will museums purchase items such as fossils or historical items from private collectors? Or do they rely solely on? Donated artifacts and the answer is it's a little bit of both Various collections in the museum will accept donations if the provenance of that material is sound Provenance is just a fancy way of saying that the item or specimen has a verifiable record and was obtained legally Just recently Jochen and Martin from the invertebrate zoology collection went down to Muncie, Indiana to pick up a huge shell collection of more than 18,000 seashells that were amassed by the late, dr Byron G torte Who was a longtime faculty member at Ball State University and a huge fan of shells his widow Sally? Donated the collection to the Field Museum where they will be studied and cared for in perpetuity But sometimes we do purchase items for the collection too last year a field museum trustee went to an auction and picked up an original Pancake camera the very style that was invented by the fields first chief Taxidermist Carl Akeley akley obsessed with making his taxidermy mounts as lifelike as possible Invented one of the first motion picture cameras in order to document Animals and study their movements and forms more closely and since akley has such a history at the Field Museum it made sense that we had one of his cameras Marcus at Candy candy, and I don't know how to pronounce that ten Ask got any info on Sue's new sweet that the general public doesn't know. Oh Definitely we relocated to last year and you wouldn't believe what happened during the move It was wild. Just kidding Sue was carefully dismantled in the fields main hall and reassembled in their own gallery space last year Some updates were made to the skeletons pose and we threw on Suzy Australia aka belly ribs Because it took researchers a few years to figure out how they were supposed to fit on the body Unless you're paying really close attention You might just miss one of my favorite details from the new sue exhibit in the video that plays on the screens in the back Of the exhibit sue poops Okay, did you see it? Do you have any idea how many meetings they must have had to discuss the details of that pooping seen many many Anyway, yeah Come see sue they look super good and also super scary Erin Ambrose eonni at Erin Ambrosio knee asks my kids six years old is wondering how the researchers figured out the age of Sue the t-rex when they died, so scientists can figure out the age of a dinosaur and many other Vertebrates by carefully looking at their bones as you age and grow your body puts down new layers of bone And these layers can be counted when you cut a cross-section of that bone just like looking at tree rings This field of research is called Ontogeny and it's the study of an organism's development. So it was thought that Sue was about 28 years old when they died Juan, perez at gets some marines asks, what are the chances of an interview with? Sue the t-rex? I'd love to see my two favorite field museum residents in the same video We are here in the griffin dinosaur experience at the Field Museum interviewing sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex is the largest most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found excavated outside of faith' South Dakota where my family happens to also have a ranch with cows on it and I'm here to interview Sue about what it's how the hell they're feeling about being in their new posh space and their in their their humble abode Sue, what? What do you what do you think? That's right so you can't respond because they're incredibly dead Kevin Bakken stands I'm sorry, Kevin zoo renegade asks, what animal would you most like to dissect on camera? I want to know what the inside of a platypus looks like. They're so bizarre that in 1799 when George Shaw at the British Museum was writing up a description of a platypus that had been sent to Europe He was fairly certain it was a hoax saying quote It naturally excites the idea of some deceptive preparation by artificial means, you know I would have really loved to have been there when Shaw was writing up the description for this thing There was no literature to consult no images or artwork just a dude in a museum in England with this bizarre Dried animal skin from a place he had never visited It's like the 18th century version of looking at an image today and trying to figure out if it's photoshopped or not like the first Time someone sent me a photo of a lobster moth caterpillar I thought it was faked someone who works in the insect division told me for sure It was photoshopped, but it's not Lobster moth caterpillars are real and they're weird and they don't even look like lobsters cheyanne Schneider chase sure asks I started prepping. I'm a university's Museum and I'm getting really frustrated I'm constantly worried about messing up and I feel like my work will never be as good as the curators Did you ever feel like this and how long did it take you to gain confidence in your preps? Of course, I felt like this it's normal to struggle in the beginning You're learning a new thing that requires a really unusual set of skills Plus there are sometimes weird smells and the squishy insides of an animal can be kind of gross at first There's a lot going on but it does get easier over time with practice When I was in art school I remember complaining to my friend Lewis that I was unhappy with my paintings and couldn't wait to get better and he asked me how many paintings have you done in your lifetime and I realized it was probably less than 100 and honestly probably less than 50 at that point feeling secure in something takes time and Repetition, but it might help for you to document your progress So you could keep a journal and write down one new thing You've learned that day and in a few months, you'll be amazed by all of these little incremental victories I believe in you Kevin gets a twofer in this episode Kevin at Zoo renegade asks there have been a lot of alarming messages about worrisome decline in insect populations what can museums do to help combat this crisis in the last few years there have been a number of not just Alarming but hyper alarming reports and studies that indicate insect populations have plummeted in the last 40 years Sometimes by as much as 60 or 75 percent of overall biomass a recent report from the journal Biological Conservation estimates that 40% of all insect species are threatened with extinction over the next few decades Museums and their collections offer a baseline for historic distributions of many animal groups including insects So entomologist and ecologist consult these collections to verify where certain species have been collected in the past To see if those distribution ranges are changing in other words If the insect in question can still be found in a region where they were collected five or ten or 50 years ago But it's really up to policy makers to help enact some major change here Many of these population declines are thought to be caused by an overuse of pesticides and unsustainable agricultural practices and environmental pollution So you as a voter and a citizen can and should hold your elected officials accountable And vote to elect those representatives that care about environmental policy in the mean time You can help by creating habitats that are friendly to insects like planting native gardens You can support nature centers in your community and help educate your friends and family on why insects are not only super cool animals But of vital importance to any habitat, they're the foundation on which biodiversity thrives We need insects Persie at John Percy asks What are the best ways to support your local and national museums if you can you should visit them? Participate in their programs and go to their events many museums make budget Projections for the coming year based on the attendance and revenue gained from the previous year So if a museum gets extra foot traffic one year, they might expect the same traffic the next year But if there are fewer visitors, then programs departments and people can get cut if you can't visit a museum You can also support their work by following and interacting with them on social media or visiting their website Because digital traffic like foot traffic is often measured year after year as well So not only can you feel good about filling your social media feeds with fun facts neat stories and mind-blowing specimens But you're helping to support the museum - or if you can just give us money techno plasm aka Lucy McMillan asks Do you ever find it hard to stay positive about nature in natural history when we are witnessing habitat degradation And animal extinctions at the hands of humans. Yes, of course, I struggle Some days are really hard and on those days I stay home and watch the birds that come to buy bird feeders all day every single day of my life I learned something new and fascinating that makes me legitimately fall in love with earth all over again Whether it's researching lobster moth caterpillars or how platypuses secrete milk right out of their skin or how scientists figure out how to age Dinosaurs and all of this information brings me joy but it also sometimes brings me sadness to know that there are people who do not appreciate this information or find joy in learning about platypus lactation But what makes me really happy is to share this wonder and I hope that it helps others who didn't know they cared about this Stuff to care too because learning about something is the first step in caring for that thing So when you watch our videos or share cool facts with me on Twitter or leave a comment about something that you learned that brings Me hope and keeps me positive. Thanks to everybody who sent in questions Sorry if I didn't get to yours But feel free to leave one in the comments below and I will try to get to your questions The next couple of weeks. We have some pretty exciting videos that are coming out and then we are going to revisit a Place very close to my heart pretty soon. And that's all I'm gonna say about it. But also Michael around it might be involved Oh gee brain, scoop fans are gonna be super jazzed. That's what I'm saying. Okay. Anyway, I've said too much. Thanks for watching. Bye So has brains on it



Graslie earned her bachelor's degree in Studio Art from the University of Montana in 2011. As a part of that program, she interned at the Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum in her senior year.[1] Graslie became a full-time curatorial volunteer after she graduated, while working on her master's degree in museum studies. She cleaned new specimens, gave tours, trained new interns, and acted as a teaching assistant for a class at the University of Montana.[2]

In June 2013, Graslie was hired by Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History to become their 'Chief Curiosity Correspondent'.[3] She continues to host "The Brain Scoop" from this new location.[4] She was the keynote speaker at the Chicago March for Science on April 22, 2017.[5][6] In 2019, the Graslie Curiosity Internship was named in her honor.[7]


Graslie first appeared on YouTube in Hank Green's December 7, 2012 VlogBrothers video.[8] In the video, she showed Green a wide variety of the specimens in the lab. Because of her ease in front of the camera, enthusiasm, and fan comments, Graslie was asked to create her own YouTube channel, "The Brain Scoop", as a part of the Nerdfighter family.[9] The series debuted in January 2013. Her work on the series has been described by journalists as "articulate and hilarious" as well as enthusiastic.[1][10]

Her November 27, 2013 video, which addressed the situation of women in STEM fields and inappropriate comments she received on her own postings, received a high level of media attention.[11][12] In January 2014, Amy Wallace, another science journalist, wrote an article about how science journalists can find themselves the target of ugly personal attacks, and the attacks on female journalists include criticisms of their sexual attractiveness, and their sexual morality.[13] Wallace included Graslie when she listed half a dozen fellow female science journalists whose reasonable, science-based articles on controversial topics had triggered crude abusive backlashes.

In 2014, her channel "The Brain Scoop" was listed on New Media Rockstars Top 100 Channels, ranked at #96.[14]

In 2016, she documented the efforts to help the recovery of the Kankakee mallow, an endangered species that is endemic to Illinois.[15] As the only floral species that is only found in that state, she has started an effort to make it the official Illinois state flower, proposing that it replace the more generic Violet.[16]

Prehistoric Road Trip

In May 2019, Graslie announced that she would be producing and hosting a 3-hour series, on paleontology in the American Midwest, for PBS and WTTW; filming will take place throughout 2019.[17] Its title, Prehistoric Road Trip, and a summer 2020 airdate were announced in July 2019.[18]

Species named in Graslie's honor

In recognition of her science education efforts, a butterfly species, Wahydra graslieae, was named in her honor.[19] The species is a grass skipper discovered in Ecuador.

Andy Warren, senior collections manager of the Florida Museum of Natural History’s McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, said "We thought that after spending years explaining why specimens are important and bringing natural history collections to the attention of the public, Emily was definitely someone who should have a bug named after her."[19]


  1. ^ a b Waters, Hannah (2013). "A Hilarious Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Montana's Natural History Museum". Scientific American. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  2. ^ Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum (2013). "Staff". University of Montana. Archived from the original on December 1, 2012. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  3. ^ "How I Became a Museum's Curiosity Correspondent". Cosmopolitan. July 28, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  4. ^ "Field Museum Hires Popular YouTube Personality". The Field Museum. June 3, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
  5. ^ "March for Science Chicago Announces Keynote Speaker: Emily Graslie". March for Science Chicago. Medium. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  6. ^ "Emily Graslie Speaks at March for Science Chicago". March for Science Chicago. Medium. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  7. ^ "Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum". Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  8. ^ Green, Hank (2012a). "Thoughts from Dead Animals". VlogBrothers. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  9. ^ Green, Hank (2012b). "Meet the Team: The Missoula Office (And P4A and TheBrainScoop)". VlogBrothers. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  10. ^ Polo, Susana (2013). "New Webseries Alert: The Brain Scoop". The Mary Sue. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  11. ^ Krulwich, Robert (2013a). "Science Reporter Emily Graslie Reads Her Mail — And It's Not So Nice". Krulwich Wonders. NPR. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  12. ^ Esposito, Stefano (December 4, 2013). "Field Museum science show host airs her frustration about sexist comments". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  13. ^ Amy Wallace (January 19, 2014). "Life as a Female Journalist: Hot or Not". New York Times. p. A17. Retrieved January 20, 2014. She wondered whether this kind of sexualized feedback could explain why there weren’t more women doing what she does: reporting on the so-called STEM topics of science, technology, engineering and math.
  14. ^ "The NMR Top 100 YouTube Channels: 100 – 76!". New Media Rockstars.
  15. ^ Graslie, Emily. "This flower only grows in the wild on a single tiny island... in Illinois". The Brain Scoop. YouTube. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
  16. ^ Graslie, Emily. "Campaigning for CHANGE! Don't be Shallow - Vote for Mallow". The Brain Scoop. YouTube. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
  17. ^ Graslie, Emily. "I'm Making a TV Show!!". The Brain Scoop. YouTube. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  18. ^ Hautzinger, Daniel. "PBS Announces a New, National WTTW Series, 'Prehistoric Road Trip'". Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  19. ^ a b van Hoose, Natalie. "New butterfly species named for Field Museum's Emily Graslie". Florida Museum. Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida. Archived from the original on March 9, 2018. Retrieved March 10, 2018.

Further reading

  • "Current Biography, Vol. 79, No. 11, Nov 2018, pg.37-40". Current Biography. 79 (11): 37–40. November 2018.


External links

This page was last edited on 6 November 2019, at 18:49
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