Kelly Benoit-Bird: Sounding the Deep
Associate professor, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University. Age: 34
When her cell phone rang at 7:30 one morning last September, marine scientist Kelly Benoit-Bird eyeballed the caller ID and decided it was a prank or a wrong number. Seven months pregnant and in desperate need of some quality shut-eye, she turned over and went back to sleep. But when the phone rang again half an hour later, she relented, picked up, and croaked a groggy hello. The Oregon State University [OSU] faculty member had let the first call from the MacArthur Foundation go to voicemail. As Benoit-Bird listened, she learned she had won one of the foundation’s coveted “genius grants.”
METHOD: Benoit-Bird was told that she had been selected as a MacArthur Fellow because of her use of innovative acoustic gadgets to paint a dynamic picture of the inner...