Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Scientist Spotlight: Leah Harper, Marine Biologist


Meet Leah Harper, a marine biologist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. In this video, Leah describes the research she does in near-shore habitats, such as coral reefs and sea grasses, to learn how these ecosystems function. She shares what skills she finds useful, such as reading, writing, and asking questions, and also talks about her interest in science and when it really clicked for her. Leah says she has made mistakes in her work, but if she can learn from them she doesn't call them failures. She advises students to read a lot and read anything that interests you, but also spend some time outside. Paying attention to nature around you can connect you to science no matter where you are. 

About Scientist Spotlight

The videos in this series highlight personal stories of science experts at the museum, including how they became interested in science and what challenges they have overcome. The experts also offer advice for students who may be interested in pursuing a science career.

These videos aim to:

  • Help students build more personal connections to science careers
  • Help students build positive attitudes in science
  • Help students experience the topic as meaningful

See all Scientist Spotlight videos.

Resource Type
Videos and Webcasts
Grade Level
3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Careers, Life Science