Susan D. Shaw is an environmental scientist, author, and photographer. Her dual training in photography and in public health and environmental toxicology culminated in her writing the acclaimed first edition of Overexposure. Growing up in Texas, Shaw was always fascinated by languages. Whenever the opportunity arose, she traveled as an exchange student to Europe in high school and later as a Fullbright scholar to Latin America. "I always wanted to reach out to people in other parts of the world," she says. A self-described "person who asks questions" and is "interested in everything," Shaw says she loves to tackle difficult and complex problems. She sees life from the perspective of her early training as a high diver. "You practice, build your concentration, and then there is the moment when you have to take the leap," she explains. Shaw has traveled a varied career path since graduating from the University of Texas in 1967 with a bachelor's degree in comparative languages and literature. While in college, she won a Fullbright to attend the University of Chile in Santiago, but while she was there the University closed down. As a result she traveled extensively and found herself becoming interested in the health issues faced by the developing country. In Latin America, photography soon became another language for Shaw. Her interest in documentary and film led her to pursue an M.F.A. in film at Columbia University's School of the Arts. While working as a documentary filmmaker, she remained interested in public health and nutrition issues. As a photographer, she grew concerned about the effects chemicals used in photographic developing can have on a photographer's health. Eventually she re-enrolled at Columbia, this time earning a master's degree in public health with a focus in environmental science and nutrition. Shaw's dual background got the attention of Ansel Adams, whose organization funded her to write a book about poisons faced by photographers in film development chemicals and processes. Shaw then entered clinical practice as a nutritionist in New York, but found herself drawn more to research and the study of how nutrition and the environment affect health and the body's immune system. As a result, she was awarded a fellowship and went on to study immunology at New York University's Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Studies. That same year she was accepted as a doctoral candidate in environmental sciences and immunotoxicology at Columbia University's School of Public Health. As executive director of the Marine Environmental Research Institute (MERI), Shaw is still reaching out to other parts of the globe, this time to bring scientists and environmentalists from all over the world together to find out just what is killing the earth's marine mammals. nbsp;
Monona Rossol has been a chemist, artist, and industrial hygienist, specializing in visual and performing arts hazards for more than thirty years. She is the founder of Arts, Crafts, and Theater Safety (ACTS), a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to providing health and safety services to the arts. She lives in New York City.