Summer 2019 Eggleston Lab onboard the R/V Folger. (L-R Clara Loftis ’21, Ellie Broeren ’22, Evan Fedorov ’21, Erin Eggleston) Biology professor Erin Eggleston is driving her crew of research assistants north on Route 7 toward a water-sampling site on Lake Champlain when she suddenly slows the vehicle, veers right, and says, “Red-tailed hawk.” And there it is, perched on a power line alongside the road—a large raptor, patiently surveying the surrounding fields for prey. As a molecular microbial ecologist, Eggleston more typically trains her eye on far smaller organisms. Yet her roots in observing the natural world—creatures large and very, very small—run deep. “The classic Eggleston family scenario is all of us in the car, driving on the Alaskan Highway, and just then the brakes slam on and we pull over on the side of the road because there was an owl in a branch, and did we see it? Or, there was this hawk, or that kingfisher, and ‘Did you see it?’ You stopped and you got your binoculars out and you’re just pulled over on the side of the road trying to spot the bird of the moment.” Eggleston grew up in Alaska in a family that loved hiking, rafting, cam...