At 70, Sonoma State University graduate biology student Nicole Karres doesn't need another career. But in 1996 her natural curiosity got the best of her, and after careers in the medical corps in the Army and as a graphic designer at a fortune 500 company, she started what would be a 20-year journey to both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in a field of study that was brand new to her.
Particularly grateful are the jarred fish, amphibian and reptile specimens she has taken to cleaning and re-preserving for future researchers like herself.
Karres noticed the school's ichthyology collection was in need of some TLC, and took it upon herself to clean up the specimens, some of which were being eaten away by bacteria in cloudy, yellowing liquid. The simplest solution turned out to be the best: wash the specimens in antibacterial Dawn dish soap.