With a degree in art from the University of Wisconsin, Dee began working as a scientific illustrator at what was then known as the Lamont Geological Observatory. She soon discovered an affinity for the transmission electron microscope (TEM), switching a few years later to the scanning electron microscope (SEM) when Lamont acquired one of the first available models. Although she has specialized in scanning electron microscopy since its inception, Dee has also worked on various lab and field projects in several of the earth sciences, to date participating on three land-based and 22 oceanographic expeditions (including eleven in the Antarctic). These expeditions have served as sources for some of her micrographs.
As Manager of Lamont's SEM/EDX Facility since 1982, Dee has had continuous access to cutting-edge research samples from institutions around the world. Using samples she has collected on her own as well as the most aesthetic and intriguing samples from this SEM-based research material, she enjoys bringing the microworld to the general public through her images and the stories they tell in the form of books and slide talks, magazine and Internet features, and gallery and science museum exhibitions from New York to Kuala Lumpur. In 1992 Dee created a permanent SEM exhibit for Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ and in 1998 she was featured in the BBC documentary "Hidden Visions"
Microscopy Society of America (MSA) New York Society of Experimental Microscopists (NYSEM) American Society of Picture Professionals (ASPP) Art and Science Collaborations, Inc. (ASCI) SEM Field Associate, Liberty Science Center Council member, New York Hall of Science
in Microspace: the Art of the Scanning Electron Microscope (Dee Breger,
Columbia University Press,1995, $41.50) In Journeys in Microspace, the
breathtaking visual intensity of the microworld has been brought out
of the laboratory and made accessible to the public. This remarkable
collection of nearly 200 images presents an intimate look at the beautiful
and surprising microscopic structures of both familiar objects and scientific
research samples that span the far reaches of time and space. The images
are described in a separate section, many in the researchers' own words.
The artistic approach of this oversized coffee-table book, which is
especially appealing to folks who are normally intimidated by science,
is an invitation to learn about the fascinating microscopic world coexisting
with the one we live in. Available from bookstores, the publisher, or
online at http://www.amazon.com/exec/odos/ASIN/0231082525
Through the Electronic Looking Glass: 3-D Images from a Scanning Electron Microscope (Dee Breger, Cygnus Graphic, 1995, $19.95) Stereoscopy is the only way details of the microworld can be seen in their full three-dimensional contexts. In this unique book, thirty full-page scanning electron micrographs are presented in anaglyph format that jump from the page when viewed through one of the two included pairs of red/blue glasses. The images cover a wide range of subject matter that includes familiar objects as well as specimens from cutting-edge research in many disciplines. Background information about microscopes includes an illustrated section showing how SEM samples are prepared. Each anaglyph is accompanied by an explanatory paragraph. Available in English and German versions by mail from Cygnus Graphic, PO Box 32461, Phoenix AZ, USA; phone and fax 602/279-7658. For further information about the world of 3-D, visit http://www.3d-web.com.
Dee's slide presentations offer a riveting hour of images from her books and the research projects that are brought to Lamont's SEM lab. As the slides are projected, she tells their fascinating and entertaining stories - explaining how minerals are formed when continents split apart, why bugs have compound eyes, how a thistle inspired the invention of Velcro, how white blood cells fight disease, and more. Many of the images tell rarer stories of ancient volcanic eruptions, cosmic collisions with Earth, 2000-year-old trees still living in the Tasmanian rainforest and the discovery of the first known microdinosaur tooth. After the presentation, Dee meets with the audience to show and discuss the original samples she has brought along to demonstrate sample preparation techniques. Dee also brings her unique view of the microworld to school children in the form of assembly programs, science fair displays and hands-on fun.