I could not have imagined when I entered the PhD program in anthropology at the University of California, Davis in 1973 that I would spend my career working as an anthropologist in Silicon Valley. I have always liked technology and did well in math and science, but to work alongside physicists, chemists, mathematicians, computer scientists, and engineers for the better part of 40 years—really!
Roxana Wales, recently retired, is a respected corporate ethnographer and research scientist. She was one of the first anthropologists to begin working on corporate ethnographic projects and she has many great stories to tell. This is her prized “anthropological moment,” about being invited to join a NASA team attempting to send a robot to Mars to search for signs and evidence of the existence of past water.