Outwardly, there was nothing out of the ordinary as the faculty members took their seats that afternoon. It was a routine meeting for 13 members of the biology department of The University of Alabama in Huntsville. But there would be an unexpected and horrific item added to the meeting agenda for February 12, 2010.
Chairing the departmental meeting in Room 369 of the university’s Shelby Center for Science and Technology was noted academic Gopi Podila, a plant biologist. Sitting next to him, closest to the door, was biology professor Amy Bishop. Other attendees included Debra Moriarity, a biochemist, and two other biology professors, Maria Ragland Davis and Adriel D. Johnson, Sr. But of the learned professionals gathered together in that room, only one could have had any prior knowledge of the cataclysm about to engulf them.
The then 44-year-old mother of four Amy Bishop came from a comfortable background. She was born in 1965 to a university tutor father, Sam, and cartoonist mother, Judy, in Iowa City. The family moved to Braintree, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts, in 1968. It was here that Bishop was raised, along with her beloved little brother, Seth, who arrived that same year.