Headline: She started climbing trees as a kid. Then this ecologist helped create scientist Barbie.

Nalini Nadkarni didn’t play with Barbies as a girl. She was too busy climbing the maple trees in her front yard in Bethesda, Md.The forest ecologist might seem an unlikely person to help design and promote Barbie dolls. But over the past six months, she has been inspiring girls worldwide to play with dolls that have a magnifying glass and all-terrain boots instead of tiaras and high heels.