(CNN)Illustrator Candace Jean Andersen was doing some research for a children's book on orcas when she stumbled into a mystery.
In an old article, she discovered a photo of scientists at the 1971 International Conference on the Biology of Whales in Virginia. And she noticed something: Amid the sea of male faces -- 37 of them -- was a lone woman, her face partially obscured.
The article named all the men, but the African-American woman was listed as "not identified."
"Not identified, why? Who is she? What did she contribute to the conference? What's HER story?" Andersen wondered.
She put down her picture book project and started looking.