While attending the Ohio State University Terry Tickhill Terrell was a member of the first team of women to visit the South Pole in 1969. She received a B.S. in Botany from Ohio State in 1971, and a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Georgia in 1976. She was an Assistant Professor of Botany at the University of Wyoming for two years before embarking on a full-time research career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). She performed research on the effects of various types of energy development on aquatic ecosystems, and subsequently supervised numerous research programs including twenty-one of the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units, two different research laboratories, and a budget and policy office for all the FWS research activities. She was instrumental in the creation of the National Biological Survey within the Department of Interior and functioned as the Acting Associate Director for Research for that Agency until transferring back to FWS as Deputy Director of the Mountain-Prairie Region. In 2000 she moved to the National Park Service to create a new program to encourage and manage research in Rocky Mountain National Park. There she was able to increase research activities by 100% and to show $4 research value for every $1 invested by the park. In retirement she is pursuing various lines of quilt history research. She has given numerous presentations on textile history to a variety of professional groups, published several articles, and created the Floral Motifs on Early Chintz website (flowersonchintz.com).