Of the dozen or so researchers who study lobsters in Maine, Diane Cowan follows the most unconventional path. By founding The Lobster Conservancy (TLC) in 1996, she has created a life that allows her to pursue her passion on her own terms. Her research lab is a six-acre lobster pound in Friendship, where she frequently dons scuba gear and spends hours watching and photographing its inhabitants. TLC engages dozens of residents in coastal communities from Massachusetts to Down East Maine in monitoring baby lobsters that can be found hiding under rocks on beaches during the lowest astronomical tides. Cowan and her volunteers spend several days each month, no matter the hour or the temperature, counting, measuring, and tagging the little crustaceans.