The daughter of German emigrants, Tina Segler was born in Los Angeles and raised in the suburb of Westchester. Her father, an electrician, was a foreman during the construction of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, and as a young girl she attended the Museum's opening celebration for staff in 1974. She recalls looking at the long reflecting pool in the Museum's peristyle garden and wondering why it was constructed without a deep end. She has fond memories of watching artisans painting the flowers and birds that adorn the outside walls of the tearoom.
After high school, where her studies included art and stage design, she worked in a variety of settings, among them a German bakery, a major Los Angeles law firm, a property management firm, and a stock market display company.
Late in 1987, Tina learned of a job opening at the GCI. She applied and, in January 1988, joined the Institute, working first for administration. She processed the Institute's invoices, as well as handled assignments outside the department, ranging from assisting with the preparation of Art and Archaeology Technical Abstracts to helping out with computer inventory.
In March 1992, she was asked to join the Scientific Program. In addition to managing purchasing for the laboratories, she handles travel arrangements and expense reports for the GCI's scientific staff. She enjoys working with the scientists and directing public inquiries to staff members with the relevant expertise. She feels fortunate to be part of such a diverse group that is both dedicated and able to have fun while conducting their research.
Her outside interests include travel, roller-skating, photography, skydiving, and collecting pottery from the 1940s and 1950s. Weekends are spent gardening, holding play groups for a special group of children that she's grown close to, and exploring Los Angeles on motorcycle.
For a time she offered GCI staff members motorcycle rides on their birthdays, an opportunity 12 members of staff accepted and survived. In May 1993, she motorcycled solo through the Austrian Alps, an experience, she says, that was unforgettable—and not just because she got covered with bugs.