Great expectations: Florence Bascom (1842–1945) and the education of early US women geologists
Published:January 01, 2007
R. M. Clary, J. H. Wandersee, 2007. "Great expectations: Florence Bascom (1842–1945) and the education of early US women geologists", The Role of Women in the History of Geology, C. V. Burek, B. Higgs
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Florence Bascom, the first woman to be awarded a PhD from Johns Hopkins University and the first professional US woman geologist, gained access through male connections into what was perceived to be a man's discipline. Her entrance into geology was not straightforward, but instead proceeded fairly erratically through an interwoven network of male acquaintances. Although Bascom's participation in professional circles garnered her acceptance by her male associates, it was her long academic career at Bryn Mawr College that made an impact on education and secured a supply of women in the discipline. Basing her instruction upon high expectations for herself and her students, innovative teaching techniques, and the pure joy she derived from geological investigation and geological thought, Bascom served as mentor to many in the succeeding generation of US women geologists. It was largely through Bascom's efforts that more women were able to pursue higher education in geology and excel at it in the first half of the 20th century.
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The Role of Women in the History of Geology
Where were the women in Geology? This book is a first as it unravels the diverse roles women have played in the history and development of geology as a science predominantly in the UK, Ireland and Australia, and selectively in Germany, Russia and US. The volume covers the period from the late eighteenth century to the present day and shows how the roles that women have played changed with time. These included illustrators, museum collectors and curators, educationalists, researchers and geologists. Originally as wives, sisters or mothers many were assistants to their male relatives. This book looks at all these forgotten women and for the first time historians and scientists together explore the contribution they made to this male-dominated subject. There are individual profiles on remarkable women: Catherine Raisin, Dorothea Bate, Cuvier's daughters, Grace Prestwich, Annie Greenly, Nancy Kirk, Margaret Crosfield, Ethel Skeat, Maria Ogivlie Gordon, Marie Stopes, Anne Phillips, Muriel Arber and Etheldred Bennett. Pulling together this extensive research uncovered common issues and generated emergent themes. The Editors have brought this new research together under these themes and tried to answer the question Where were the women in Geology? They go on to discuss how these role models can be applicable to today's society.