Reflections on an interdisciplinary geoscience career
Published:August 07, 2018
This is one of several chapters based on a themed oral session on “Women and Geology: Who Are We; Where Have We Come From; and Where Are We Going?” presented at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in 2015. In this chapter, I will attempt to describe why I chose geology as a profession, how it has influenced my career, and what I perceive to be major changes in the geoscience field and more broadly science in general. In addition, I will touch on what has and hasn’t changed and what needs to happen to effect change as well as some ideas with which we can all identify and perhaps make conscious decisions to improve upon. A few lessons learned are interspersed with the hope that some may be useful to those beginning their scientific careers. I chose a career in federal government research rather than academia and that has taken me to places I never would have dreamed possible. A few references are provided to underscore my remarks and personal opinions but in no way are they intended to provide a comprehensive review of the subjects discussed nor do they reflect the views of any federal agency.
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Women and Geology: Who Are We, Where Have We Come From, and Where Are We Going?
Women have been a part of the story of geology from the beginning, but they have struggled to gain professional opportunities, equal pay, and respect as scientists for decades. Some have been dismissed, some have been forced to work without pay, and some have been denied credit. This volume highlights the progress of women in geology, including past struggles and how remarkable individuals were able to overcome them, current efforts to draw positive attention and perceptions to women in the science, and recruitment and mentorship efforts to attract and retain the next generation of women in geology. Chapters include the first American women researchers in Antarctica, a survey of Hollywood disaster movies and the casting of women as geologists, social media campaigns such as #365ScienceSelfies, and the stories of the Association for Women Geoscientists and the Earth Science Women’s Network and their work to support and mentor women in geology.