Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Progress of women in the geosciences: Insight from a small liberal arts university

By
Helen A. Eifert
Helen A. Eifert
St. Lawrence University, Department of Geology, 23 Romoda Drive, Canton, New York 13617, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
Alexander K. Stewart
Alexander K. Stewart
St. Lawrence University, Department of Geology, 23 Romoda Drive, Canton, New York 13617, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
Published:
August 07, 2018
Publication history
23 January 201805 June 2018

ABSTRACT

Women have historically been underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, specifically within geosciences. St. Lawrence University (SLU; ~2400 undergraduates) is bucking that trend with a 19th ranking by Forbes magazine for best colleges for women and minorities in STEM (~60% of majors are female). Specifically, SLU’s geology program has been distinguished for decades due to the individual support and real-world opportunities provided for its students. These characteristics can lend themselves more broadly to improvements for female participation in the geosciences. From the 898 geology graduates since 1950, we analyzed patterns of female involvement using geology department alumnae/i records. Our particular focus was on the top three cohorts of peak female graduation rates: 1978–1982 (n = 60), 1997–2001 (n = 28), and 2012–2016 (n = 28). These data show increased female participation in research within the most recent cohort (2012–2016) with women averaging 71% of senior theses compared to 32% (1997–2001) and 16% (1978–1982). Moreover, the likelihood of women in the department to complete a senior thesis has increased from 13% to 43%, supported by a new fellowship program. These results were qualitatively verified by personal observations of the current geology student body. All geology department students are privileged with opportunities for research, travel, and individual attention. These experiences, combined with our close-knit group of professors and students, are positive aspects of the SLU Geology Department used to construct an applicable model. Current SLU female geology enrollment continues to be strong, showing that this model may strengthen the undergraduate experience and inspire increased female geoscience participation.

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables

Contents

GSA Memoirs

Women and Geology: Who Are We, Where Have We Come From, and Where Are We Going?

Beth A. Johnson
Beth A. Johnson
Search for other works by this author on:
Geological Society of America
Volume
214
ISBN electronic:
9780813782140
Publication date:
August 07, 2018

References

Related

Citing Books via

Related Book Content
Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal