From Marie Curie and Ada Lovelace to Barbara McClintock and Jane Goodall, women have been involved in science for generations. Our CEO, Fonda Lindfors New, has been a trailblazer in her own right, from her work in oilfield legacy sites to providing emergency response and remediation services. Today, QRI celebrates the women scientists and environmentalists who have been cornerstones in the development of environmental protection. Here are a few of our favorite female pioneers.
Marie Tharp—A geologist and oceanographer whose contributions were often ignored by her male colleagues. Her work on mapping the ocean floor revealed that the sea floor was filled with a 40,000-mile-long underwater ridge along the ocean floor. This, in turn, allowed her to promote the theory of continental drift.
Rachel Carson—An environmental scientist who revealed the hazards of pesticides and exposed the tragic effects of human development on the environment. A marine biologist and published author, Carson systematically studied how dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) contaminated the environment and the world’s food supply. Her novel, Silent Spring, is largely credited with inspiring the modern environmental movement.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas– A journalist who became instrumental in protecting the Everglades from human alteration. Her works, including The Everglades: River of Grass, helped alter public opinion of the Everglades by highlighting its diverse ecosystems and role in providing clean water. Douglas founded “Friends of the Everglades” to protest construction activities that would cause irreparable damage to the integrity of the Everglades.
Margaret Thomas Murie—the “Grandmother of the Conservation Movement”, Margaret spent almost 40 years working with her husband to study and protect Alaska’s vulnerable territory. She was instrumental in creating the Wilderness Act that created the National Wilderness Preservation System. Her books Two in the Far North and Island Between are fictional stories that emphasize man’s relationship with the environment.
Dr. Sylvia Earlie—“Her Deepness” is an oceanographer and author who has been challenging gender roles her entire career. With over 50 years of experience, she is an avid author lecturer who is passionate about preserving oceanic biodiversity and fighting climate change. She has written numerous books including Blue Hope: Exploring and Caring for Earth’s Magnificent Ocean based on her research and experiences.
By: Rivers Berryhill, Environmental Scientist