Society of Geographers: For Women Who Know No Boundaries

>>Mollie Webb: So,
as Paulette mentioned, the theme of today’s
event, From Earth to Sky, Women Making a Difference
in Geography, is more relevant today, I
think, than ever before. Sometimes, things can
look pretty bleak, and it’s really easy
to get discouraged with the monumental challenges
that are facing our Earth and its living populations. But then, I hear about the
work being done by passionate, intelligent people like the
women we’re going to hear from and about today, and it
really gives me hope. This is why I’m so
excited to be here today, all the way from St. Louis. Not only because I get to
represent SWG, but because I get to sit in the audience
and listen to the stories of these women who
are working tirelessly to bring positive
change to our world. And like Paulette said,
as we go through today, if you are sharing
your experience today on social media, please do
use the hashtag changemakers to continue on with that same. So, a few housekeeping details. In the interest of time,
speaker intros are going to be very brief, and speaker
bios were sent via email prior to the conference, and
there’s also some copies out on the table out front. Also, after each
presentation, we are going to forgo the typical Q&A session to allow our speakers
the maximum amount of time to share their work. So, we invite you to connect with our speakers during the
breaks and after the conference, if you’d like to
talk to them further. We are going to break for lunch
for about an hour on your own, and options for lunch
were also sent out prior to the conference, but there’s,
some copies out front, as well, and then, once the conference
concludes, we’re all invited to tour the geography
and map reading room in the Madison Building. On a personal note, I’d like
to thank my biggest supporter, my mom, Gwen Whitaker, for
being with me here today, and I’ll wrap up with a
quote from fellow SWG member, Jane Goodall from her New
Year’s message from last year. “There is still so much of
the world worth fighting for, so much that is beautiful, so
many wonderful people working to reverse the harm, to help
alleviate the suffering, and so many young
people dedicated to making this a better world,
all conspiring to inspire us and give us hope that it is
not too late to turn things around if we all do our part. The women that we’ll hear from
today are part of that group that Dr. Goodall
is talking about. To get us started,
it’s my pleasure to introduce Mary van Balgooy,
executive director of SWG, to come up and tell us about SWG and the remarkable
stories of its members. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Mary van Balgooy:
So, Paulette let me know about the change makers in terms
of the theme for the Library of Congress, and so, I changed
my presentation to reflect that. And I want to talk about
the amazing women of SWG, the Society of Women
Geographers, but first, I need to give you a
little history about it. The Society of Women
Geographers was founded in 1925 by these four women
that you see here. What they aimed at was providing
a forum for women to meet, network, and share
their accomplishments, since they were not
allowed to join men’s clubs, such as the Explorers Club, the
National Geographic here in DC, as well as the Cosmos
Club in DC. They were looking for
validation for the work that they were doing, but
also to share such things as where do you find
your guides, especially because of my sex? You know, women weren’t
allowed to go on ships at a time before all this. They weren’t allowed to
go down to the Antarctic. Men would not allow them
on their expeditions. And so, these women
travelers they went and forged it on their own. Marguerite Harrison, who was
second from the right here, as you see her, she said,
at one point, and I’m going to bring this up in
the later 20th-century. “When we returned, we had
all been not a little annoyed at being interviewed by
reports who seemed convinced that the public would be
interested chiefly in finding out whether I had used
lipstick in the Gobi Desert.” So, that’s what these
women were facing, and that is why they wanted
to form this organization. Marguerite Harrison had
a tremendous resume. She was a movie producer
of Grass, which you can actually
see on the Internet. She was an explorer, author,
lecturer, specialist on Russia and Persia, and also,
a spy in Russia. In fact, she was caught twice. So, this is one lady that you
don’t want to mess around with. Blair Niles, who is
on the far right here, I will talk about her later on. Gertrude Matthew Shelby,
who’s here on the left, she was an economic
consultant, and what’s amazing about her is this was a woman
with only a high-school degree, but when she spoke
on economic matters, others listened,
including Congress. Her book, How to Face
Peace, is a classic on how to help countries
recover after a war. She, of course, was another
traveler who explored the world and commented on the economics
of the places which visited, to which people took notice. This is why these women wanted
to form something like this, because they needed
to talk about it. They needed to share their
accomplishments, and also, again, that validation. And then, lastly, Gertrude Sen
here — ooo, I love her outfit. One of the things she said
was that, “There’s no chance for the welfare of the
world unless the condition of women is improved. It is not possible for a bird
to fly only on one wing.” This was a woman
who was going to — wanted to break down
the barriers, equals to men, and
change the world. That’s what these
women were about, and Gertrude Sen would
part of the Asian Magazine, and she would contribute to it, so much so that she did not
come back to United States. She was the only one to graduate
from the University of Chicago, and thus, remember, a lot of
time, women did not have access to higher education
at this time. So again, these women
were forging ahead, making their own way. Well, very quickly,
when they decided to form this organization,
they brought on Harriet Chalmers Adams. She was the organizer
and the first president. Now these four women
were up in New York. Harriet Adams was
down here in DC. She was another traveler. She submitted articles
gave lectures to the National Geographic. Although she was quite popular
as a writer and lecturer at National Geographic, she was
not allowed to be a full member. Through her lectures, she met
other American women explorers who were just as frustrated
she was that they were invited to speak like at the Explorers
Club, or National Geographic, but never invited to membership. And she said, “I
wonder why men have to absolutely monopolize
the field of exploration. I never found my
sex a hinderent, never face the difficulty which
a woman, as well as a man, could not surmount, never
felt a fear of danger, never lacked courage
to protect myself. I’ve been in tight places and
have seen harrowing things.” And as a result of
Harriet Adams, she really organized our
society, and she came up with the following
objectives of a society itself. And that was to form a medium of
contact between women to, again, that forum for women to
share their experiences, to validate their experiences
and their accomplishments, and of course, they wanted
to further geographical work, to spread knowledge, to also
encourage research, and finally, to financially support women,
because this was very important when — this is at a time
when women, you know, they cannot raise the funds
to do this on their own. Many of these women
had to work very hard and use their own earnings to
go out and explore the world. So, let’s talk about
how the society has done that through the years. First of all, through
their meetings. This is a great New York group
luncheon that they had in 1931, and I just want to point
out some of the members. This is a young Margaret Mead
that you see here in the middle. Blair Niles is next to her. Let’s see here, Blair Niles, and
then there’s Gertrude Shelby, Gertrude Sen, and then
down here in Annie S. Peck, who was a famous climber, as
I’m sure that you all know. Annie came into the
organization. She spent about 10 years
and its membership, and she was another
woman who was fearless. Nothing was going to stop
her from exploring the world. And then, of course,
we have the DC Group. They formed here in 1931, and
we have Harriet Adams right here in the corner sitting down. So, that was one way that
these women came together to validate their
accomplishments and to share them. Another way was that they
published a bulletin, which was first published
in 1929, and today, we still publish this bulletin,
and this was very important because this was another
way for women to network. The bulletin fulfilled,
in that sense, by getting contact information
on the women, their interests, as well as publishing these
women’s accomplishments. That was very, very important, because these women
weren’t being recognized for the work that
they were doing. And then, of course, they established a
flag carrier program. Since you couldn’t she couldn’t
belong in National Geographic or the Explorers Club where they
did have a flag carrier program, who was going to endorse you? Well, SWG decided that they
were going to take that on, and that’s exactly
what they did. And so, through the years,
the flag has been carried by various women going to
various places up to the sky, and down through the oceans. And then, of course, what
was more important to all of these women was the fact that they established
an awards program. We have a gold-medal program. We also have an outstanding
achievement program, as well as the program
for Ronne Award for Antarctic Research
and Exploration. So, let’s talk about some of
these awardees as change makers in the field, and don’t
worry, I’m not going to go through all 22 of them. [chuckling] Amelia Earhart
was one of the first ones, and I think Amelia
Earhart is very important, in terms of what we talk
about gender, and that’s going to be my theme today, in
talking about these changemakers and what they did for their sex. We know now that gender is a
social construction itself, how the very meaning of
categories, man and woman, vary according to time,
context, and place. How these categories develop
into roles and identities for men and women to fill and
become perceived as natural. And then, of course,
how the issues of power and rights play in to this. So, in 1927, Lindbergh,
Charles Lindbergh that is, flew solo across the Atlantic. In 1928, Amelia Earhart
flew as a passenger, two pilots in front,
across the Atlantic. What did the paper
say about all of this? Well, of course, they compared
Earhart to Charles Lindbergh, not the other way around,
and they said, well, first Lindbergh made
a record for men, and now Earhart has
made one for women. Now, Earhart was very much
dismayed by this, since she felt that the other two pilots
should receive credit. The other disturbing
thing was the fact that she was a pilot herself, but she could only
go as a passenger. To prove women were capable
of flying, Earhart flew solo over the Atlantic in 1932, and she was the second
person to do so. So, she felt she had to prove
herself to the world out here and make change for women. Now at the time that
Earhart started flying in the early 1920s,
aviation was a new profession that welcomed both
men and women, and Earhart had envisioned
great potential for women to get into this particular field
and explore the world. However, as the industry
developed, women were quickly marginized. It soon became clear
women were welcome as stewardesses but
not as pilots. They can demonstrate
light sports craft but were denied access
to heavier commercial and military aircraft. They were physically “too weak”
to handle these larger planes, and women who wanted to train
as pilots faced large obstacles. Men could get their training
through the military, and of course, women were
denied access to that, or they could just be out on the
airstrip looking for something. Whereas a woman would be seen as
loose and prostituting herself. So, they didn’t have
an avenue there either. Then through the
widespread suspicion that women were incapable
of flying, no matter what their
records were against men, the Commerce Department issued
an advisory limiting women to fly only in fair weather and had consider
grounding female pilots for nine days a month
during menstruation. And just like the makeup story, I’m going to bring
this up later on. Another changemaker
was Margaret Mead. She was the second one to
receive the gold-medal. Margaret Mead and her oral
history said she was invited to join SWG in 1929. According to this
interview that was conducted at the American Natural
History Museum in 1974, where she worked, she said
that she decided to join because it would be a
good way to meet the men who were her colleagues
in the museum. She wasn’t sure which women
of SWG invited her to join. However, their husbands were
members of the museum staff. That she knew. So, she took a look at
that membership list, and she figured this would be
a good way to meet the men. As a woman, of course, she
was not invited out to drinks or the various clubs,
because of her gender. There wasn’t anything she ever
got invited to with the men. So, SWG, she thought,
was a great way to get acquainted
with her colleagues. Think of that. She’s working in the
same place with them. And so, she did, through
SWG events and meetings where she was able to socialize
with them and discuss her work and advance her career. There was an interesting
question from the interviewer that asked, “I wonder if SWG had
an influence on your career.” Margaret Mead replied, “Except
to the extent that, well, it’s exceedingly indirect. It was the cases where,
in knowing the men better than I would have known
them under conditions of working that, in turn, led
to these research projects.” So, that’s kind of a
roundabout way where she gets to the fact that, again, this
is the only way she was going to meet her colleagues and
to talk about her work. Blair Niles, one of the
founders, as I mentioned before, she was an amazing in herself. She wrote a number of novels and nonfiction books
based on her travels. In them, she sought to
explore the human condition. In fact, in 1927, she
became the first white woman to visit Devils Island, and this
was a notorious penal colony in Surinam, and she was
also one of the first women to explore homosexuality. So, here’s another woman
changing the world. So, she was ahead of the time. Now let’s jump kind of
to the late 20th century. Arlene Bloom, she is one of
our members, and in 1978, she organized a team
of 11 women to climb — and I’m not going to say the
mountain, because I’m going to butcher this whole name, but
in Nepal, which, until then, had been climbed by only
eight people, all men. She called it the American
Women’s Himalayan Expeditions, and they raised money for
the trip by selling T-shirts with the slogan, “A Woman’s
Place is at the Top,” and it truly is,
and she has been — she is an amazing,
amazing scientist. She was here two weeks
ago at one of our meetings and educating our folks
at the Capitol over here on the work that she’s doing. And then, I want to bring
up Katherine Sullivan. I don’t know how many of you have read the paper
the last week, but last week, the news reported that
history was supposed to be made with the first all-female
spacewalk at the International
Space Station. I see some heads nodding. Yes. They’ve then reported that
NASA was scrapping the plan, because they didn’t have
enough spacesuits designed for smaller frames that typically characterized
the female body, and this is not something
that I wrote. This is what I’m taking from
the Washington Post and such. They asked Katherine
Sullivan for a comment, and she did comment
that was too bad. But they also brought
up another story. Sally Ride, who has passed away
in 2012, they were asking her about her whole experience
in all of this, and think about this. I mean, these are
remarkable women. They are changemakers. They are the women who
allow us to do these things. Sally Ride, she was never a
member of SWG, but she remarked in an earlier interview on
how the engineers at NASA, in their infinite wisdom —
again, I’m not making this up, decided that women
astronauts would want makeup. So, they designed a makeup kit,
and they actually had a picture of this makeup kit in the post. The article in the Washington
Post then showed Sullivan, like this, for example, the
first American woman to go on a spacewalk, and asked, “Can you tell whether she’s
wearing space makeup?” So, does this remind you of Marguerite Harrison wearing
makeup in the Gobi Desert? I mean, come on. We’ve come a long
way, haven’t we? Then going to Amelia Earhart,
engineers also asked Sally Ride, and I’m sure Katherine
Sullivan, about tampons. To Ride they asked, “Is
100 the right number?” She would be in space
for a week. Thankfully, Ride told them, that
would not be the right number. This is why we need
women at the top. I’m not going to talk
about Susan Shaw, because she’ll be talking later
on, but here’s another woman who was really a
changemaker in herself, and you’ll hear that today. And then, of course,
we have Rebecca Lee, who’s a photographer and writer. She recognized as the first
Hong Kong woman explorer to have reached the
Arctic, Antarctic, and Mount Everest
region, taking photographs to document climate change. She also opened the
first museum dedicated to climate change
in Hong Kong itself. So, these women are doing
amazing things and making sure that we take care of our world. And then, lastly, with the
gold medalist, I want to talk about Constanza Ceruti. She sends her greetings
to all of you. She’s another one who
talks about, all the time, how men are taking credit
for the work that she’s done, and how she has to face
down that still today, in terms of being
recognized for that credit. So, that’s something that
SWG has done for her, and she is so grateful for that,
being validated for the work that she has really, truly done
and that there are other people who recognize it, as well. So, the gold medal has been
extremely important for all of these women in changing
attitudes about women in geography and
its allied fields. And then, I mentioned that
we also had they outstanding achievement award, and that
went to of our members, as well, and that’s Clara Lagear. She worked here at the Library
of Congress, and Jan Monk, whose sitting in the audience,
has written about her. She was honored for founding
the Geography and Map Division of the Special Libraries
Association, and also, for her expertise and
historical cartography and indexing an eight-volume
list of geographical atlases for the Library of
Congress, and so, again, you can see that
connection between — and we’ll see that also
today, between SWG members, the Library of Congress,
and such, and making all of those networks work together, so that we can improve
geography for everyone. And then, other ways that
SWG has supported women is through their fellowship
programs. We have two or three fellowship
programs, I should say. One is in New York. The other one is the
Evelyn Pruitt Fellowship. And so, let me just go
over those a little bit. In 1949, the SWG members,
again, four members got together in New York and decided
they wanted to financially support women
who were in graduate school. And so, they began
to raise money. At that time, in 1953-54, they
were able to give at least $800 to a woman at Columbia
University. Then after that point, Adeline
Moffit, who was an SWG member, she left her estate, so that we
were able to set up a trust fund and able to give out
approximately today over $8000 for women to complete
their degrees. Although the New York
Fellowship went that way, other members contributed to
fellowship fund here in DC that we continue today, and that
one, they were giving out money, as well, and then wonderful
Evelyn Pruitt left her money, roughly $900,000 in 2000-2001, and we established
this program, as well. And so, today, we’re able
to give out between eight and 12 awards, up to
$12,000, for graduate students who are working on
their dissertations, and they can use it for
anything and everything except for tuition, and that’s, I
think, and you’re going to hear from some of our SWG
fellows, how important all of these fellowships
are to them. And then, of course, we
also have a Minority Pruitt Fellowship, and that one, we — between two and four
students sign up for that, or receive applications for
that, and we’re able to give up to $4000, so that they can
finish their master’s degree. So, these are very
important fellowship programs to support women in geography
and the work that they’re doing, and we get the top-best
geographers that apply. And Jan Monk down there was
recently our fellowship chair. She just retired this year,
and she can tell you all about the program and the
women who have applied and have done a great job. And so, again, you’ll hear from our fellowship
winners over here. And then, so, here we can see
today, because I’m connecting it to the AAG meeting, here
are some changemakers today, and there’s Jan right
here in the middle. This was last year at the
AAG meeting in New Orleans where our fellows were
presenting their papers. Lastly, I want to talk about
our oral history program, and here’s another
changemaker, Marie Tharp. One of the great things
is that in the 1970s, SWG started a oral
history program, and that’s very important
in the sense that, again, documenting these
people’s lives, women’s lives I should say, because that wasn’t
being done before. And so, there is one of
the things that we’ve done, we’ve had over 80 oral histories
that have been conducted, and they go to the
Library of Congress, so that they are
available to the public. So, it’s not only
the recordings, but also the transcripts,
and then, of course, we keep a copy, too. And our researchers have used
them to talk about other, you know, former SWG members
and also to produce films, to produce books, and all that. So, this is been a very
important program in itself, and it’s something that
we continue to do today. If you don’t know
Marie, Judith Tyner, another one of our SWG members,
has written extensively on her. Marie Tharp is best known
as a woman in cartography, and we know that there are at
least two oral histories of her, one done by us and another
one by somebody else, and all of her materials
are now at the Library of Congress documenting
her career. Now just to give you an
idea of what women face, and how she changed things,
she was born in 1920, and she said she
owed her career, and a lot of women have said
this to me, I’ve heard before, to World War II,
because a lot of times, the job market was decimated
with the men leaving. And so, they needed
somebody to fill them in. When she had originally entered
Ohio University, about 1939, the careers open to women at that time were
secretary, nurse, or teacher. She said she couldn’t type. She couldn’t stand the sight of
blood, so that left teaching, although that didn’t
really interest her. When the war came along, she was
able to go to work and was hired by Columbia University
Geological Observatory. The main qualification that interested her boss
was not her degrees and such but was her ability to draft. So, she began working with
another person by the name of Bruce Hansing, another
newcomer to the lab. Bruce was a PhD student, and he
went to see taking soundings, while Marie remained on shore. At this time, women, of course,
were not allowed on Navy ships. So, she converted
these soundings to elevation maps
that you see here. So, this is an incredible
thing to do when you haven’t
even been on a ship. Marie noticed a rift valley
in the mid-Atlantic Ridge. When she showed it to Bruce,
he dismissed it as girl talk, because it would support the
theory of continental drift, then considered a crackpot idea. And then, of course, ultimately, Marie’s discoveries
changed the face of geology. So again, here’s another person
fighting through the bureaucracy and ideas about what
women can do and not do. So, I would like to end of this. This is what a geographer looks
like, and these are the people that you’re going to meet today. Women have pushed through the
barriers and opened doors. And so, as a result of that, we have a great group speaking
today about their experiences, as well as the wonderful
work they are doing. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Mary van Balgooy: So,
next I would like to bring up Nancy Lewis, and let me
just get this up for you Nancy. Nancy has been a
long time SWG member, and I met her a few years ago
when she stopped by my office, and I can’t tell you
what a delight she’s been to get to know her. Thank you, Mary.>>Nancy Lewis: Well, that
was very inspirational, and I’m delighted
to be here today. Aloha. I’m from Hawaii, as
you can see, and what I hope to do today is spend just
a bit of time talking about Navigating Currents and
Choices, Reflections on Women in Geography and
Sustainability Science. I was going to give
recognition to two women first, which I’m going to do, but I
wanted to do it to a third, because it turns out
that Paulette Hasier, at the Chief Geography
and Map Division, is also the first woman
to hold that position. But the two individuals
who I wanted to recognize and acknowledge first
are Carla Hayden, who is the 14th Librarian of
Congress, sworn in in 2016. She’s the first woman and
the first African-American to be in that position. She’s had a very distinguished
career as a university professor and librarian, and she’s
receiving the Association of American Geographer’s
Atlas Award, the highest award
that AAG gives. It’s only given every other
year, and it’s awarded to international leaders who advance world understanding
in exceptional ways. And she’s receiving it for
being an outspoken advocate for librarian as activist,
championing equal access to libraries and information. And the second person
I wanted to point out as a first is a friend
of mine, Rita Colwell, who has been named the honorary
AAG Geographer for this year. She’s a distinguished university
professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her work is focused
on health and water. She’s published over
750 articles, and Rita it was the
first woman director of the National Science
Foundation, and Rita will tell you, and
she has written that even when she was director of the
National Science Foundation, she would go to a meeting
with a group of largely men, make a series of comments
that were ignored, and a man with then
make the same things, and they were brilliantly
received. So, and for those of you who
are interested in trivia, the AAG did pretty well. We had our first female
president in 1921, Ellen Churchill Semple. We can’t congratulate ourselves
too much, because we had to wait another 60 years to have
a female president of the AAG, and that was in 1984,
and it was Risa Palm. [clears throat] Excuse me. You don’t have to worry. I’m not going to tell you my
life story, but I did want to drop a few institutional
anchors in the water to help shape the
rest of my discussion. The first photo up there on
the left is the Campanile at the University of
California, Berkeley. I did all my undergraduate
and graduate work there. I don’t recommend that. I think it’s good to get to
know different institutions, but that is what I did. When I returned to
graduate school in 1972, in the Geography Department, it
was definitely a male bastion. There was only female faculty
member and only for a few years, and that was Risa Palm. And I was only one of two women
in the program who had a child. During that time, I got it
interdisciplinary degree in health and medical sciences, which shaped my PhD
dissertation research and the rest of my career. It also introduced me to
interdisciplinary perspectives and user-based science. The third — I mean, I’m
sorry, the second picture up there actually
did have an anchor. That’s a 32-foot sailboat that
my former husband and I built and sailed across the Pacific
while I did my dissertation on Ciguatera fish
poisoning, a Marine biotoxin. I think this is really what
gives me my credentials in the Society for
Women Geographers. I was also totally
crazy, but that’s — it was a wonderful way
to see the Pacific, and I have spent most of my
professional life working on Pacific Island issues. The third image up
there is the logo of the Pacific Science
Association, a nongovernmental or interdisciplinary
science organization that was founded in 1920. I’m going to talk a little
bit more about that later. I’ve been involved
with PSA since 1976 when I attended a meeting
as a graduate student, and it also had a lot of
great influence on my life. I joined the faculty
at the University of Hawaii angiography in 1981. I was the only woman on
that faculty for eight years out of 15 faculty members. I found mentors outside of
geography, was involved in this like founding the Woman’s
Faculty Caucus and advocating for gender pay equity
and then administering that when I was associate
dean at UH, and in 2002, I joined the East-West Center
as the director of research, and I’m going to talk
a little bit about that because Mary actually
asked me to talk a little about the East-West Center, but it’s been a very interesting
professional experience. But I bought this card about
25 years ago and framed it, and you can read
it, as well as I. I didn’t wonder every day, but there were days I
really wondered where I was. But be that as it may. Cat having worked real,
very hard to get somewhere, now wondering where
it is she really got. So, I have four parts
to my talk. I’m going to talk very briefly
about all of them, geography and sustainability science, gender and climate change
adaptation, which is based on some work I have done,
women in science in Asia and the Pacific, and then
the East-West Center, focusing on some spectacular
East-West Center women. When I first started thinking
about this talk, I reflected, and it was really from
personal observation that many of the influential
individuals involved in international endeavors
related to environment and development,
scientific assessments, global change research programs, were geographers,
mostly not women. However, when I delved — and this is the contemporary
definition of sustainability science. When I delved into
the literature by professional geographers,
the experts in the field — the view is probably,
or the dominant view is that geographers have not
played a large enough role, either women or men, and
I think that’s debatable, and it’s an interesting
set of questions. For those interested, I definitely suggest
reading this recent article, Dialogues in Human
Geography by Diana Liverman, who was one of the first
chairs of the National Academy of Science Committee on Human
Dimensions of Global Change, and she explores
geographers’ engagement with sustainable
development agendas. And she argues that
geographers are well-positioned to contribute to the post-2015
sustainable development agenda, and that we can be partners and
critics in measuring the goals. That we are familiar with
problems of data aggregation, as well as the hidden
geographies of suffering. Critical GIS scholars understand
the choice of variable scales and disease in individuals and how this impacts what
is prioritized, invisible, and biased, and we can use
the power of spatial analysis to inform debates about social
and environmental justice. Liverman, whose contributed
greatly to — well, to geography
overall but certainly to climate change
science, as well, notes that geographers have
played significant roles in the elaboration of
climate goals and policies, especially highlighting the
importance of vulnerability and adaptation and of introducing
critical perspectives on gender, race, and scale. Moving to my second
theme on gender and climate change
adaptation, and this is a bit of a soapbox issue for me. But persistent in both
climate change adaptation and disaster-risk
reduction, and I would argue that we should be
looking at those together, and more generally
sustainable development. Discussions have been
characterized by women as primarily poor, vulnerable
victims in the global South. This has persisted,
despite the fact that there have been
significant attempts to change this view
for over two decades. It’s a view that
disempowers women and diminishes their
role in decision-making. And these are just a — what you’re seeing on the
screen now are just a few of the examples of
publications that are focusing on empowering women
in these situations, not seeing them as vulnerable. To take an example
from IPCC reports, the two most recent
vulnerability and assessment reports
were in 2007 and 2014, and the 2007 report
was 1000 pages long, and there were five references
to either gender or women. Four of those were referring to
vulnerable victims in the south. In the 2014 report, it was
somewhat better, and there was, actually, a very small,
cross-cutting chapter on gender, but it referred to the chapters
on poverty and vulnerability. So, the same thing
persisted, but to be fair, the cross-cutting
volume also suggests that there are significant,
new findings on how climate change is
differentiated by gender, as well how climate
change contributes to perpetuating gender
inequities. Women and children
are vulnerable. They have different
vulnerabilities to climate change, as well as
different adaptive capacities. Gender, along with
age, wealth, class, and disability do
interact to shape how women and children experience
these events. However, women are
incredible agents of change, and it’s been shown
time and time again to be highly resilient. They play very important
family and community roles, with respect to sustainable
development. Their understanding
of social networks and community resources, as
well as their life experiences, have much to contribute
to adaptation and sustainable development. With respect to disasters, women’s community groups
are very often involved in the crisis period, but
women are typically not the key decision-makers, nor are
they the prime recipients of assistance. However, if adaptation
interventions are targeted to women, and for
example, providing credit or specialized training or
appropriate technologies, the interventions can
be very important tools for gender empowerment
and community resilience. Moving on to my third
thing rapidly, that is very much a younger
me opening the Seventh Pacific Science Congress in
Honolulu in 1991. The theme was Towards
the Pacific Challenge — Towards the Pacific Century,
the Challenge of Change. It was a meeting with
about 1500 participants, which was relatively
large at that time. As far as I know, it was first
of the Pacific Science meetings to have a symposium on
women and development, and we also established
the Human Resources for the Future Working Group,
which looks at women in science and other represented
groups in science, as well. Four years later, we were
able to secure NSF funding for a very significant series
of sessions on gender, science, and technology in the
Pacific, in Beijing, and three months later, a
number of us returned to Beijing to participate in the science — Women’s Science and
Technology sessions at the NGO forum associated with
the World Conference on Women. There’s the opening ceremony. We had a Once and Future
Action Network that was on telecommunications
technology, and final picture, here are some women
Papua, New Guinea, who were selling
handicrafts to help pay for their participation
in the meeting. It was really quite exciting. Two years later, at a smaller
meeting at the University of South Pacific in Fiji,
we had a series of sessions on indigenous knowledge to
new information technologies. There was significant grassroots
participation in that meeting. Fiji’s not that large,
but we had hundreds of schoolchildren coming through
to see the exhibits and interact with the scientists, and
there are two PhD candidates, one from what was
then Western Samoa, Asa Natali Liki [assumed
spelling] on the right of the screen, who is now
teaching at the University of the South Pacific, and
the other is Sah Eli [assumed spelling], who was teaching
at one of the campuses of the University
of Hawaii on Oahu. I’m going to give you a very
brief snapshot of the overview of science, of women in
science in Asia and the Pacific. If you’re interested in this, the 2016 World Science
Report produced by UNESCO has a chapter,
it’s Chapter 3, written by Sophia Higher,
Is the Gender Gap Narrowing in Science and Engineering? Sophia is the founding
executive director of Women in Global Science
and Technology. She’s a leader in field,
and I’ve had the opportunity of working with her
quite closely. We all know there’s
a leaky pipeline. This exists everywhere. It’s worse in some
places than others. At the bachelor’s and master’s
degree, it’s often parity in enrollment in
science courses, science and technology courses, but
a big fall off at the PhD and female researcher level. This is, excuse me, from
that report by UNESCO, and there’s significant
differences in women’s participation in
science across the globe. Its highest and Latin
American and Caribbean, reaching up to 55% in some of
the countries, and actually, and Bolivia, it’s 63%. It’s also relatively
high in Eastern Europe, and part of their rationale
— not the rationale for it, part of the explanation
for this is the investment that Soviet governments put in
education and educating women. It’s low and sub-Saharan Africa, which is not surprising,
about 30%. It’s only about 33% in the EU. Their data comparability issues, we really don’t have the same
data for the United States, but it’s probably around 35%
in the US, and of course, in all these cases, it’s
often weighted toward the life sciences and medical sciences, not engineering or
computer science. There’s [coughing], excuse me. I’m going to get some water. Substantial differences
within Asia. The rates in South Asia
are lowest, 17% overall. Southeast Asia fares
much better. In Malaysia, the
Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, it’s almost parity. Indonesia and Singapore,
30%, Cambodia, 20%. It’s low in China. Again, there are data issues. It’s about 35% in China. The two lowest rates are in
Korea, where it’s 18% and Japan, 15%, and that’s despite
significant efforts on the part of the Japanese government
and Abenomics to get more women involved,
and one of the reasons Korea and Japan and China
are concerned, is because they also have
very low fertility rates. And so, the human resource
base for science is threatened if we don’t use all
of human potential to address the challenges
of sustainability. It’s also very interesting
to look at the membership and National Academies
of Science. Overall, globally, is 12%. In the US, it’s 13%. Women are higher in the
governments of these bodies, but the overall percentages
are low. And I had the opportunity not
too long ago to be having lunch with the president of one of the
East Asian Academies of Science and a couple of other
academicians, and I asked him. I said, I know you’re going to have 150 members
of your academy. You told me that there
are 136 right now. Can you tell me how
many women there are? And he thought for a little
while, and he said, “Two, but one’s a home economist.” So, I mean, we’re still
hearing the same thing that Mary was talking about. It’s really quite astounding. Why is this the case? I certainly don’t have time to
go into all this in any detail, but it’s perceptions about
women in science, culture, traditional role of
women, family expectations. Another friend of mine from East
Asia, when her mother learned that she was given a full ride
to get his doctorate at Harvard, burst into tears and
said, “I’m never going to have grandchildren.” So, the family plays
an important role in this in East Asia. Oh, everywhere, that
they are, as well. Barriers to education. Poverty plays a role. The glass ceiling,
we all know about, as well as the sticky floors. Cultural expectations
of the workplace and even the structure
of the workforce. In particular, in Korea and
Japan, once you leave a position for maternity or other family
reasons, or other reasons, it’s very hard to
get back on track, and you may get a
part-time position, and you may get temporary
positions, but that’s part of
the stories, too. And they both have attitudinal
and practical aspects. And I’m going to
conclude with a quote from the chapter I was
referring to by Sophia. “Gender equality is more than a
question of justice or equity. Countries, businesses,
and institutions, which create an enabling
environment for women increase their
innovative capacity, competitiveness. The scientific endeavor benefits
from the creativity and vibrancy of the interaction of different
perspectives and expertise. Gender equality will
encourage new solutions that expand the scope
of research. This should be considered
a priority for all if the global community
is serious about reaching the net
set of development goals.” And we all know that diversity in decision-making results
in richer decisions. So, my final few slides are
about the East-West Center. We’re based at — on the campus
of the University of Hawaii, although we are not part of
the University of Hawaii. It was founded in 1960
by an act of Congress to enhance the relationship
between the peoples of the US and Asia Pacific. And we get about
half of our funding from the federal government. We have to come and
beg every year for our congressional
appropriation, but increasingly, we’re sort of weaning herself
off, for some obvious reasons, of dependence on the
federal government. We have a small office here in
DC on L Street, and the point of the center is
bringing people together through cooperative study,
research, and dialogue, to exchange views,
build experience, and develop policy options. We do that through
research, funding students at the University of
Hawaii, education, and professional development,
focusing on leadership, and we have a strong
engagement with the media in helping train the media
in reporting in the region. We’ve all — well, we
are an Asia Pacific focused organization. We are also the incubator
for things that have happeed in Hawaii, like the Hawaii
International Film Festival, which is the biggest Asia
Pacific Film Festival, and also, the Polynesian Voyaging Society,
which I’m going to speak to at the end of my talk. I only have time to talk about
one project at the center. It’s a research project
this related to sustainability science,
and I’m going to talk about three outstanding women
who’ve gone through the center and are really major
change agents. The project I’m going to talk
about is the Pacific RISA. It’s one of 10 regional
integrated science and assessments for climate
change funded by NOAA across the United States,
and we’re in the fourth year of our second five-year tranche
of money in this project, and we’re quite convinced we’re
going to get funded again. I hope that’s true. All RISA projects are
interdisciplinary. They focus on the coproduction
of knowledge, continued dialogue between researchers
and end-users, sustained relationships
and framed in decision-relevant context. And this is our Pacific RISA. Is funded by NOAA through
the East-West Center. We fund researchers at
the University of Hawaii, at the University of Guam. We work with USGS, the National
Weather Service, and a number of other organizations. The objectives are to conduct
place-based assessment of risk and vulnerability
for Pacific islands. This is for Hawaii and the
American insular jurisdictions in the Pacific, support
the implementation of adaptation strategies for
Pacific island communities, evaluate adaptation plans and
policymaking in the region, and integrate technical
information and policy outcomes. We just received, in the last
month, another grant in addition to this to look at climate
change and adaptation in health from the Marshall Islands and
other American Pacific Islands. The PI for this grant,
Dr. Victoria Keener, was one of the co-authors of — the lead authors of
the Islands Chapter for the Fourth National
Climate Assessment that was released a
couple of months ago. This is the Pacific RISA
team, the larger team. Not only our core team
at the East-West Center but other researchers from
both Hawaii and other parts of the Pacific, highly
interdisciplinary. As you can see, hydrology,
climatology, atmospheric physics, geography,
which I’m going to return to, research, law, public policy,
psychology, and public health. This is our core team. You see the PI there, Dr.
Victoria Keener on the left, with the two senators
from Hawaii, Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz. Vicky, herself, is an
engineer, hydraulic engineer, but in that other picture,
you will see Vicki, and to her right is Dr. Laura
Brewington from the University of North Carolina,
who’s the geographer, and on the far left
is Krista Jaspers, our communications specialist,
who has her masters in geography from the University of Hawaii. And just this month, we hired
Dr. Wendy Miles to come on board as the program manager. She’s also a geographer, and
we’re actually bringing a male on board, another
geographer, Daniel Irvin. So, it’s a heavily
geographic core team. And it’s fantastic to work with. So now, this is —
I have a bunch — I have seven of these flyers. We put this flyer together at
the East-West Center about nine or 10 months ago to bring
together activities in all parts of the center that were focused
on gender, and it was associated with the meeting
that we were holding, but I have some copies of this. Is also available as a PDF on
the East-West Center website. So, now I’m going to talk
about three wonderful women who are real changemakers. In terms of women’s
rights, this is Arfa Zehra. She’s a good friend of mine. She was a graduate degree fellow
in the 1960s from Pakistan. She got her PhD in
history and taught at several universities
in Pakistan. She was head of the
Pakistan national commission on the status of women and
a key player in the passage of the 2006 Women’s
Protection Act. She was described by
UNIFEM, what was then UNIFEM, as not only the conscience
of women, but the conscience of government and civil
society in Pakistan. Really an incredible person. She looks kind of stern
in that left-hand picture, which was some kind of
professional headshot that she’s absolutely
hysterical, and I’ve had the
opportunity being in Pakistan with her, and she’s amazing. Then onto the diplomat,
Amanda Ellis. She was a degree
fellow in the 1970s. She’s an economist, and she
was in the private sector, a senior executive with
Westpac Bank in Australia. She worked as a gender
advisor at the World Bank. She returned to New
Zealand, her native country, and joined the foreign service. She was the first female head
of New Zealand aid programs, and she was the New Zealand head
of mission ambassador to the UN in Geneva and Francophone,
Africa. She seconded to the
East-West Center for two years as a special assistant to the
East-West Center president, and she’s just accepted a
position as the director for Asia specific of the Julie
Ann Wrigley Global Institute on Sustainability
Science and Arizona State, which is quite an
amazing institute. What they’re doing and
sustainability there at Arizona State’s
really exciting. She’s also president of the East-West Center
Alumni Association. She’s actually based in
Hawaii, and we’re working on several projects
closely together. And the last person I
wanted to talk to you about is Linda Furuto. She was actually one of our nine-month leadership
programs in 2006 and 2007. She’s shown on the right
there with the head of the Polynesian
Voyaging Society president, Nainoa Thompson, and she is
one of the female navigators of the voyaging canoe, Hokule’a, which recently made an
around-the-world voyage, which I’m going to
speak to in a moment. She’s an associate
professor of education at the University of Hawaii. She’s what we call a local girl. She was raised in rural Oahu , and she was totally
scared of mathematics. But using the knowledge
that she developed through becoming a traditional
navigator, and learning from nature based on indigenous
knowledge, she created the field of ethanol mathematics, and
that’s basically learning from nature, and she’s
internationally known for this. We have a certificate
in ethnomathematics at the University of
Hawaii School of Education, and she just spent
her sabbatical at Columbia and Stanford. So, she’s really
an amazing woman. She said, of the
program, that she attended at the East-West Center, “The extraordinary experience
provided me the opportunity to interact with local
and global organizations and communities and places, and these relationships have
helped me navigate the past 10 years of my life.” There’s obviously a
navigating thing in this talk. So, what’s next? Well, I’m speaking here to the
younger among you, I think, but you are the key
to the future. Fill your toolkit with
everything you can from geoscience to
critical theory. Commit to what matters to you. Be open to challenge and change. Serendipity will play a part
in what your career holds, so be open to that, as
well, and there are going to be work-life balance
challenges, not only for women, but for men. That’s the reality of life. And those — that — those
cherry blossoms were not here. Those were in Tokyo a
couple of years ago. I haven’t gotten down
to see them here yet. Well, this is the Hokule’a, which was originally
built in 1976. It’s made 12 voyages and traveled 150,000
miles using only sails and traditional navigation. No sextant, nothing,
just the stars and the knowledge
of the navigators. In 2017, it completed
47,000-mile voyage around the world of
stewardship and sustainability. The name of the voyage was
Malama Honua, literally, caring for the Earth, and you
can see the map of the voyage on the right-hand side. On the left-hand side was the
Hokule’a’s landfall in Apia, Samoa in 2014, and it was
there to join the small — UN Small Island Developing
States meeting. And Ban Ki-moon, who was
Secretary General of UN at that time, went out
sailing on the Hokule’a. I’ve not sailed on her. I sailed on her sister ship. So, with that, I close my talk, I thank everyone
for their interest. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Mary van Balgooy: So,
the next person that I want to introduce is Kavita Pandit. I always said I told
her, I said, I hope I say your
name correctly. I first saw this
particular presentation, which she has changed for
this conference in general, at the National Council for
Geographic Education Conference up in Québec, and I thought she
would be a fantastic addition in talking about what
she’s doing today in trends in faculty careers
and their implications for women geographers. So that, I will turn
it over to her. [ Applause ]>>Kavita Pandit: Thank you so
much, Mary, for this invitation, and I’ve really enjoyed
the speakers this morning and learned so much about
society of women geographers, and a little bit of the history. So, thank you for
this invitation. Actually, you know, in
the next 25 minutes or so, what I’d like to do is
speak to two questions or address two questions. One is how have the jobs and
careers of faculty changed over the 20-25-30-year span. So, at least since I
came out of grad school, there’s been a tremendous
change in share, a little bit of what I observed, and then
speak to what does it mean in how we mentor our young
geographers, students, as well as colleagues
in our department? And much of this certainly
has come from my observations over the last four or five
years in my current role at Georgia State University. So, when I graduated with
a PhD, in the late 80s, the best metaphor I can think
of for faculty careers is this. You know, there was a sort of
straight highway, which was, you know, if you were
on the tenure track. This is where you
were supposed to be. Everyone went along
that main highway. Occasionally, though,
you may not — everything doesn’t line up so
perfectly, and then you kind of have this little side
road you have to take which, you know it, is a temporary
job, adjunct, visiting, a number of different
terminologies were used for that. So, the idea was, you know,
if you’re doing things right and everything lines
up, you’re going to be on that tenure-track. If not, well, you have to
settle for this temporary job, but hopefully, in a year,
maybe two at the most, you’ll be back on the highway. There’ll be on an on-ramp for
the down, and you’ll be back, and that was pretty much how
we viewed our academic career. If you look back at this
period between 1980-1993, around the time I got into the
profession as a faculty member, much of my observations,
personal observations, were captured by this article
by Phil Suckling that came out around this time, in
which he examined the jobs and geography listings
that were put out by the Americans Association
Geographers each year and analyzed the jobs
that were advertised over this time period. What was his methodology? He took a very simple approach. He says, you know, the jobs fall
into two categories, tenure, tenure-track and temporary,
and that the majority of the jobs are tenure-track
during this time. So, very much, what my
personal experience was, and a metaphor I created
for myself, was supported by this article that
came out in 1994 in the Professional Geographer. So, fast forward to now,
and what I did was I went through the listings
of jobs in geography, did a very quick survey. I did not — have not done this,
but replicated his methodology, but looked over the five-year
period from 2013 to 2017, and certainly, the vast majority of the positions were
tenure-track still. So, either assistant,
associate, full professor, and there was its share
of temporary positions, and they came under
different names, however they advertised
it, visiting, term assistant professor,
adjunct, or a range of different
terms used for this. But then you see a whole set
of positions that were unknown to me when I got
into grad school, or got out of grad school,
and that is positions that are not tenure-track. Yet, they are not
temporary either. And here I refer to them as full-time non-tenure-track
positions, and they have, again, whole set of different titles
and names from lecturers or clinical professors,
research faculty. You name it, there’s a
whole range of names. So, this was something that
was clearly new in the last 25 or 30 years, where this
group was really growing. In looking at the distribution
of these faculty positions in 2018, across these three
categories, the vast majority of positions are,
certainly, tenure-track. Three-quarters of the
positions are tenure to tenure-track positions. About 16%, very similar to
what we saw 25 years ago in Phil Suckling’s study. About 15-16% are
temporary positions, but then you see this new
slice of the pie in 2018 was about 11%, 11.5%, that are
these not tenure-track, full-time positions that, again, were not of my radar 30
years ago, or anyone’s radar. Looking at the gender
breakdown around this time, not a drastic difference, but
this shouldn’t surprise us that, in general, women have
a slightly smaller share of the pie, in terms of
tenure-track positions. A smaller share of them are
in tenure-track positions, and about 1/3 of them are
either temporary positions or in the full-time,
non-tenure-track positions. You know, a little
bit of difference, but it is generally
following the same pathway. There’s one caveat I do have
to say about the data here, and that is that the data that
I had reported here are drawn from the AAG Guide to
Geography Programs. It’s a sort of thick
book that they put out each year now online, and
these data pertain to faculty that are in geography programs
that report their data. So, it certainly underreports. It does not capture faculty that
are not in geography programs that may be in general
social science departments or environmental sciences
program, where they’re one of an interdisciplinary
mix of faculty. Certainly, faculty in
two-year institutions or smaller tech colleges. The geographers working there
would not be captured here. So, that’s just something
to keep in mind. So, stepping away from
geography to see how close or how similar is it
to national trends? I looked at, you know, I
pulled out [inaudible] data, which reports all faculty
positions, and I restricted it to public institutions,
because, you know, clearly, geography’s more present at
public institutions currently, or the vast majority of
geographers currently do work at public institutions. And if you look at the trend for
research universities from 1993 to 2013, you see a trend
that most of us kind of know was going on, but it’s
clearly evident that the smaller and smaller share of the
total faculty is tenure to tenure-track. There’s definitely a
shrinking share of the pie, and the growing share of the pie
for these temporary positions, temporary faculty positions, and these full-time
non-tenure-track positions. It shouldn’t be a surprise,
but here it is in color. And if you look at two-year
institutions, community colleges or two-year colleges,
public institutions, again, the trend is the same, but you
see a very different allocation of the faculty positions. In many of two-year
colleges, public colleges, there’s a relatively small
share, that to shrinking, of tenured and tenure-track,
and the bulk of the persons they hire are– form the temporary and
non-tenure-track categories. It is not — it is
pretty similar, if you look at private
research universities and private two-year
institutions. There really is a
very similar trend. And just to accentuate the same
point, it is not as if tenure to tenure-track-faculty
positions are shrinking. They’re just growing
at a very slow rate. They are growing. All faculty numbers are
growing, as the number of institutions is
growing, but tenured and tenure-track faculty are
growing at the smallest rate. Full-time, nontenure-track
— it is pretty — you know, a group that
we didn’t even know of is now growing quite rapidly,
and certainly, the part-time or temporary faculty are
growing at the fastest rates. What I’d like to do is spend a
few minutes talking about these, because clearly, our very
first reaction, as faculty, as women academics
is like, oh, my gosh. How terrible that the
nontenure track positions — tenure-track positions are
shrinking, and it is, you know, we think about nontenure
track positions as inferior, less attractive. They’re like second
choice positions. But here is where we see
something happening that, perhaps, may be different
from what meets the eye. This group of fast-growing
faculty category, full-time, nontenure-track faculty that
I wasn’t aware of when I came out of grad school, really are
now capturing very specialized faculty roles. So, these faculty instead of
having a workload that touches on teaching, research, and
service, they tend to specialize in one category or the other. So, we see full-time,
nontenure track faculty that are in very teaching
oriented positions. They may be lecturers. We see sometimes clinical
faculty doing a different kind of teaching, instructors. Many nontenure track
positions are research focused. These are not postdocs, nor are
they tenured research professors that don’t do teaching anymore. These are faculty positions
that, from the get go, are advertised as
research-only positions. There’s a lot of mentoring
of research, students, grads, running labs, running
projects, applying for grants, all of the above, but
it is 100% research. Doesn’t carry tenure,
and you see, similarly, service-focused positions where
faculty may be running labs. In my previous job,
where I headed up international education,
I had three faculty who were full-time service — they were academic
professionals, and they supervised
and ran my university’s international centers. We had three centers in
three different countries, and they did a little
bit of teaching, but they were supervising the
students and the facilities. So, it was very much
a faculty position, and some universities have
started calling this even specialized faculty, but it
is, certainly, nontenure track. And what is really
important to know is more and more universities are
now creating promotion tracks for their full-time,
non-tenure-track faculty. At the University of Georgia
— sorry, at Georgia State, where I am, you see some
of the ranks we use. So, if you start off
as a lecturer, you can, after five years move
to a senior lecturer, and then to a principal senior. There’s a clinical
assistant associate full. These are very well-defined
career pathways, and contrary to what our perception might
be of nontenure track faculty, I’ll give you just a
couple of instances. There’s one nontenure track
full-time principal senior lecturer, who, until recently,
was serving as associate dean of the College of Arts and
Sciences, supervising the, you know, really in the
student side of things, student complaints,
student programs, curriculum, and so forth. Another associate
clinical faculty member in our public policy school
is currently participating in the very large
Bill Gates Grant that the university has
related to student success. So, she’s developing programs
and supervising others in how we can change, how
we teach, flip classrooms, hybrid classes, active,
you know, active-based learning,
and so forth. But these are positions
of responsibilities. We have nontenure track
full-time faculty members serving on our executive
committee at the university senate. So, it’s a very different
perceptive then but we may have had in the past
of nontenure track faculty. Likewise, when you think of
part-time faculty, I mean, the top left picture is
sort of our adjunct — the stereotypical view we
have of adjunct faculty. Overwhelmed with
teaching, and this is — I wish I could say
this is no longer true. It very much is the case
in some disciplines, particularly with
the humanities. A very large share of faculty
are in these low-paying, course by course, sort
of enumerated positions that really can be
quite exhausting and almost exploitative. Yet, and geography has — you know, has faculty in
this category, as well. At the same time, part-time
faculty growth has been as much due to rise
in individuals who have positions
in corporate America. They may have — they may
be working for nonprofits, may be working for other
government agencies and want to teach an evening class
or participate in some way to advise students, and they
can come in as professors of practice or experts
in residence. You see artists that serve,
come for short periods of time to advise art students
or music students. So, there’s a range
of part-time positions that may not fit our perception
of what part-time positions are. And here, too, I’m
seeing, and I have to see, I’ll beat anecdotally
now in my position, as I see hiring packages
come over my desk, but I am seeing a trend
whereby faculty that start in adjunct teaching, or
part-time teaching, for a year, or two, three, there’s
increasing tendency where they move into full-time
nontenure-track positions. These faculty, and the
past, it was very unlikely that they could get tenure-track
positions, because if you’re in a very heavy teaching
heavy position, chances are, that you don’t have time to
keep up with your research and would not be competitive for a research-type
tenure-track position. However, those that are
doing teaching doing well, and they’re advising well, find themselves increasingly
competitive for these specialized
faculty lines, and I’ve seen these
coming, and it’s not just — I mean, you see even we had a
faculty member from the Centers for Disease Control, which is up
the street from my university, who was coming in as a
visiting professor of practice, had a full-time job, and
did a part-time teaching at Georgia State, and over time,
she said I really love academia. And she then moved in. So, you see a much
different kinds of patterns emerging today. So, if the metaphor I used then for faculty careers was
a picture on the left, the best metaphor I can think of today would be
something like this. Is where you have a whole range
of different faculty types. You come in at different points. You may exit. You may move off, come back
in, and this is an image of what faculty careers
today look like. Yet many of us still
think of it as the one, the picture on the left. And this takes me to the career
mentoring part of my talk, which is, you know, when I
thought of how I was mentored as a, you know, so my professor
certainly encouraged me. Says, you know, you’re
doing research. You must get a job at a
PhD-granting institution. Get a tenure-track job. That’s where I want you to go. And, you know, especially
as you hear stories of how women were not
encouraged in the past, certainly that was
so appreciated. How wonderful that this
professor is really kind of guiding me along in this way. Well, if you turn to what career
mentoring is today, guess what? Here’s a major professor still
saying, of course, you must aim for a tenure-track position
in a major university. More and more we see people
like me who are mentoring, and so I said, that’s
how I did it. That’s what my major
professor told me. That’s what I’m going
to tell you, and really hope the
best for you. And it’s most likely this is
what your advisee’s thinking. You know? And your students
know, they have a better feel for what’s going on than
the faculty may have. So, as mentors, what I say
is we owe it to our students and to ourselves to be very
aware of what the trends in higher education are. Once we are knowledgeable,
be transparent about what the statistics
are out there for students. I mean, your student, maybe
your top-class researcher, she may want a tenure-track
position. Go for it. Push her. Advise her. I see a lot of graduate students
who may say, well, you know, I really want to
do a teaching job. Do I — but then if I get
a tenure-track position, I’m going to have to do
research, that’s going to be tough, or I want
to be able to, you know, pay time to my family
and then come back in. And you know, we’re saying, no, you must go to research
tenure-track position. And there may be other
options that may fit the better and not feel under
pressure to please you. And there are ways in which we
can support them, advise them, make them aware, prepare them. I mean, involve them in some of the curricular
work that’s going on. Let them know what
compliance functions go on in the university. Increasingly, today, a lot of what our nontenure track
faculty are doing is helping students with their
graduation rates, success rates, making them aware of how — what this undergraduate
student debt problem is. And this is how we
will be preparing them for a much bigger, wider
set of career choices. And not to forget the faculty
that are in our departments, for those of you
who are academics. This is not unusual. I mean, you know, there’s the
adjunct professor, I think, who might be asking, you know,
gosh should I even be here? I wasn’t invited. Now they’re about
to take a vote. Do I vote? Do I not? If I speak
up, will I be — and this should not happen,
especially if you see what kinds of — how academia is changing. So, how we mentor, support our
— all faculty is going to, you know, reflect well
on us and our department. It’s also the language we use. Very often — I don’t like the
term nontenure track faculty, because it says what we
are not, and I see more and more universities
are actually coming up — one university, I think it
was Virginia Tech now uses collegiate faculty to speak to nontenure track
full-time faculty. Others use specialized faculty. We’ve got to change our
language, and that kind of implied cast system that
we so automatically fall into without thinking
and really think of how we support all our
faculty, because they can — you know, they may be
hiring you tomorrow. And I’ll stop my talk there
and really aspire for success for all our faculty in
this new environment. Thank you so much [ Applause ]>>Mollie Webb: Thank
you so much, Dr. Pandit. It’s my pleasure to introduce
you to Dr. Susan Shaw. Dr. Shaw is an SWG member, and as Mary mentioned
earlier this morning, she is a gold medal recipient
for her pioneering research, documenting the harmful impacts of man-made chemicals
on marine life. Please join me in
welcoming Dr. Shaw. [ Applause ]>>Susan Shaw: Thank you
for inviting me, and Mary, thank you, and Molly,
thank you for the brief but wonderful introduction. I want to tell you some stories
today about my adventures in science and my
struggles, really. And but before I do that, I’d
like to take us to the stories about some women that
have gone before. And let me just see
if I can — is this — yeah, this is working. Okay, all these women that went
before us, and there are many of the women sitting in this
room who are so outstanding, and I wish that I knew you all. But many of the women who’ve
gone before have had a struggle. Women in science — being a
woman in science is a struggle, and in previous generations,
it was much harder. I have put these
women into categories, but they’re all important, and
they have all shown us the way. In 1903, Marie Curie won the
Nobel Prize in chemistry — in physics, sorry, and
then in 1911, in chemistry. This is unbelievable that a woman would win two Nobel
Prizes in different fields. And then her daughter
carried on her work and took a Nobel in
chemistry in ’35. In these women, I put in
a group hidden figures, although they did win the prize, they have international
recognition, but in our history, in our minds, they are left
behind without, probably, the kind of recognition
that women can get today. Now these are two more women who
have won the Nobel in chemistry. One is Dorothy Hodgkin,
1964, and Ada Yonath, 2009. There are only five women who’ve
won the Nobel Prize in chemistry out of 175 prizes
that have been given. There are some women that
were truly overlooked. The story of Rosalind Franklin, the chemist who discovered the
x-ray photo method as a key to looking into DNA helix
structure, of course, was overlooked, and not
acknowledged in the papers. Watson incorrectly
took the Nobel Prize. Jocelyn Bell, similarly, discovered the first
radio pulsars in ’67, and her supervisor, who was her
coworker, again, took the prize. These women were
definitely overlooked. The first woman in space
was Dr. Sally Ride, and she was quite a
scientist, and I think, although her accomplishment was
tremendous, the memory fades. Memory kind of fades
about these women. And then, I don’t know if you’ve
seen the movie Hidden Figures, but it took a book to bring
these women out of obscurity, particularly we talked about
Katherine Johnson, who by hand, computed the trajectory for
John Glenn’s flight into orbit in the early 60s, and
she’s a math genius. She graduated from
college at 18. She’s a prodigy, and if you’ve
seen that movie, it’s an ocean of men in white coats,
and these three women who are pretty much not
allowed to come into the room, have to drink coffee
from a different urn, have to run a mile to
go to the bathroom. And yeah, these women were
instrumental in our space — home-manned spaceflight program. So thankfully, 57 years later, Margot Shetterly wrote
this book, Hidden Figures, and brought them to light. And the movie is —
takes some license. I agree with that, but it’s
definitely worth seeing. You have to realize, these women
are achieving, in Virginia, in the Jim Crow South. So, you have — there’s
racism in addition to sexism, in addition to the way women
were viewed at that time as belonging in the home. These women are game changers. They have broken the mold. They will stay in
our memory forever, and Francis Arnold
is the fifth woman to win the chemistry
Nobel Prize last year. She says, “If you’re
going to change the world, you’ve got to be fearless.” Well, no one is actually
fearless. It takes — what she’s
talking about is guts. It takes grit and guts if
you’re a woman in science. These women are the game
changers in my world. Amelia Earhart, who was
so determined to fly. She said, “I want to do it
because I want to do it. Women, like men, should
try to do the impossible. And then when they fail, their failure should be
a challenge to others.” A lot of grit and guts in this
woman, and she made the first, you know, transatlantic
flight in 1928, and she was our first gold-medal
awardee, I think, of the SWG. She said, “Courage is the price that life exacts
for granting peace.” I think that’s talking about
peace within the person who was driven to do, go beyond. So, this is her standing
in front of her Elektra at Lockheed, and her final
flight, as we all know, in 1937. Jane Goodall is another
SWG gold medalist. She will always be in our world
for her work in primatology, breaking the boundary of
language that is shared between animals and people,
and her work as a UN messenger of peace, she says,
“Here we are, the most clever species
to have ever lived. So how is it we can destroy
the only planet we have?” So, you see as we go
forward, women are starting to put their arms around
the world and become part of the global mission. “People said, ‘Jane, forget
about this nonsense with Africa. Dream about things
you can achieve’.” Well, she didn’t forget, and
we’re all the better for it. Sylva Earle, probably
less well known, but for me, she’s
such a heroine. She pioneered oceanography. She was the first
female scientist — chief scientist of NOAA and, you
know, has won many, many awards, including the TED Prize. She says, “We must protect our
oceans as if our lives depend on it, because they do.” And one more wonderful
woman is Rachel Carson, who probably is my biggest role
model in my life who worked on environmental challenges. She’s credited with starting the
modern environmental movement. As you know, wrote Silent Spring
in 62, which led to the creation of the Environmental
Protection Agency, and the first really
critical look at DDT. She says, “The most alarming of all man’s assaults upon the
environment is the contamination of air, earth, rivers,
and sea with dangerous and even lethal materials.” And we will talk
about her later. In the trenches, I think,
are people like myself who are carrying the
torch and following in the footsteps
of these giants. Linda Birnbaum is a
colleague of mine. Known her for 20 years. She’s a leading figure in government science
in this country. She’s the director of
the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences and the National
Toxicology Program. So, she has made very,
almost daring statements, in light of her professional
position, and she has looked at the economic consequences
of childhood exposure to toxic chemicals, and
also, for the rest of us. Gerda Keller is interesting. She’s a revolutionary. She has challenged the
belief that the dinosaurs, the last extinction, was caused by a single asteroid
that hit the planet. And she’s gone against the
paradigm that has been in place for decades, and the
reception to her is almost like the reception to
Galileo when he decided to announce that, you know, the Earth was rotating
around the sun. They put him away for 30
years on house arrest, and the response to Gerda
Keller was very, very similar with this Alvarez theory and
all the proponents of it. We’re going to have her speak
at my Institute this summer. She is quite a wonderful person,
I would say contrarian at heart. We vastly overestimate the
damage to the environment and life that this single
asteroid’s impact had. Her theory is about a series
of ongoing volcanoes in regions around India that were already
causing extinction before the asteroid hit. So, I think you’ll be hearing
more about Gerda Keller. And then, two people
in the trenches with me are this
wildlife toxicologist, who was a senior scientist
at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Anna Roos,
who does forensics on all kinds of wildlife, like otters — who discovered that otters
were declining in Sweden, and she tied that
to toxic chemicals. And now they’ve come back. Maria Westerbos is
a dynamite person who has founded the
Plastic Soup Foundation and the Plastic Health
Coalition, and she’s driving a
revolution in the battle against plastic pollution today. And here I am. I put myself in here. I’ve been in the trenches in
the battle lines on chemicals, oil spills, plastics, and
climate change for 30 years, and I think we are looking at
a whole new future ahead of us. We are just not there, and we’re
in a big backlash right now, was a there’s a war on
science, but the replacement of fossil fuels with
clean energy is going to revolutionize our lives. It’s an urgent priority
that I’m working on. Now before we get to those
stories, I want to talk about tobacco, because
that’s what the game is all about in environmental science. It’s a game that must be won. It’s a tough battle
against powerful industries, powerful lobbies, lots of
money, our economic structure that is founded on fossil
fuel, the fossil fuel economy that we’re in, and the
consequences of that. Tobacco starts advertising
in the 40s and ongoing in getting doctors to talk
on TV about, and in print, about the health
benefits of smoking. And I know that my mother was
very, very impressed by this, and she had a Vogue
Magazine from 1937 that had these glamorous
women posing in their in their jodhpurs smoking,
you know, Camel, unfiltered. And I mean, it was so
glamorous, and also, the ad on the Vogue Magazine
said, “Smoke three times a day, because it helps
your digestion.” So my mother was
sure to do that, and then they started
sponsoring TV shows. This is Jack Webb, Dragnet — celebrities, Hollywood
stars smoked. Here you have Burton
and Taylor lighting up. And the Marlboro Men, the icons
of masculinity and athleticism in the ranch and all that stuff. So, warnings — the warning
actually came out and ’65 from the Surgeon General,
and it didn’t actually go on the packages 100% until about
1970, but here’s the warning, and it starts a public campaign, because the science
has now made the link, and people have started dying. All the Marlboro
Men actually died of lung cancer except
one, I think. And millions of other people,
they started taking their cases to court, and here’s
what happened. This is the playbook for
all the powerful industries that are resisting
being tampered with. And it’s really about
profit, but it’s denial that there’s a connection, and
this is like in the science. Delay in court, and deception,
disinformation campaigns, and use of advertising. So, here’s something very
insidious, in my opinion. The ads that linked
smoking with women’s freedom and women’s athleticism
in sports, the Virginia Slims campaign
that was in the 70s. And you know, you
have to realize now, Ms. Magazine is coming out. Women are going through
a change. They’re becoming
liberated, and so, this brilliant ad agency figured
out a way to capitalize on that, and they actually did sponsor into the 90s this —
not on TV, however. Even Navratilova. This is ’94, sponsored
by Virginia Slims. So, there was an outcry
about this, of course. And here’s the last add — here’s some of the ads
that you’ll remember, all the — Frank Sinatra. And then, you know,
really distorting science by saying science and educators
and doctors smoke X brand. And then this is a horrible — little child buying a
carton for his parents. Okay, and then the teenage
campaign with this guy, Camel. And so, the ads were banned from
TV in 1970, and the last one was on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. And you see here, this is
where the science wins, but it took a long time. When the warning
came out in the 60s, people didn’t actually
stop smoking. They stopped smoking
more like in the 70s, it starts to come
down, and then you see, it comes down further
and further. But it’s interesting that
when the ads went off of TV, and then they were removed
from print, as well, they could stop doing
this insane advertising of something that was dangerous. Then that’s when the
public perception changed. And then, the counter
campaign showed, you know, people with lungs
that were quite black and things like that. So, television really has
shaped public opinion. After the war, petrochemicals
and plastics ramped up, and we believed in living better
with chemistry as a motto. We started spraying
DDT in the late 40s. Like, remember the children
following the DDT trucks. DDT was a miracle
of modern science, and here comes Rachel
Carson who messed it all up. She wrote this book, Silent
Spring, that questioned, for the first time, this
whole postwar, you know, promotion of toxic chemicals. And the impact of that
has just been tremendous. She said, “The most
alarming of all man’s assault on the environment is the
contamination of air, earth, rivers, and sea, with dangerous
and even lethal materials.” And caused them to
question the whole paradigm of scientific progress
after the war. She went on TV, on
Eric Sevareid, 1963, and faced just vicious
criticism, personal and professional, and
this industry chemist, Robert White Stevens,
attacked her personally on national television. He’s an American chemistry —
sorry, industry biochemist, “Suggestion that pesticides
are, in fact, biocides, destroying all life,
is obviously absurd. Miss Carson is a fanatic
defender of the cult of the balance of nature.” Well, she certainly was. And here’s a little
mosquito that got away, and he further said, “If men
were to follow the teachings of Miss Carson, we would
return to the dark ages. That’s insects and diseases and vermin would once
again inherit the earth.” He says this on CBS
News TV in 1963. So, the disparity between
the two of them was shocking, and of course, her work
has stayed with us. A couple of stories about me. I started in a dark
room, literally, a dark room that was filled with toxic chemicals we know
nothing about at the time. And I switched from photography. I have a masters, in fact, and
film from Columbia University that I switched public health. I have a doctor of public
health, and when I made that switch, I was at Columbia,
and Ansel Adams called me and said, “You have to help me. You have a double background,
film and toxicology, and I need for you
to write a book.” I said, no, I’m too busy. I’m getting my degree. He said, “Nope, this
is very important. Photographers are dying, and
I know it’s the chemicals, but we can’t prove it.” So, I did — I said yes
and started investigating. Most of the chemicals, in
fact, were trade secrets, and had fancy names, but we were
able to crack the code by going up to Kodak and talking to
them in a kind of, I would say, surreptitious way as
a graduate student. Anyway, we talked — we
found the health effects of these chemicals once
you knew what they were, and they were really not
just about irritation. They were serious effects
like cancer, brain damage, and reproductive effects. So, I wrote this book. It comes out and ’83, and Kodak
went on the warpath and said, you know, it was
all exaggerated. You know, the beautiful
chemicals could not possibly be that dangerous. But at any rate, the photography
community heard the message and changed what they were
doing in the darkroom very fast. Stopped letting kids
come in the darkroom, stop letting their wives
come in the kitchen darkroom, and in fact, moved the
darkroom out of the house and got ventilation, protective
clothing, and so forth. So, we changed this field. We made a big, big change, and
I was very proud to be part of that, although it
was quite a battle. Second story is about the — my experience with the
BP oil spill in 2010. This is the worst environmental
disaster that’s ever occurred in the United States. All these workers killed. You know, the gas was spewing. We were responding by
spraying these toxic chemicals, the Corexit dispersants, on
top of the petroleum still, and what struck me
was right early on was that they were spinning
the information, and we were shocked. There was denial that
there was any big problem. They said they didn’t want
to cause public alarm, and then there was
a lot of deception and disinformation going around about there’s probably
only 1000 of gallons a day. Well, it turned out that there
was about 100,000 spewing. The vast majority
of the oil is gone. No, it wasn’t eaten
up by the microbes. Not true. There are no plumes. Not true. And then, the dispersants are
harmless was a real good one. They said that Corexit
is as safe as Dawn dishwashing detergent,
but it contains this chemical, it’s a solvent that causes
internal bleeding, and they knew about this from the
Exxon Valdez spill. So, I’m going — I said I do
not that think that is true, because if you wash with Corexit
your dishes, a couple of days, you won’t have any hands left. BP went around and told
workers they could be fired if they were respirator. Why? PR. It would look bad. They told the guys on the shrimp
boats, the workers that were in contact with this
terrible hot, toxic oil, they said they were passing out because they were
having heat stress. And then, I found
in the, you know, Exxon libraries the
recommended gear for their workers
handling Corexit, which it looks like a spacesuit. And then, those people
were not wearing anything. You saw the bare arms. So, I dove into the Gulf
to look at the chemistry between the Corexit and the
oil, and I saw underwater. It was breaking up the
oil into tiny pieces. It’s releasing solvent
all over the place. It’s fiery solvent, and it’s
making the oil more bioavailable to anything under there. And as I was going down, I
was diving in a scuba outfit, but all covered up, and I
don’t know how to go back. Here, maybe that’ll help. Does this go back? Okay, anyway, I started
seeing dead things around me. So, my colleague and I got out, and now we’re having a
little problem with this. Do we know what to do? Okay, so we wrote a memo to
the agencies and said, in fact, that the combination of these
chemicals can cause DNA damage and cancer, and there’s no
complete level of exposure, and these people are, indeed,
in grave danger of live, crippling health problems, and
that’s exactly what happened. Now I reported this on a couple
of TED Talks, but the syndrome, what tied all the
people together, was that they had this syndrome. They had Gulf Coast Syndrome. They had shaking of the hands. I interviewed numbers of
them, heart palpitations. They had memory loss,
seizures, nervous system, couldn’t remember anything,
liver damage, holes in the skin, big ulcers, you know,
and they were — these were people
that are in their 40s and were healthy two months
ago, but worked on this bill. So, what BP did, the denial
thing, it got so far along that they were arrogant
enough to tell the sick people to keep quiet, and they told
the doctors to tell people that it was in their heads. And actually, we found out
later, seven years later, that NIH did this federal study, found out that they
weren’t crazy at all. They were, indeed, correct
about the connection between the oil spill
and their health effects, and this paper came
out, chemicals used in the Deepwater
Horizon spill are harmful to people — finally. So, the science wins again. I was part of that. I was, again, shocked to see — here BP’s response to
all this is to claim that the Gulf is safe. Come on down. They put $195 million
into ads, advertising, truth in advertising, right? So, by last year,
Trump coming in, who’s really waging
a war on science. As you know, within
and for two years, a very effective war on science. He rolls back the safety rules
on drilling that Obama had put in place, and also tried to
open all the coastal waters to offshore drilling, but
just last week, a US judge — this is very interesting
because they halted hundreds of projects, offshore
drilling projects, on the basis of climate change saying that
the company had not factored in the harm that that
would do to the Earth from releasing all
this oil and gas. So, our challenge now, and something I’m deeply
involved in, is the problem of climate change and plastics. They are evil twins. They’re related. Why? Plastic is petroleum. All plastic is made from
petroleum, monomer-polymer, and we are in the
fossil fuel age. I do believe we’re
getting out of it. I see the light at the end of
the tunnel, but this guy is — if you talk about women
in science, and you talk about Trump and his impact, you have to say it’s been
absolutely smashingly terrible, and we’re in a war. Here’s what the war looks like. It’s fossil fuels all the
way, the planet be damned. Gutting of health protections,
environmental protections. Removing data from websites. You know, climate change science
is not to be talked about. Firing scientists and getting
out of the Paris Climate Treaty, but here we have a game
changer, which in a strange way, the climate change, this
is an existential threat. This may unite all
of us, I believe. It’s so dire, and it’s
happening so fast now. We have so much evidence
that has been amassed that I believe this is going
to bring the world together, and indeed, we’ll see how
that is going to happen. The threat is so
obvious to everyone. No matter where you live,
you don’t escape it. I just went to the Caribbean for
a honeymoon, a late honeymoon. That’s not going to be a
story I’m going to tell. But, you know, in
the French Caribbean, the islands are wrecked. There’s like the island of
St. Martin, there’s only 20% of the real estate is back. You know, the wreckage, the damage is just
so, so all around us. Paradise is lost. Paradise is no more. And if we keep going, our world. You know, so we have
the hurricanes. We have the wildfires
in California. We have relocation of
millions of people. We have disease and deaths, and
with all these toxic events, the flooding, the wildfires, you
have toxic chemicals coming up, either through the smoke of the
fire or through the flooding, moving things around, and the
reason why is because our homes and our buildings
are full plastics. Plastics is the, you know, the
poster child of postwar success, and remember, in The
Graduate, Dustin Hoffman talks to his father’s colleague
who says, “You know, I have one word for you. This will make you a successful
man,” and that was plastics. Plastics. So, what’s happening
now is a rather horrifying — it’s the elephant in
the room because the — we have a boom in
the United States in cheap shale gas
from fracking. We have more gas than we
can use in the pipeline. What isn’t used, which is
about 80%, goes straight into plastic production. The chemical industry, I would
say, the oil and gas industries, are licking their
chops, spending — it’s 180 billion now,
and it’s 333 new plastic production plants. Where are they? They’re in Texas. They’re in Louisiana. The whole Gulf Coast
— pardon me. I get excited about this. And they’re also in the Midwest,
Ohio Valley, but these are — they’re huge, and
the largest one, one of the investors was a
Saudi, and it’s a Saudi deal that happened with
Exxon when Trump was over there doing the sword
dance in Saudi Arabia. But plastic productions now are
predicted to double by 2030, and this will — if you think of a plastics problem
now, which I do. Our oceans are choking with
plastics, the fragments of the plastics,
the microplastics, are polluting the biosphere. They’re getting into
our food, our water. You’re in the air, and
they’re in our bodies. So, this is very tied, all tied
fossil fuels, climate crisis, plastics boom, and you
know, we can’t afford to go through this plastics boom. So, we have mounted a coalition,
the Plastic Health Coalition. It’s international, based out
of Amsterdam, and we’re going to be prevailing on industry
to switch to alternative ways of making plastic-like
materials, and those are — and often, they are
not up to scale, but that technology does exist. So, there’s really
some positive news, as the fossil fuel age
chokes and sputters and tries to punish us as long
as possible. You know, renewable energy, and the marketplace is
driving all of this. The technology of batteries
allowing us to move to solar, transportation revolution, green
design in materials technology, and then, many states
and business and cities are moving
forward anyway with the Paris Climate
Agreement, you know, tenants. In the future, it’s
predicted that oil, gas, and coal becomes
[inaudible] assets. The oil industry knows this. We all know this, and
they’re already investing. Women in science. This is the last story. Who’s out there? Now, you know, our
mores of change, our whole social
fabric has changed. Our opinions are — the way we
think about women, and women, indeed, have been in there
fighting the battle all along. They’ve never given up, but
now we’re getting recognition, and women are merging as
leaders and leading us into the future we’re
going to want to live in. And here’s one Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez, who has come up with the Green New Deal. She was a biochemistry major,
almost went into science, and then went straight
into policy, but she has a science
background, and this is a fabulous
— it’s a vision, really, of the steps we need to take
and how quickly we need to move, and what she says is, “This
is the fight of our lives. This is the fight
for our lives.” And many, many people
believe her. This will be a change in
our socioeconomic fabric, and I believe it’s coming. And then, a teenager
from Sweden, Greta, little Greta Thunberg,
who has spoken at Davos and the UN Climate Conference. And she started the
School Strike for Climate, and she speaks very plainly to
everybody who listens to her. I would say, she’s not
fearless, but she’s close to it. “What we do or don’t
do right now, me and my generation
can’t undo in the future.” And she says, “Why should
I be studying for a future that soon will be no more, when no one is doing anything
whatsoever to save that future? And what is the point
of learning facts in the school system in the
most important facts given by the finest science of that
same school system clearly means nothing to our politicians
and our society?” Finally, I leave you
with Francis Arnold, whose bringing innovation
to chemistry. She has created the evolution of
enzymes, and it sounds esoteric, but enzymes are proteins
that catalyze reactions, and these are being used to create environmentally
friendly materials, including biofuels,
medicines, pharmaceuticals. So, it’s moving us
toward renewable energy, renewable fuels, and
replacing toxic chemicals. So, her words are, “If you’re
going to change the world, you’ve got to be fearless.” This is something all
women have always known. Thank you, and I hope to get
to meet a lot of you today. [ Applause ]>>Mollie Webb: Hello everybody. Welcome back. I’m glad to see everybody made
it back through that tunnel. Thanks to the random staff
people who help us find our way. So, I’m particularly excited to
introduce you to our next group of speakers, because I first
became involved with S WG as one of the New York group
fellows back when I was at Hunter College some
number of years ago. So, please help me welcome
SWG fellows, Kelsey Brain, Katie Glover, and Mae Miller to discuss advancing
women’s representation in geographic research. [ Applause ]>>Kelsey Brain: Okay,
so I am Kelsey Brain, and Katie and Mae will go next. Good afternoon. I’m so very honored to be here with all these amazing
women scholars. This morning was such a joy. I’m excited about the rest
of the talks that we have. I also wanted to just express my
gratefulness in what the Society of Women Geographers
has meant for me. I am a recipient of the
Evelyn Pruitt Fellowship, which was immensely
helpful for me in completing my
dissertation research. So, really, it’s just a pleasure
to be able to be able to be here to share some from that. So, as I mentioned,
my name is Kelsey. I am a dual-title PhD candidate at the Pennsylvania State
University in the Departments of Geography and Women’s
Gender and Sexuality studies. Today, I’m going to
share a little bit from my dissertation research,
which was in Costa Rica, which I completed last year. So, I’m just going to be
focusing on one part of that, kind of the part where
I’m sort of looking at differences within
the community. And as well, I want to kind of
explore my own positionality in my research and
how it was fluid, and how I relate it to people. Sorry is that —
because I keep going back and forth, is the audio weird? Is that better? It’s better. Okay, all right. Oops. Okay, so my dissertation
research, broadly, is looking at changes in
land use, livelihoods, and communal identity on the Caribbean Talamanca
Coast in Costa Rica. So, here’s a map. You can see in the small map in the right-hand
corner, the red box. This is my study area. It’s in the very
Southern Caribbean Coast. It includes about
eight communities, which over the past 25 years or
so, have kind of dramatically and rapidly become a
popular destination for foreign visitors,
both tourists, international tourists,
but also people who are deciding
to migrate there. So, people from Europe, the US,
and Canada, who are deciding to move there to begin
a new life, whether it’s as a retiree or younger. Either way, there’s many of
both there, but I’m looking at how the arrival of
foreigners, both tourists and migrants, has transformed
the region economically, changed how people access land
and are able to afford housing, and the part that I’m talking
about today’s really looking at how these impacts are
different across communities, or across community members,
according to gender, race, class and other socially
ascribed differences. So, just to very briefly set
the context, I was working in the District of Coweta
here in the Province of Limon in the canton of
Talamanca, which can see on the bigger map
is the darkest blue. This is the percent of Afro
descendent residents living in these cantons in Costa Rica. So, my district on the
smaller map is the kind of long one along the
coast, Coweta, and I wanted to just kind of give some
context for why it is — it has been a historically
primarily Afro-descendent community within Costa Rica. The Costa Rican government
is largely comprised, until recently, of
really, people descended from the Spanish colonial
government of Costa Rica. So, these coastal towns were
actually originally settled by Afro descendent
migrants who arrived from the Caribbean islands,
who most, primarily, Jamaica in the 1800s, to work on
the construction of a railroad between the capital
city, San Jose and Limon and also banana plantations that
were owned by a US businessman, Minor Keith, who you may
know, was one of the founders of the United Fruit Company, which has now become
Chiquita banana and was a very pivotal
company in Central America in the 18 and early 1900s. So, he brought these migrants
in from Jamaica to work on these banana plantations,
and they’re the ones who really settled
this coastline. But they lived with very severe
discrimination and isolation from the Costa Rican government. So, for example, I’m not
going to list all the things, but for example, they were not
given citizenship nor the right to have titled land
until the 1950s. And then, in the 1930s, 1934, when the United Fruit
Company pulled out of the Caribbean province, the Costa Rican government
passed a law preventing hiring Afro-descendants in any
other part of Costa Rica, which basically prevented them from leaving the
Caribbean province. So, because of these very racist
policies within Costa Rica, the region was primarily Afro
descendent until very recently, about the last 25 years, when
it’s really opened up suddenly to international tourism
and the arrival of migrants. And this has led to a
transformation in the economy from agriculture and fishing
into tourism-based economy, as well as changes in who
owns land and how you’re able to access land and what
the pricing of housing is. Okay, so, today, I’m not
going to talk too much about my research results. A little bit I will,
but I really just want to paint a picture by
telling a few stories. So, I would like to talk
about my positionality and just a couple of the
people that I really got to know while I was down there. So, I was studying in Costa
Rica for 11 months with — as a single mom with
my two children, who were at the time,
4 and 6 years old. These are them. And so, they really did this
whole research project with me. They would go to my
interviews with me. This is the picture
with the ocean, is them in the Manzanillo
Wildlife Refuge, and the other one is
us exploring an old, deserted cow farm, where
they used to grow chocolate. So, the farmer was kind
of giving us a tour. You’ll notice that they did not
wear shoes the entire time we were there. So, one of the things
that really contributed to my relationship with
the people that I worked with the fact that
I was a mother there with these two young children. However, one of the things
that are really learned to kind of think about a critique was
that my identity is there, and how I related to
people, was very fluid. So, that at times, it
was really the fact that I was a mother played a big
role, but then at other times, it played a much
less important role, and things like my
education status or my whiteness are the
fact that I was from the US, those things played —
or that I was single. Sometimes, those things
played a more important role. So, that’s part of what I want
to talk about today, as well. So, part of the question
that motivated me in this — some of the questions in this — for this talk and thinking
through both the differences that were in the community and
how I saw those differences, I wanted to kind of think through how did being a
single mother of two children, but also the same time,
an educated white woman from the global North, shape
my research encounters, and how I interpreted
those encounters, and what might this
suggest about the ways that women’s varied
experiences might contribute to a richer understanding — or rich understanding
of any research topic? So really, recognizing that women’s experiences
are very varied, and that there’s no
essential women’s experience. And that someone else, another
woman may have encountered this research in really
different ways than I did. So, the first kind of
story I want to tell you, and I’m hoping it will
sort of illustrate the ways that the local community
is impacted by the arrival of foreigners in very different
ways are these two people that I met early on
in my time there. So, the first was of
Afro descendent gentleman who I’m calling Gilbert. And I’m using pseudonyms
to protect research — the participant anonymity. But Gilbert was the gentleman that I rented my
first house from. He had inherited
land from his father. So, he owned some
land, and then, he had recently married a
woman from the United States. And so, together, they had kind of pooled their financial
capital, and she had a whole network of
connections and social networks and social capital in the United
States, and they were able to purchase more land and build
a total of seven units for rent to long-term — to both
migrants and tourists. And so, through this,
they were able to acquire a significant
amount of rental income from the foreigners
who were arriving. I remember one of the first
questions that I had was, because he had had a previous
wife, who actually still lived on the — in a little house
on the back of his property, and kind of wondering, I wonder
how she has experienced the arrival of foreigners, and if
that has been different for her. But sadly, I never was able
to get to know her very well, but I did, however, get
to know woman named Maya, who was Gilbert’s
second cousin, and Maya, he and his wife hired her
to clean and do laundry for their various rentals. So, Maya and I became friends
because she had a 7-year-old son who came over to my house
pretty much every day and played with my kids, and we
would cook together. He’s the one who taught me how to make petacones
from plantains. So, that was really fun. He stood in the pan to smash
the plantains into petacones. So, that was pretty fun, but
anyways, she was also going through — she was going through
a separation from her husband. And since I had previously
been through a separation, we were able to connect
on that point. In talking to Maya,
I was really struck by the dramatic difference
in how Gilbert and Maya had been impacted
by the arrival of foreigners to the region, foreigners
like myself in a lot of ways. So, while foreigners had
provided considerable rental income to Gilbert and also
the opportunity to marry into financial and
social capital, the impacts for Maya were
not so obviously beneficial. Although the arrival of foreigners has
brought more opportunities for wage employment in
cooking and cleaning, those wages remain very low. The average is about
two dollars an hour, and the work is demanding
and inconsistent, depending on a tourist season. At the same time, the arrival
of foreigners has greatly driven up the prices of housing
and food in the area. And so, this growing
inequality that is occurring because of this has led
to an increase in crime and the disappearance of an
economy that was really based on sharing within the
community, which was an economy that Maya really
depended on in the past. So, I want to return to my
positionality really quick, because I talked a little
bit about being a mom there, but also — I was also
a single woman, white, from a relatively
wealthy country, and I found that it was
actually very challenging to form strong relationships with the young local
women there, because there was a
considerable amount of distrust, which it seemed, over talking
to people for a long time, that a lot of that came because
there was a growing number of romantic and sexual
relationships between local men
and foreign women. As these women were coming
and increasingly arriving, and they were oftentimes
very attractive to the sort of Caribbean male Rasta figure,
and they also served as a source of livelihood for local men. So, there were many
relationships forming, and the women felt a
certain amount of distrust with the foreign women
who were coming in. And so, this proved to be
a real challenge for me, although I was — yeah, it just
proved to be a real challenge that sometimes my having
children was able to kind of help me navigate, and
other times, not so much. One of the young women who I
was able to get very close to, I’m going to call her Ellen, and she was a 27-year-old
Afro descendent woman with three young children, and
I found, in talking to Ellen, some really interesting
insights on how gender played out in that community. So, although Ellen’s grandfather
had owned a lot of land in the 1980s, all
of it had been sold, or small bits had been given
to other family members, and at this point, Ellen
did not own any land, and her siblings did
not own any land. So, she married when
she became pregnant with her first son
at 16 years old. She’s worked service
jobs ever since then. She currently works at a
coffee shop that’s owned by North American migrant, and she says this coffee shop
is the best work that she’s had since she started
working 11 years ago. She’s paid almost
5 dollars an hour, while most of her friends are
only making two dollars an hour. Ellen has been the sole
provider for her family of five, her husband and her three
children, since the time that they — that she
had her first son. She told me that this is largely because her husband has
been unable to get a job because foreign owned businesses
and individuals are “hesitant,” these are her words,
“to hire local men because they are perceived to
be lazy and/or troublesome.” So, however, she said, “However,
if they are especially handsome, they will have no
trouble getting a job, because they can work as
a bartender, a tour guide, or a surf instructor.” So, my interactions
with Ellen led to me to think really critically
about how the arrival of foreigners are impacting
local community members along gender lines, but
also not just gender. Kind of how that’s interacting
with race and other — age and other physical
characteristics. So, as Ellen described,
local men are often excluded from wage employment due to
their stereotyped reputations as troublesome or lazy,
and this is resulting in women taking a lot of
the wage employment jobs, jobs which are often
low wage, long hours, and hard working conditions,
doing cooking and cleaning, and the responsibility providing for the household is
increasingly falling to women in this community. However, those men who are
considered especially handsome or those who, like Gilbert,
owned land or were able to have a marriage that
provided significant capital, were able to benefit from
the arrival of foreigners. So again, kind of looking at
some of the characteristics, owning land that intersected
with gender in the ways that these community
members were impacted by the arrival of foreigners. So, in thinking
intersectionally. Feminist theorists have
encouraged scholars to move away from binary thinking, and
this is one of the things that I’ve encountered a lot in
the tourism literature and also in the literature on these
migrations from the global north to the global south is kind of
this creation of a dichotomy between the foreigner
and the local, and while there certainly
is inequality there, and I don’t want to minimize
that, I think we oversimplify if we focus just
on that dichotomy and we forget the
multiplicity of experiences that both foreigners and locals
have in these communities. So, instead, I find the
analytical framework of intersectionality
very useful. This is a framework which
is been really championed by black feminists,
thought of and championed by black feminist theorists
such as Kimberly Crenshaw. She was the one who coined
the term intersectionality, Belle Hooks, Patricia
Hill-Collins, Audrey Lord, many others, who’ve
worked hard to show that gender never
operates alone. That it is intersecting
with other power systems to cause marginalization. So, I found that that was
super important to think about in my research site. I also — and I think this kind
of goes along with that idea of intersectionality, was
thinking about the ways that I interacted with
people and thinking about my positionality, not as
a laundry list of differences to check off between
myself and the people that I interacted with, but
that my positionality was very, very fluid, and that depending
on who I was interacting with, various characteristics
or our relationships, certain things were more or
less important or mattered in different ways
with interactions with different people. And I have found recently that there’s actually
a very solid body of research being
done to kind of try to complicate our
understandings of positionality and consider more the
fluidity that we see here. So, for example, [inaudible],
really look at race that way. Talking about how race
is socio-culturally and geographically contingent and does not always
— perfect, thank you. Provide predictable power
relations between a researcher and our research participants. Other also have emphasized
the ways that our positionalities
are fluid in trying to think through. Like Ellen Cole and Priscilla
McCutchen, I believe, have talked about using
everyday talk to try to process through those, the fluidity
of our positionalities. So, eventually all I
have for you today. Thank you for your — yes, for
your support, and I look forward to having more conversations
with you.>>Katherine Glover: All
right, so I’m Katie Glover. Thanks so much for the
invite to speak today. I’m visiting from the
climate change institute at the University of Maine, where I am now a
postdoctoral researcher, and I was a fellowship
recipient while I was still at the University of
California Los Angeles, where I earned my PhD in 2016. So, I study paleo records, and
what I do with these is to look at landscapes that have
changed as a response to climate change in the past. What I aim to do today is talk
a little bit about the lifecycle of what that type of
research looks like, what it’s like to work
with sediment cores. I’ll talk about some of the
projects I’ve worked on, results that I’ve found, and
also what is like to be a woman in this field, since
the start of, really, what I see as my
research career in 2001. So, I had my start in science
in a geology department. My professors in this small
department were all men. Several had become professors
after working for oil companies. So, the first thing
I learned how to find underground
were oil traps. I never used that expertise
in my career to come, but afterwards, I went to
the University of Cincinnati for my masters, and I
discovered there’s a whole world of climate science research, and more recent geologic
past surface processes, how landscapes have changed, that I felt I really
hadn’t been exposed to in my undergraduate
curriculum. So, this is where I also
where I had my first exposure to coring small basins
and lakes, working on fieldwork teams,
and I got to do this all around Ohio, Indiana,
the upper Great Lakes, and Canada during the three
years that I was there. So, I’ll talk a bit
about what the lifecycle of this research is like with
a few cartoons and pictures. So, during fieldwork, we
take cores out of the ground and are looking specifically
for lake sediments. Lake bottoms often don’t have
oxygen over their history. So, it’s a really good place to
preserve environmental material, and if you ever have a smoothie
or Boba tea and put a straw in with your thumb over
it, you get some suction and some material comes out. That’s basically what we’re
doing with this coring system, and we just take it out
one meter at a time. So, here I am in Ohio
troubleshooting equipment and then working with students,
as well, to use that tripod to start recovering cores. If you never got rid of that
childhood desire to play in the dirt, this is a great
line of work to go into. For my masters, I was ultimately
interested in this question. So, when and how did
the deglaciation happen in Ohio, Indiana? And this might seem like
flyover part of the country, but this is where the
Laurentide ice sheet came down its furthest south. It really dipped down over Ohio. So, we can learn a lot
about rates of retreat, and the ice caps melting
today, from looking at timing and then rate that that
southernmost section kind of collapsed and
then retreated back at the end of the last ice age. After fieldwork comes lab work. You have these cores
you can split open into open spaces for sampling. This is a muffle furnace
with small crucibles in them. Each has a small sample in it, and we burn that at really
high temperatures to find out how much material burns off. That your organic content in
the lake, and you can tell a lot about the environment. Oftentimes, it’s
a warning signal if the organic material
kicks up. Or it might mean that
solar radiation increased, and usually, that’s tied what’s
getting deposited into the basin or maybe the algae
population exploded, and that made the
organics go up. Once you have all your data
collected, the analysis and putting it together
can be tricky, especially establishing
the age of these sequences. And when I cored Ohio and
Indiana, I was really looking for material at the very, very
bottom of these sequences. If there’s a stray seed or
twig that gets in there, that tells you minimum
age of exposure. So, you assume that
ice sheet was gone and that basin was there ready
to start receiving material. So, I did a lot of
radiocarbon dating to help with these sequences and then
develop that history over time. And then, synthesis. I really like, even though
I was in a geology program, this is kind of an inherently
geographic approach to look at things in space
and time, right? Not just one site, but
whole networks of sites, and they’re all a little noisy and might show slightly
different patterns, but we’re interested
in aggregate and what patterns they show
about timing, retreat, warming, environmental age, and I really
looked at that over Indiana and Ohio as I was
wrapping up my master’s. So, just the blowup of
that synthesis picture of the Midwest. We have got the place where
the ice sheet retreated. So, the original extent is in
that blue-dashed line there, and then, those numbers is the
time that that lake was exposed in thousands of years. And previously, the story
was that that maximum extent of the ice sheet was
20,000 years old, but my work changed the
story of that little bit. We had some literature sites,
especially right on the margin, that actually were exposed ahead
of time, and if you can see some of the 19.6, 18,000 years ago, a lot of Ohio was pretty
exposed fairly quickly after 20,000 years. So, together, these data suggest
that collapse of that part of the ice sheet had
happened earlier and faster than previously believed. So, by about 17,500 years ago, it looks like that ice
sheet was completely gone from most of Ohio. So, I include a couple
pictures here to show what I did my
third year of my masters, as I was synthesizing
these Midwestern data. My advisor had a new grant
to start a project to look for glacial melt water
outlets all throughout Canada, and then those upper Great
Lakes, Lake Superior region in Michigan, etc. So, I
stayed on for your full time, and I helped organize
these field campaigns. I went on the field campaigns, and I was managing the
research lab at the time. It was a lot. Probably about the work of two
full-time jobs in and of itself, but this really is probably
the most time I have spent continuously in the field was
being able to go and core at all of these sites, it’s really
exciting work, but I would go for weeks at a time, often as
the only woman on the team, and especially in that
Ontario picture, by this point in summer, we had 12,
14 hours of daylight, and we worked during that
whole time every single day. I had to reckon with the
fact that towards the end of my masters, I was
really approaching burnout from doing both, in
this is where, I think, for women in the
geosciences especially, role models really matter. Now we heard earlier
today about one of the speakers mentioned
one woman professor and her department in the 70s. This was the early
2000’s for me, and there still was only
one woman geology professor in both my undergrad and
master’s programs combined. So, this is why we really
need to expand the field. I had just turned 25. I felt that academic
research was very cutthroat, very competitive, very
grueling, as well. And so, I left academia
for a long time. I landed in North
Carolina within a year after some family
visits and travel, and I was a high school teacher. I was hired to develop earth
science curriculum and work on updating the elective class, the environmental
science curriculum. So, these are a couple of fun
pictures from that time period. I really liked doing —
I had a lot of freedom to design my own labs and
like design my own curriculum. And this was a private
school, as well, so a lot of resources for that. Huge population of students that had learning
disabilities, as well. So, in this age of so much
objective testing and pressure for college admissions, I
really saw the kids light up when they could do
hands-on experiments, collaborate together, set them
with the task or a challenge or question, and kind of let
them create, and here they are with building models
that we tested on the springboard
for earthquakes. That was kind of crazy,
but this was probably one of the more fun things I
did, I think, was being able to design these inquiry-based
activities for students. I still felt that pull, however, towards designing my own
research and projects. So, I knew I’d have to listen
to that ambition, eventually, and apply to grad school again and continue my pursuit
of science. And I knew I always
wanted that Dr. more than I wanted the Mrs.
at the end of this. So, I landed at UCLA Geography. I was fortunate to have that
opportunity and be accepted to a top-ranked program after
a long gap, and here I’ll go through the lifecycle of
a coring project again and just talk about that
a little bit more in terms of what we can really tell
from doing these analyses, the results that I found,
and it’s actually extended into the work that I do for my
postdoc now, which is working at the La Brea Tar Pits,
which is right in Los Angeles. So, the lake site I worked on is
in the San Bernardino Mountains, and this part of California
was never completely under ice. So, you can get lake sequences
that go back farther in time and show multiple
glacial cycles. And then, this is the La Brea
tar pits, and I’ll mention that the SWG fellowship allowed
me to stay in residence in LA for two summers, which is
expensive, but I was able to advance the geochemistry
analysis I had put in the proposal at the time, and I started volunteering
one day a week excavating at the tar pits. That experience, ultimately, led to the postdoc work
that I’m doing now. So again, fieldwork this
time, it was really cool to target a site that
was so sensitive. It’s right on this transition
between Mediterranean biome in the green, and then Mojave
Desert is there in the pink. And I was really curious as
to like what type of change that had seen over glaciers. I organized the drilling
campaign instead of setting up a manual tripod. We got to hire a team, and they
recovered 85 continuous feet of material from the
lakebed that day, which is pretty exciting. It makes for a huge
dissertation project, but I know the society
really likes this picture, which was taken that first day,
and when we took the material out of the ground, and
I was very excited. We could see, through
those plastic tubes, very visible change happening that was probably
caused by solar cycles. For the lab work, this
extended during my PhD to include more analyses. So, we did the organics again,
and for such a simple analysis, this ended up being
really important for showing those
solar cycles over time. That impacted the algae
population that would sort of come and go in the lake, depending on whether it was
a glacial period or not. And very into student training. I think I had somewhere between
15 to 16 students volunteer in the field or lab and
help with this work. Eighty percent of those
students were young women. The ones I worked with the
most substantively ended up doing capstone projects or
becoming coauthors in papers, or they did a report
or presentation, and it’s been really great to see how their
careers have expanded in environment sustainability
careers since then. So, the first one shows
Alexis with a thumbs up. She’s checking magnetics. That tells you a lot about
the depositional environment. We have Tamron Kong
[assumed spelling]. She just cut out
slices, very neatly. She’s very happy about
having done that, but we take those slices from
the core and then digest them into hydrogen peroxide to
filter out the charcoal, and charcoal is often seen as a
proxy for the wildfire history of that lake basin over time. Next picture to the right is
Sargum [assumed spelling]. I think we took that
picture to mark. She had done 400 charcoal
samples at the time with one of the flasks, and
then pollen processing. So fossil pollen is really
persistent in the environment. If you’re like me and
get spring allergies, it not only gets into lungs. It kind of disrupt your
own system, but it persists for a long time in lakes, and we
use some pretty harsh chemicals to remove — oh, my goodness. Is everything okay? Just take a breath. All’s okay? All right. So, yeah, that’s just a sampling
of some of the lab analyses that we did to check the
environmental history, and each of these is only like one clue towards how the
environment changed at the time. Sometimes it’s sedimentation. Sometimes it’s algae. Sometimes it’s forest. I’ll show you one of the cooler
results that I worked up. I’ll add, too, this
is me at LAC Corps at the University of Minnesota. This facility is the biggest
in North America for this type of research, and they just
hugely expanded capacity since I was a master’s student. I think it’s a lot to help
a lot more folks be involved in this type of research and help move beyond early
career student training. So, these are the pollen
results, and we got the age on the left, and that green
is all of the forest pollen, all the tree pollen
summed together. It mostly comes from
pine, and then an orange, we’ve got the shrubs, and you
can see how much has changed in the environment over time. We got the last glacial,
and there’s some change, but about 60,000, 70,000 years
ago, you can see how much that shrubland really
expanded, and then working up that charcoal history,
it’s not that remarkable in the early part of the core
where there’s a lot of change in the forest cover,
but it starts to kick up about 70,000 years ago, and it’s that time we get
sustained forest afterwards that seems to be the best
for promoting wildfire. And then, the last glacial,
we have that flat line, and this was always kind of
mind blowing to tell people in California, you know, the
San Bernardino Mountains are so fire prone today, but
it went for thousands of years during the last glacial without really having
any wildfire. And in terms of synthesis,
I think the impact of this work kind of highlights
what forest might change into in California. In California’s mountain forest
today, there’s extensive, extensive tree mortality. About 2010 is when these
flyover surveys started trying to gauge estimates of how much
the forest has really changed, and it’s now 149
million dead trees, and this quote I’m
showing towards the end of my slides here
is from the agency that does these flyover surveys. I don’t know if my research
really answers the question of when the forest might change,
but it gives a little insight into what, and we have all
these times in the past where forest has converted to
shrubland, and if that happens, if forest really shifts
something else, that allows us to ask questions about what that
means for tourism in California, and what does that mean
for flooding and erosion, especially as we get more
extreme weather events in California? What does that mean for
uptake of carbon dioxide if you’ve got a shrubland
instead of trees. I think these are really
important question to make that five-year plan, 10-year
plan for what could happen in mountains of the west coast,
because really, land management and firefighting right now are
in year-to-year triage mode. And for me, shifting
from geology to the geography department
for my PhD, I found, was really the place I could
ask those types of questions and connect the physical
environment with the people that live there,
especially surrounding issues of equity and justice. Those conversations came much
more naturally in geography than any other workplace
I had been in. Being conversant in the social
sciences, I feel is more and more important than
ever for those of us who work in climate science. It hugely improve the
impact of my own work and my interactions
with the public. You know, I feel that culture
of my early training was that we would, you know, work
hard, be out of the field, stay in labs, generate all this
data, and then at some point, impart that to the
public or publish that peer-reviewed study, and
it would speak for itself, and it would motivate
politicians and people to change. However, it doesn’t
work that way. It took a long time for me
to learn that kind of coming into that space with
that doctor. doesn’t necessarily
mean I’m there to bestow scientific expertise. I’m more there to listen to
other people’s lived experiences in the environment where
we live, and especially that of students, too, and
if I’m lucky, hopefully, I’ll encourage and then
activate folks’ own love for the natural environment
and motivation to protect the world
where we live. But really, this is an
act of community building, which I think, we, as women,
are really good at doing. We need more of that
in climate science. We improve our chances to
respond and find solutions to the climate crisis when
we have these more diverse, resilient communities. And that includes in the lab,
in the field, the neighborhoods where we live, who’s in the
room when policy is talked about and who comes to the table. I’m personally really
grateful for organizations like the society of women
geographers that help foster that type of support and
connection and mentorship. You know, I came to DC and
the Library of Congress for the first time a few years
ago, and it is incredible to see original maps and
the history of our country, but it’s hard not to visit
and come away thinking, well, this is the story of men, and
men get to be founding fathers and the change makers. Showcasing the important
work that women are doing in geography in the space
today really means a lot to me personally. So, I thank you, Mary, the
society of women geographers, for your continued support and for what really has been
an incredible day so far, and I look forward
to that continuing. So, thank you. [ Applause ]>>Maegan Miller:
Good afternoon. How’s everybody doing?>>Female Audience Member: Good.>>Maegan Miller: It’s
been a great day so far. I want to start off
by thanking Mary for putting the panel together,
for all of you for being here, and also thank the society for supporting my
dissertation research. And so, I was one of the
New York City fellows, and with the money I was
able to conduct research for my dissertation in the
United Kingdom and archives in London, Bristol,
and Liverpool. I was a so able to conduct
research at the University of the West Indies in
Trinidad and Tobago. I spent some time in the
Library of Congress here in DC, and I was able to attend
two-week summer school last year in Bologna, Italy, for global
studies and critical theory, where I met with graduate
students and faculty from all over the world to think
critically about scholarship and research that was grounded
in the lived experiences of people in the global South. So, today, I’m going
to share a bit with you about my experiences doing
research as a woman of color and the work that I’ve done
to center the histories and experiences of women of
color in maritime studies. And so, I will start
with some brief vignettes from my research, and then I’ll
give you some general background about my study. And then, I will give some
methodological examples for how I’m looking for
the stories and listening to the stories of women in the
archives of social movements in the 1920s and
30s that I study. I can’t quite figure this out. Okay, can you hear
me if it’s here? Perfect. And if I
use the clicker. Here, okay. So, I want to begin my talk
today with a brief vignette from my dissertation research. On a predictably
cloudy day in June 2017, I visited the Merseyside
Maritime Archive in Liverpool for the first time. When I entered the archive, on
the second floor of the museum, I found 20 men already
seated at the tables, and they all knew each other. At the table next to me, the
men, all white, and over the age of 60, recounted
recent vacations to so-called affordable
but lousy places, such as South Africa
and Sri Lanka. No one mentioned Britain’s
role in the underdevelopment of these places or how the
exploitation of seafarers from these countries
produced British naval power. They were part of a local
enthusiast club, and had come to discuss the models of
ships rather than their cargo or the geopolitics
of colonial shipping. Here the sea was understood as
a site of leisure, adventure, and ingenuity rather than
a site of human suffering. The research librarian
was puzzled when I asked for the records of a
shipping line that operated between Liverpool and the ports in what is present-day
Ghana and Nigeria. I explained to him that I wanted to understand how the company
transitioned from transporting of black bodies for the slave
trade to the exploitation of black labor in the
shipment of palm and cacao and whether the company
records detailed in instances of local
resistance. Yeah, they were little shocked. So, the morning was a stark
reminder of how both my body and line of inquiry are out of
place within and antagonistic to maritime studies, which remains a largely
masculinist and colonial project. Indeed, as a young black woman, my position as a researcher is
often unbelievable and called into question in archives
throughout the UK and the US where I am regularly chosen
for random security checks, require extra surveillance
in dealing with documents, or am presumed to be
lost or a staff member, rather than a scholar. Experiences such as these have
been well documented by scholars of color throughout
Europe and North America. Black women are unbelievable
both as scholars and as the subjects
of maritime history. Yet, as geographer
Katherine McKittrick argues, attention to the not quite
spaces, sites of struggles, and stories of displacement that constitute black women’s
geographies not only fill in the gap in traditional
historical and geographic knowledge,
but more importantly, can chart a path towards more
humanly workable futures. My talk today is
divided into two parts. In part one, I will
give a brief overview of my dissertation research
on the anti-colonial activism of black and South
Asian seafarers in the early 20th century. In the second part, I will explain my methodological
approach to looking for and listening to the quotidian
presence and practices of women of color within these
maritime networks and spaces. Attention to these spatial
practices can, in turn, shed new light upon
the routes and contours of diasporic community
formation, political education, and transnational social
movements during this period. And let me could
just quickly say, I’ve just finished
the data collection. So, what I will share with
you today is an overview of the questions that have
guided my inquiry rather than completed analysis
of what I found. And so, I study the ways that black maritime workers
circulated information and formed connections and
solidarities across the Atlantic in the early 20th century. I asked how these
networks formed, what kinds of political
education these workers underwent in port cities,
and how the movements of maritime workers, as they
traveled to various ports, expanded the transnational scope
and capacities of antiracist and anticolonial movements? I focused primarily
on the period during and after World War I, so
1914 to 1939, and on movements and networks routed
through six port cities in the United States, United
Kingdom, and the Caribbean. These are New York City, New
Orleans, London, Cardiff, Kingston, and Port of Spain. Merchant ships in port
cities were not only integral to the extraction of resources,
movement of commodities, and accumulation of
capital, but also set in motion the mass movements
of labor, circulation of ideas, and coordination of collective
capacities that exceeded and negated the global
order of racial capitalism. As Paul Gilroy has argued
in his foundational text, the Black Atlantic, the ship
is a living micro-cultural, micro-political system
in motion, which brings into sharp analytic focus
the discontinuous histories of England’s ports and its
interface with the wider world. British merchant shipping was
contingent upon and constituted by complex regimes of coerced
mobility, immobilization, and mobile enclosures which facilitated the hyper
flexible circulation of capital and commodities through
the production of cheap, racially differentiated
workforce. Sailors hired and colonial
ports, such as Kingston and Calcutta, were tasked
with the most difficult and dangerous jobs,
usually working as stokers in the engine room. In addition, they were
paid 1/7 to 1/3 the wages of unionized British sailors
and a lot of fewer cubic meters and smaller food
rations aboard ships, all of which heightened
vulnerability to premature death. In the 1920s, black and
South Asian workers organized themselves to challenge
these working conditions and the racism of the British
National Union of Seamen. Yet, these workers also
understood their labor struggles as bound up with
broader movements for self-determination,
and against racial and colonial violence. Accordingly, black maritime
workers distributed radical and often illegal periodicals,
such as The Negro Worker here, across racial — across
national and colonial borders and also shared musical
records and black books, such as Claude McKay’s Banjo,
throughout Atlantic ports. They coordinate boycotts
in defense of Ethiopia against Italian occupation
in the 1930s and strikes throughout
the Caribbean in the cause of freedom. Through the transmission of oral
and written news and stories, these workers served
as a vital link, keeping their communities
informed of struggles across the black world. The struggles of
black women circulated through these networks. For example, in May 1932, Ada Wright addressed
the first World Congress of Seafarers held
in Hamburg, Germany. Wright was the mother of
two of the Scottsboro boys, nine African-American teenagers
who were falsely charged with the rape of two
white women in Alabama. Wright’s address to
the seafarers was part of a transnational campaign
to raise awareness and support for the legal defense. The maritime delegates
unanimously passed a resolution demanding freedom for the
Scottsboro boys and pledged to carry their struggle for
liberation into every port, ship, and harbor in
which they touched. In several documented instances,
sailors held teachings of the Scottsboro trial
in their bunks below deck. Rights appeal is part of a long
tradition of political mothering on the part of black women
in the face of state sanction and extralegal violence
against their children, and we can see how
the seafarers, along with journalists and other
activists, amplified the reach of the story and deepened
capacities for solidarity. Another way that we can see the
circulation of feminist activism and critique through maritime
networks is through attention to the content of
the periodicals that seafarers distributed,
such as the Negro worker. For example, a February 1937
issue reported on a proposal by British authorities to introduce compulsory
sterilization and population control
in Bermuda. The author argued that
the policy amounted to violence against,
and the violation of, black women’s bodies and
traced this historically back to the transatlantic
slave trade. At the same time,
the author argued that the uneven resource
distribution and long history of colonial expropriation
were the true issues at hand, rather than overpopulation. Here again, we can see the
intersectional critique indexed through and amplified
by maritime networks. Beyond attention to the kinds
of stories that circulated through these networks,
I am interested in the quotidian
places and practices through which black women
shared the stories themselves, and in doing so, shaped and refashioned the
meaning of the maritime. Writing on the origin stories of Liverpool’s black
seafaring community, and apologist Jacqueline Nassy
Brown has argued that rather than seeking a gender balance
in diaspora studies, i.e., highlighting the few women
who did work on ships, scholars should consider
how gender ideologies, “determine the different social
and physical locations that men and women can legitimately
occupy.” Such an approach considers
the meanings of seafaring and the power asymmetries
that shape presence in, production of, and movement
through diasporic workspaces. To engage in the fleshy,
messy, stuff of everyday life, a phrase I borrowed from
geographer Cindi Katz, requires reading across multiple
repositories and genres, from memoirs of black
radicals to the logs of missionary societies. From the records of the colonial
office and customs officials to novels and oral histories. It entails attention to fleeting and often unremarkable
references, reading between and speculating from silences,
and listening to images, such as this one of women
working as construction workers in Trinidad, listening to the
images on multiple registers. Let me now give three
brief examples of how these insights
have informed my approach to earth writing and
unearthing black women’s historical geographies. First, attention to place-specific quotidian
histories complicates conventional understanding
of dock work and dockworkers. Within Euro-American
ports, the labor of loading and unloading cargo
and carrying goods to port overwhelmingly
falls upon men. Yet, when we look
to the Caribbean, we find that the labor
of market women and women as dockworkers was
crucial for regional and transnational circulation. Accordingly, research must
consider not only how stories and ideas were transmitted
across context marked by difference, but how the
spatial differences refashioned and reconstituted the categories
and contours of politics. We can ask, for example, how
the anti-colonial networks of the early 20th century
were built upon and shaped by the long insurgent
knowledge traditions and routes of black Caribbean women whose
collaborations and exchanges with seafarers can
be traced back to the slave rebellions
of the 17th century. Second, my research
continues the range of social reproductive
labor that happens in and around the docks and asks
how political consciousness was formed and circulated
through the spaces. I shift the focus from the
pages of medical periodicals to the places where these ideas
were discussed and debated. These include the dockside
lunch counters and cafés where workers ate and drank, the
dance halls, and the rum shacks, the gatherings help
for seafarers returning from their voyages in the
boardinghouse and the brothel. In all of these spaces, women
were present, listening, actively shared the
news of the day, and contributed their
perspectives to political visions. And yet, these places should
not be overly romanticized, nor should the sometimes
violent contradictions of women’s lived
realities be diminished. For example, in Claude
McKay’s novel, which is about this radical
black community of men in Marseille and
is often an example of the political possibilities
and exchanges afforded by port communities, the
women characters are not only unremarked in their absent
presence but are framed as disposable and,
indeed, antagonistic, to the masculine freedom dreams
articulated by the protagonists. And so, by attending to
the politics of gender through these everyday
practices, routes, and expressions, we can shed
new light on the meanings of maritime and of
liberation itself, as we think through these
tensions and contradictions. Third, we can consider how and
to what ends women utilized and contributed to transnational
shipping infrastructures. Here we can look
to the foundation of the Black Star Lines by the Universal Negro
Improvement Association in 1919. This small, independent, black-owned shipping line was
established to challenge racism that black passengers and
workers experienced working on British and American ships,
and with the ultimate goal of facilitating the return
of the black diaspora in the Americas back to Africa. The line went bankrupt in
1923 and is often portrayed as a failure because
the return voyages to the homeland never
came to fruition. And yet, the failure narrative
obscures the importance of the Black Star’s passenger
voyages throughout the Caribbean, Central
America, and New York City. The ships carried
primarily women and children throughout
the region, often following the labor
migrations of their husband, and by shifting the
analysis away from the vision of great men, such
as Marcus Garvey, and the simplified
notions of failure, we can better understand the
impacts of these infrastructures in shaping the circulation
of people and the ways that women used these
infrastructures and circuits to further spread their ideas,
perspectives, and contribute to the ongoing anticolonial
visions, perspectives during this period. So, taken together, I argue that
these insights offer a blueprint for how we might write black
women into maritime studies and through these
emancipatory spatial imaginings, disrupt maritime studies as a masculinist and
colonial project. I will end here and look
forward to any questions or feedback during the break. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Debbie Fugate: Good
afternoon, I’m Debbie Fugate, I’m deputy director of the
National Geospatial Program at USGS, and an SWG
member, and I am delighted to introduce our next
group of speakers. You’ll hear from Milena Janiec, Kathleena Mumford,
and Maggy Tolson. They’re all early career woman
geographers, and I’ve asked them to share their perspectives
on essential skills in the federal workplace. Thank you. [ Inaudible Speech ]>>Milena Janiec: How
can I bring it up? When I was an undergraduate,
I used to watch a TV series about fictional Dr.
Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist working
for the Smithsonian Institution, and I remember thinking
that how is it that on the TV they have
fascinating jobs like these. I wish they existed
in real life. Today, I would like to argue
that I have an even better job, because I get to
evaluate data originating from emerging technologies
and solve their mysteries from the comfort
of my PC instead of digging for slimy bones. I love my work. We contribute to
several programs related to remote-sensing
and collaborate with local governments and other
federal agencies to gather, analyze, and publish
geospatial data. However, I would not be able
to be successful as my work if other people would not
force me to be open-minded, to think critically, and
frankly, to enjoy state of continuously pushing
my intellectual capacity. When I started graduate school
in the human geography track, my advisor started to discuss
which classes I should take, and she suggested
remote-sensing, and my response was,
why would I take it? I don’t need it to graduate. And her retort was, “This is
the only time in your life when you get to expand
your horizons. The question is not
why would you take it, but why wouldn’t you?” And so, I took the class
grudgingly, but later, because of my educational
background, I was hired by the National
Geospatial Technical Operations Center where I work
with LIDAR, which stands for light detection and ranging. Last year, all of the
job advertisements in our center were seeking
geographers and cartographers, and not surprisingly,
most-repeated terms in the ads included
experience, education, and data. However, importantly, each one of these jobs had mentioned
analysis and research as a keyword to inform
the candidates about everyday responsibilities, and I think this is a correct
way to describe what we do. Honestly, with my human
geography background, I was worried about
being able to contribute. However, receptiveness and
critical thinking are needed across geographical disciplines. The major elements of
my work are related to testing new methods
of data or gathering data or providing feedback on
existing specifications. And who would not be
a better-suited person for that a human geographer? You know that we
human geographers like to question everything. But in all seriousness,
feedback is necessary. For instance, I received
research projects that have no specifications
or context on how these data should
be treated, and my role is to isolate things which
can be standardized. For sample, I may ask
for better documentation of ground trephine methods. Usually, these projects
culminate in meetings where I talked to my
colleagues about what’s new? What’s hot? What to read. What to look out for. And this is the picture of
a meeting with colleagues from Applied Research Section
who are developing new software to test either data,
and I organized it to discuss how we can use the
software and my role was to talk about interpreting the results,
because sometimes we may look at statistics and think, oh, I knew that there was
something going on there, but we have to force ourselves
to look out for the context. And so, I talked about how
can we visualize the data? How spatial and temporal
changes in the area of interest can influence
the results. And these types of
collaborations can shape the way that we treat data in a
more systematic manner, and in the end, provide
better information and research to the public. I must open my mind to
cutting-edge science, and sometimes I look at this
latest way of gathering data and I think — I don’t know. I find myself absolutely
memorized. Marie Sklodowska
Curie had remarked that a scientist is also a child
confronting natural phenomena that impress him as though
they were fairytales. There is no greater desire then
to get to know as much as I can, but I must force myself
to step back and look for the limitations, and
while this makes me successful at my job, I struggle with it,
and I don’t think I’m alone. I think whether or not you
are a physical geographer or a human geographer,
or whether you rely on qualitative methods
or quantitative methods, we may find ourselves
reading a publication about the new approach that just
came and can’t help ourselves but feel a little bit,
you know, fascinated, a little bit spellbound,
and then we must wake from that spell and think, okay,
but what else is out there? What are the limitations to this
new method, to this new theory. In this age of increased
automation, our abilities to think outside the box, to
be creative, to be acquisitive, to engage with critics,
set us apart, and these are some
necessary skills to serve the public [inaudible]. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Margaret Tolson: Good
afternoon, I’m Maggie Tolson. I would like to state that
views I present are mine alone and do not necessarily represent
that of the government, the IAC, or the US Marine Corps. So, this time, eight
years ago, I was finishing up my first GIS course my
senior year of high school, and I was already set on a path
towards a degree in geography. Since then, I’ve seen rapid
changes in the industry, which has prompted me
to have self-motivation to continue to learn. If you’ve ever heard the phrase
feeling uncomfortable is the key to success, then you
understand that getting out of your comfort
zone, like I am now, to learn new skills is the
key to self-development. I’ve taken this phrase and repeated it throughout
the years. If I can tell my past self one
skill that would become vital to my career, it would
be personal leadership. The ability to define a
direction for your leadership in life and move
into that direction with consistency and clarity. At my workplace, I’m joined
by a mix of geographers, or geospatial analysts like
myself, imagery analysts, and scientists, but since
geography as a whole has so many components to it, most
people I’ve noticed have taken to one specific niche area. While looking into
the future geography, I suggest that that professional
should look outside of the area of interest and into all aspects that geography, or
GIS, can offer. Entering into the government, I realize that being a
geographer doesn’t entail just one job. We have to think on our feet, be
knowledgeable about the products that we can provide
to our customers, and constantly be keeping up with the evolving
GIS technologies. On the Bureau of Labor
Statistics website, in the Occupational Outlook
for Geographers, it states, “Employment of geographers
is projected to grow 7% from 2016 to 2026. This is average for most jobs. Yet it also states that geographers should face
strong competition for jobs, as the number of candidates is
expected to exceed the number of available positions.” With this knowledge, I’ve
utilized personal leadership by making myself a
multifunctional hybrid analyst. For example, I was put on
a project on my workplace where I became dependent on
imagery analysts for data. Realizing this, I decided
to take it upon myself to ask questions and learn how
to obtain information on my own, making me more independent. Doing so streamline
my processes, made me more efficient, and
increased my production rates. I decided to not
constrain my skill set by focusing on one area of GIS. Constantly being motivated to
get out of my cubicle and learn for my colleagues essentially
helped me learn a new skill set that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Aside from being motivated to
be technically more advanced, there is also the point
of leading yourself to become a better employee,
being a self-starter. Having a positive attitude,
engaging with coworkers, and seeking out opportunities
are all examples of personal leadership. For example, within my first
year of the government, I noticed that there were
trainings and programs where the main goal is to enhance employees
professionally. So, I decided to apply. Last year, I graduated
from a six-month program that basically developed me into
a future public service leader. It encompassed job shadowing’s,
management interviews, a developmental assignment,
and courses on leadership. During most of these, I felt
outside of my comfort zone, but I push myself with personal
leadership to continue going, and I’m proud that I did, because I was having new
experiences and learning from people I don’t
normally interact with. During my developmental
assignment with another agency, I was even able to learn
a new mapping software that I wouldn’t have otherwise. The government is
filled with opportunities to progress your career goals,
but if you don’t take advantage of them, then you’re never
realize your full potential. So, going back to the phrase
I stated at the beginning of this talk, feeling
uncomfortable is the key to success. Utilizing personal leadership
will push you to grab hold of opportunities that may cause
you to feel uncomfortable, but in the end, will
benefit you greatly. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Unidentified Female: I wholeheartedly agree
about this podium. I can’t even see half of
the audience over there. I’m going to start my
presentation off with a question that I think maybe in
this room has heard. “Can you help me with a map?” I got that question from my
husband about three months ago on a date night,
and I said, sure. Luckily, he was looking
for heat map, and everyone thinks
those are kind of sexy. So, I asked him, what
do you mean by heat map? And he said, you know
the kind that goes from one color to another. And I’m like, oh, you
mean a choropleth map? And he’s choro, choropleth map. Yeah, that’s what I mean. So, we had a discussion, an
ion enhanced his geovocabulary, we finally got to the point
where I realized I can help them with what he needs, and I think
it would be beneficial for both of us, because he’ll
understand what I do for 8-plus hours a
day, and we’ll connect. It’ll be great, and it’ll
give us something to do on Saturday nights if
we’re short on money. And, cool, no problem. We can do this. Unfortunately, the software
he had was ArcGIS Pro, and I hadn’t really
touched that. I’ve lived in ArcMap
for about 15 years. I opened it up on his computer,
and I said where’s the map? And then I said, where’s
the add data button, and I couldn’t work
my way around it. And I realized that after
15 years of living in ArcMap and after a significant
amount of time in the federal government,
I’d kind of fallen behind of what the outside
world was doing and what the standards
were becoming. And so, my focus is on
maintaining relevance outside of your office and bringing that
relevance back into your office in the federal government. It really was an experience
working with my husband to do this, and I also learned about being able
to translate that. So, not only maintaining your
own relevance but bringing that relevance to other people
in your office, bringing it up. So, managing up with GIS. Bringing it to your colleagues
who understand geography and GIS, but also
bringing it to your clients who don’t know that
they want GIS. They don’t know what
geography is. They went to a geography bee
or something and they know about places, but they
don’t know geography, right? And we’re all geographers. So, I signed up. The way I went about this
is I signed up for class, and I signed up for
an Esri class. And I went to this class, and I was not the only federal
government person there, but there were people
from all walks of life and all different professions,
and I realized I wasn’t alone. These people also were
very afraid of ArcGIS Pro. And if you’ve ever
opened it, it’s a ribbon, and it’s different and it’s
like going from a Mac to a PC. It’s really scary, and
vice versa probably, right? So, I realized very quickly
that just maintaining relevance to the outside world
wasn’t going to be enough. I needed to liaise
with my colleagues and bring what they were doing
in and also bring it back out. So, it’s not a one-way street. Maintaining relevance
goes both ways. If the public and private sector
don’t speak with one another, how can they stay on the same
foot and understand each other? So, relevance is
a two-way street. Finally, I think that the thing
that you really need to focus on with maintaining
relevance is internally. My first job, I was the only GIS
person, and in my current job, I’m surrounded by
other geographers, but we all bring a different
perspective to what we do. And there’s a lot
of different ways that you can manage those
situations, and there’s a lot of different skills
that you need. Communication is
absolutely one of them. And so, I wanted to
provide some insight on how to manage up with GIS. And fortunately,
my boss is here. So, this is my managing
up for GIS. Bringing case studies,
maybe even having to explain what a case
study is to your boss, so that they can understand
how this situation applies to our situation. So, when you come, come with
real and practical information to say this is why we can
do this in our situation. Come with a cost sheet. So, this conference is important because it’s cheaper
than this class. This travel is important, because it’s cheaper
than this conference. Being able to say it’s
more than zero but less than 5000 is really powerful. And then, also, if you’re asked for something that’s
not geography or GIS, bring geography and GIS anyways. Do what’s asked of you, and then
try to tack on a little extra. And then, the next time,
add a little bit more and then add a little bit
more, and people will start to realize the power
of geography and GIS without even knowing it. Just get it in there, and
they won’t even realize, and then finally,
you’ll have a convert, and you’ll have all these
geographers around you, and it’ll be wonderful. And then finally, bringing
it to your colleagues. I call this donuts
and spreadsheets. So, it’s really nice to wash down a spreadsheet
with a doughnut. If you bring the
donuts, they will come, and then your spreadsheets
will turn into maps, and your maps will turn into
analysis, and it’ll be glorious. So, there’s always a way to
maintain relevance for yourself. There’s ways to bring
relevance to other people, and I think it’s really
powerful to bring in that public and private sector
two-way street, but also, internal to your organization,
spread the word about geography and GIS, and whatever it is
that you have your passion about when it comes to discipline, and
people will come. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Paulette Hasier: All
right, we’re getting ready for a really short break. If we do about five(ish),
we can keep on time, and there’s really good goodies
to come afterwards, after myself and my colleagues for our
lightning talk, and then, of course, the invitation to come see all these wonderful
geospatial-enabled materials in the Geography
and Map Division. So, quick break guys. All right, welcome back. My name is Dr. Paulette Hasier. You might remember me from
such times as five hours ago. But today, I’m putting on
my quick presentation hat. I am the chief of the
Geography and Map Division, and in three slides or less, I’m
going to go through 250 years of cartography, specifically,
women’s cartography, but the really good news is
that you’re going to be able to see some these examples when
you come down for the open house in Geography and Maps. So, with further ado, so, we start with some early women
mapmakers, and when you think about early women mapmakers,
they were mostly either women that were in families
that were mapmakers. They might’ve been engravers. So, the actual map might’ve been
made by their father, husband, uncle, per se, and they actually
did a lot of the engraving, but they did get credit
for the engraving. You’re going to see things
like map fortification maps. There were also educators
where you see with the — on the lower map, the
history of the United States, or the Republic of America. I love the Republic of
America, and you see, also, some plats and some plans. We also have some very, very, colorful pictorial maps
that were done early. So, we’re looking at, in this
time frame, we’re looking at anywhere between the
17th and the 18th century, going into the early
19th century. So, you can see very early on,
there are some contributions to cartography from
women mapmakers. This is my favorite, and
this is what I was going to do the whole talk on,
but you would hear from me for way more than five minutes. So, this is going
to be really quick. This is going to allude to something Mary said
earlier about Marie Tharp. During World War II, the
men were going off to war, and Congress actually passed
an act and said, oh, my gosh, we’ve got to get people that
are skilled in cartography and be able to make maps, because how the heck
are we going to know where these folks are at in situational
awareness, if nothing else? So, there’s these wonderful
programs, and these are from our prints and
photographs division, and we have a rep over here. But these are some of
these early women mapmakers who actually got training,
who actually got training, believe it or not, from
the federal government, in order to work on projects in the farm security
administration. I love the picture of the
camouflaging class, learning how to make maps on camouflage. They also were employed
through the WPA and some other of the other federal agencies. So, this is where some of
the women got their training in the — during
the World War II. So, let’s skip ahead. I told you 250 years in
three slides or less. And we’re going to talk about
20th century women mapmakers. The one right here is —
this is Anna [inaudible]. I love this. She went on these
journeys with her husband, and he’s the first person
to map the Arabian desert. So, she wasn’t allowed to
go by yourself, of course. I think we had a number
of presentations earlier that alluded to the fact that
he was allowed probably to go at all, and she was a
woman means, of course, and she was let go because
of her husband, but I think, you know, how cool is it to say
like you are the first woman to you know, across
the Arabian desert? That’s pretty cool to me. Next, we have, and
this is something that, I think Mary talked
earlier, as well, as we have a visual
representation one of Marie Tharp’s maps,
and this is, of course, the first woman, I’ll say woman. We’ll leave Bruce
off for a second. She’s is the first woman
who mapped the ocean floor. So, we do have examples of those
for you to look at when you come down to see us at
Geography and Maps. So, that was it. That was 250 years in
three slides or less. I’m turning it over to
someone else who can talk, and we’re going to turn it
over to Dr. Stephanie Stillo, who’s going to take it
away and look at maps from a different perspective. [ Applause ]>>Stephanie Stillo: To
be completely honest, I thought it was going
last, so, here we go. All right, so I’d like to
begin with a little bit of a confession, and my confession is I am not a
geographer, though I am a woman. So, hopefully that counts. Okay, so I’m a rare
books curator. So, I’m coming to you today
from a little bit different of the discipline, but
I’m keenly interested in the intersection
of cartography and geographic expression
in rare books and all its many forms. And today, I’d like to talk to
you about some of the visual and conceptual articulations
of geography by women in what’s called the modern
book arts genre, okay? And this may be new
to some of you. I hope it is, because
it’s really neat, and I think that this
is an important topic for sort of several reasons. For a very long time, women were
largely absent from the world of printing, of graphic design,
and of the arts, in general. And so, this is one small
way that we can bring that voice back into
these fields. So, just a very quick
definition, of what artist books are. They are really their
own medium. They can have a traditional
book structure, or they can be very sculptural
objects and really everything in between, and the goal of an
artist’s book is really the goal of any artwork, right? It’s developing an aesthetic. It’s telling personal stories
or making some type of political or social commentary, right? And today, I want to give you
examples that speak certainly to the theme of geography, and
these are all very cartographic. They’re a little
bit on the nose, because we have five minutes,
but there are several others that we could dive into
that are much more sort of cultural geography
and their articulation. So, let’s go ahead
and get going. So, this is 43, created
by Robin Price. It explores the number 43
for very complex reasons that certainly I
can get into later. But it mixes maps from locations
along the 43rd parallel with excerpts from 86
books about exploration, as well as other
topics, as well. And these excerpts are
sort of chosen according to this really interesting
metric based on the number 43. The binding is also an
expression of what is in the book, and this binding
sort of comes out of itself. It’s really fantastic. And so, along the way,
you encounter a compass and fractal patterns and a
large-scale grid that sort of echoes the maps
that are inside. Deep Time is one
of my favorites. It came out in 2017. It explores the concept of
erosion and sedimentation. And so, the artist
created these sort of maps of layered physical features
of some of the highest points in the surface of the planet,
including the Tibetan Plateau, the Andean mountain ranges,
and as you sort of go through the book and you
sort of displace the pages, you kind of experience
the process of erosion and sedimentation. It’s a really —
for several reasons, it’s a really beautiful
work of art. This book is entitled
Ingress/Egress. It’s sort of — it’s a
very meta book in many ways in that it’s an artist’s
book that sort of contemplates the
design and the purpose of an artist’s book, all right? And so, it sort of settles on
this theme of books are, right? And so, book are
architecture, right? Books are collections. They’re environments, and
they’re also maps, right? And then gives a
definition a book provides. A defined space in
a visual system to explore an environment. So, I think that this is
an interesting idea, right? This idea of what is a map? What is a book? And how do these
definitions sort of intersect at certain points? And last but not least
is The City Within. Maybe because this is so
unusual, we’ll just go ahead and let that play for a second. So, this artist investigates
the structure of her own body in relation to urban
surroundings, particular the city of Montréal. The front and the back covers
resemble a pelvic bone, and this sort of
anchors a full rib cage, which it has this really
fantastic accordion style, and on the inside of the
ribs is a map of Montréal, over which this —
Natalie is her name, has placed her own
poetry about the city and how the city has sort
of become a part of her and what she calls sort
of under her skin, right? It’s a really spectacular
work this relatively new. So, in conclusion, right, there’s a lot more here
to talk about, right? I mean, we could just go
endlessly into these books, but this is just a few examples
of the way women have sort of used the medium of
both cartography and books to find their voice
for their own critical and often personal expression
of the world around them. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Katherine (Kathy) Hart:
Last but not least, here we go. [ Mumbling ] Okay, hi, I’m Kathy Hart. I’m head of Geography and
Map Division Reading Room, and as we know, last but
not least, I want to talk about careers and libraries. I am a librarian. I am not a geographer,
although I want to be one, and I’ve taken classes, but
I’m not quite there yet. I want to talk about
careers libraries though, because I know many,
many geographers who have really great
careers in libraries, and a three that I’m
going to point out. But basically, the big
concept is what does it take to be a librarian? Well, it takes a bachelor’s
degree in anything, and you add a master’s degree in library science,
information science. There’s different
configurations, and then you find an awesome
job such as here at the Library of Congress or your local
university library, but I wanted to point out three
people, in particular, who have either a bachelor’s,
master’s, or a PhD in geography, who have done really fabulous
things to combine all the things that they’ve learned in
their degree into meaningful, meaningful intellectual, creative work in
their libraries. So, the work with
libraries, just to put it in a very short nut — very, very, condensed version
is the acquisition of materials, the organization of
materials, instructing or how to use the materials, and
anything in that realm. So, I want to jump over
to my first individual, Mary Larsgaard, who if you were
in or near UC Santa Barbara in the 90s or even the
2000’s, maybe prior to that, you may have run into her. She, actually wrote the book — she wrote the book
on map librarianship. I have some show and tell
here, in three editions. And she was a fabulous mentor. She, unfortunately, passed away
just a couple of years ago, a retired about 10 years ago. She was a leader in the field, both in how to organize
material, as far as, you know, the traditional librarianship
of collecting print maps, but she evolved into the world
of cataloging and metadata and taught classes, wrote
articles, cofounded a journal, which I, actually,
also, was a coeditor of. This journal Map of
Geography Libraries. So, if you have anyone you know
that’s interested in the career, profession of map librarianship,
this is a really great resource to kind of get an idea for
what the big topics are, but Mary was fabulous. She participated in the
Alexandria Digital Library, which some of you may be
familiar with from back in, I guess, back in the early 90s
to 2000s, also in Santa Barbara and active nationally and the
American Library Association, etc. But Mary was in the more
traditional print maps world. Over the last 20 years or
so, map libraries have come to incorporate GIS
data, as well, and the next two
people I want to talk about have integrated that. Marcy Bidney, she had
started her career at Penn State many years there. She’s up now at University
of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She’s the curator of the American Geographical
Society Library, the first woman curator
of that collection. It had moved from New
York 10 or so years ago. She’s also active and one
of the newer coeditors of this journal, as well. But doing some very fabulous
work, including a lot of — a lot of her collection
is aerial photos. So, she’s putting her geography
degree to work in a map library, also, with aerial photos, and
doing things, collaborations on the international scale. Third, last of the
three, Nicole Kong. She coming into libraries
from a GIS background, and she has a PhD in ecology
and her bachelor and master’s is in geography, environmental
science. She is not a librarian
by training. She doesn’t have a
degree, but I want to point out that libraries have
evolved as libraries have taken in the concept of GIS
service in collections over the last 20 years. Some of those positions,
instead of being, you know, the master’s degree librarian,
they are often GIS specialists. So, someone who may
have a master’s in GIS. So, if you’re talking to
students, or if you know someone that wants to be
involved in academia, but maybe just the PhD
is not their thing, they can be very involved and
very active with a GIS degree. They can have collaborations. Nicole, for example,
has multiple, multiple, multiple grants. She teaches credit classes, and
she’s collaborated on a variety of digital humanities projects, which is very much a growing
thing, the geohumanities, and I also want to
also point out, she is one of the key leaders on a Big Ten Academic
Alliance Geoportal. So, the work of pulling
that data together across many libraries since and organizations
is really critical, and to have these individuals with this very in-depth
understanding of geography and GIS makes these
collaborations and projects much more
feasible and much more robust. So, in conclusion, if you
know of anyone that’s looking at bachelor’s, master’s
geography, wants to be in a university
setting, wants to be able to teach, maybe doesn’t
quite have the PhD. Maybe that’s not their thing. They can do a lot of that
in a library environment and really make the
most of their degree and have a really great career. So, anyway, I think
I’m done for now, and please join us
at the open house. We’ll walking over
there shortly. [ Applause ]>>Paulette Hasier: So,
what a wonderful day, what a wonderful opportunity. I can’t say enough about,
really, the honor that we had in Geography and Mapping
in the Library of Congress to help cosponsor
this conference with the Society of
Women Geographers. I always want to say Southwest. Don’t ask why. There were some great speakers,
and there has been a lot of time to hear about the careers of
geography, about the history of the SWG, a little bit about
cartography, because we had to slip that in, and
enlightening talks by some of our fellow federal
geographers and folks that are in the field. So, again, I want
a round of applause for everybody who spoke today. [ Applause ]

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