Lisa White, Geologist and Director of Education and Outreach at the University of California Museum of Paleontology. She was elected to the California Academy of Sciences in 2000.
"Stereotypes die hard. A broad range of people – men and women – work in the field of geology and paleontology but the old-school image of a guy with a pick and a shovel heading out on a dig is very entrenched."
"I was fortunate because of the USGS internship. I started there in 1981 as an undergraduate and continued working there until 1994. It was very unique. The Survey was very male dominated. But I was fortunate to work with a number of women geologists. One of them was particularly challenging. Her attitude was that it’s tough field so get used to it. She was also very encouraging. That helped me see that a lot is possible if you have the right network and the right mentors and people who can guide and inspire you. I was able to look past the barriers and see women achieving in geosciences. Mind you, the department or both of the departments in which I was a student had very few women faculty. There were women undergraduates and women graduate students but only a handful of women faculty members."
“It’s a great field with plenty of opportunity and high degree of job satisfaction. It’s also a great discipline if you’re someone who cares about how the environmental change and seeking solutions. We need diverse people to investigate these changes, to solve environmental problems, and to come up with alternative approaches to the environmental problems we’re facing. Women and men in my networks are very optimistic about the prospects for broader and more cross-disciplinary initiatives that should help bring more women into the field. We continue to battle the perception people have that geoscience is just about digging up rocks. We need to spread the word that it’s more than rocks and the solid Earth; the field includes climate, oceans, and environmental change."
Online Education and Wiki, Photo via Berkeley