Celebrating women in science

Author: Megan Selva

Dr. Betsey Boughton along with Agroecology Research Assistant Megan Selva and Agroecology interns Caroline Wade and Anna Odell plant different species of grasses for a research project at Archbold’s Buck Island Ranch. Photo by Alan Rivero.

To celebrate women in the workplace and this year’s centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, Archbold Biological Station is highlighting contributions made by women in our scientific community. For the past half-century there has  been a strong presence of women at Archbold. In 1976, with the passing of the founder, biological explorer Richard Archbold, his sister Frances Hufty assumed the Chair of the Board and served in that role until her passing in 2010. She was succeeded by current Chair of the Board, Dr. Mary Hufty, her daughter, and niece of Richard Archbold. Dr. Hufty retired recently from a successful career in family medicine, but her biological roots run deep, supporting natural history, biological research, conservation, and education. 

Since Dr. Hilary Swain became Executive Director in 1995 an increasing number of women have joined Archbold as Program Directors and lead scientists. Women in the workplace have contributed to success at Archbold, adding a wider set of skills, creativity, and cultural insights. Nowadays, women make up many of the staff, visiting scientists, board members, and volunteers. Dr. Eric Menges, Director of the Plant Ecology program says, “I’ve always been proud that our program has welcomed women and that female alumni have felt that their internship was an important part of their training and professional development. Many of our female interns have gone on to make a strong mark in the ecological sciences with their research, education, and the development of future generations of ecologists.” 

Female scientists contribute to making Archbold a great place for research, conservation, and education. We are excited to announce a new blog series, ‘Celebrating Women in Science.’ This initiative will share the success of female staff at Archbold, reflect on their experiences, and offer advice. The series will be posted on Archbold’s Scrub Blog: new blogs will be posted monthly. Please follow the blog to see how female scientists contribute to making Archbold a great place for research, conservation, and education. 

Dr. Hilary Swain concludes, “Archbold takes pride in supporting women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). According to http://www.catalyst.org, 36.1% of women in the U.S. graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in a STEM field. Archbold is excited to inspire more young women to pursue careers in science. We want to share our stories with them.” 

Dr. Eric Menges along with former Archbold Plant Ecology Research Assistant Stacy Smith and former Archbold Plant Ecology Interns Tabitha Petri and Lauren Maynard collecting data on the rare plant, the Wedgeleaf Button Snakeroot (Eryngium cuneifolium). Photo by Jen Brown. 

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