Women in the Field: America's Pioneering Women Naturalists

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9780890964897: Women in the Field: America's Pioneering Women Naturalists
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Men generally dominated the study of the outdoors in the late eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries. But there were women in the field, too. Marcia Myers Bonta gives biographies of twenty-five of these women naturalists in this well-detailed study.

Bonta divides the women by the subject of their study: naturalists, botanists, entomologists, ornithologists, and ecologists. She also describes a group of women that she considers pioneers, showing them in all their individuality, as field persons, as professionals, and as friends with others in their field.

A handful were recognized experts. Agnes Chase was considered the best agrostologist in the world; Alice Eastwood was made honorary president of the seventh International Botanical Congress in Sweden; Elizabeth Gertrude Knight Britton was called the mother of bryology. In the 1950s conservationist Rachel Carson became a well-known voice in the fight against pesticides, and in 1962 she published Silent Spring, a chilling account of the effects of pesticides on people, wildlife, and the environment.

Others were less well known. Jane Colden did botanical work and drawing in the 1740s and 1750s, with the support of her father. Martha Maxwell developed a new method of taxidermy in the 1860s, displaying animals in their habitat. Kate Brandegee, of California, hid her identity from the established botanical community in the East for many years, knowing they would look down on dissenting work done not only in the West but by a woman.

This book provides insight and information about the history of American nature study as well as women's roles in the natural sciences.

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About the Author:

MARCIA MYERS BONTA has written three books and has published extensively in American Horticulturist and Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other magazines and journals. She lives in Tyrone, Pennsylvania.

From Publishers Weekly:

The lives of these 25 women, many of whom were born well before the turn of the century, bring to mind an old-fashioned word: gumption. Unfazed by the hazards of their chosen careers, they simply "went at it," as entomologist Anna Botsford Comstock said, "with their usual daring on untried paths," fueled in many cases by nothing more than an abiding curiosity about the natural world and a passion for collecting. Ynes Mexia, a "botanical adventurer," traveled some 3000 miles down the Amazon in only 10 years and on one trip alone gathered 33,000 specimens. Annie Montague Alexander, whom Bonta ( Appalachian Spring ) calls "a quintessential naturalist," was raised on Maui by an adventurous father who encouraged her interest in the natural world. Alexander traveled extensively in Alaska and California, and in 1947 at the age of 79, set off for Baja to collect botanical specimens. Divided into sections on naturalists, ecologists, ornithologists, botanists and entomologists, with an abbreviated biographical format, the book occasionally reads like a catalogue, making one wish for longer, more detailed studies on these remarkable women.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780890964675: Women in the Field: America's Pioneering Women Naturalists

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Publisher: Texas A & M Univ Pr, 1991
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Book Description Texas A M University Press, United States, 1991. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Men generally dominated the study of the outdoors in the late eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries. But there were women in the field, too. Marcia Myers Bonta gives biographies of twenty-five of these women naturalists in this well-detailed study. Bonta divides the women by the subject of their study: naturalists, botanists, entomologists, ornithologists, and ecologists. She also describes a group of women that she considers pioneers, showing them in all their individuality, as field persons, as professionals, and as friends with others in their field. A handful were recognized experts. Agnes Chase was considered the best agrostologist in the world; Alice Eastwood was made honorary president of the seventh International Botanical Congress in Sweden; Elizabeth Gertrude Knight Britton was called the mother of bryology. In the 1950s conservationist Rachel Carson became a well-known voice in the fight against pesticides, and in 1962 she published Silent Spring, a chilling account of the effects of pesticides on people, wildlife, and the environment. Others were less well known. Jane Colden did botanical work and drawing in the 1740s and 1750s, with the support of her father. Martha Maxwell developed a new method of taxidermy in the 1860s, displaying animals in their habitat. Kate Brandegee, of California, hid her identity from the established botanical community in the East for many years, knowing they would look down on dissenting work done not only in the West but by a woman. This book provides insight and information about the history of American nature study as well as women s roles in the natural sciences. Seller Inventory # APC9780890964897

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