Historic Women in Ornithology Reading Project

Sometime around American Thanksgiving I was asked on Twitter to recommend a few historic women in ornithology for someone’s kid to research for a school paper. I sat there, stared at my screen and then hung my head.

Historic women in ornithology? The only name that came to mind is Margaret Morse Nice, and that was only because I know there is an award named after her, but I didn’t know much past that.

I know many women in ornithology right now, they are fantastic, really inspiring, doing cutting edge cool stuff but historic women? Like women who a grade school student could write a book report on? I had nothing and I sat there and stared at my computer screen.

Based off some feedback on Twitter and some digging on my own I started requesting books at the library and got to reading. So far I have not been disapointed, it has been inspiring and fun to read the stories of these amazing women, the great science they did and the things they have overcome. I’m still working on tracking down a few more books and will gladly take recommendations and include them below if anyone has any.

Current list of books I’ve read

Ornithology has come a long way to be more inclusive of women, and we have much ground left to cover to ensure it is a community open to many other underrepresented groups as well, but atleast now if I’m asked about historic women in ornithology I’ll have a better answer. Though I am now feeling a tug to find the stories of other underprepresented groups, since all of these so far are the stories of well of white women. Back to the library!

Written on February 4, 2016