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St. Clair County Community College Library

Women in Science

Florence Bascom (1867 - 1945)

Florence Bascom2The Stone Lady, geologist Florence Bascom is known for becoming the first female geologist to survey on Mount Desert Island. After earning multiple degrees at the University of Wisconsin, Bascom wanted to continue her studies at Johns Hopkins University. Initially denied entry based on her gender, Bascom persisted, petitioning for admission and eventually becoming the first woman to earn a doctoral degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1893. She helped build a geology program at Bryn Mawr College. In 1896, she became the first woman to work for the U.S. Geological Survey, conducting field work in the summers when class was not in session.  Her field work at Mount Desert, publishing her official report on the region in 1919. She pioneering the use of microscopes in the study of minerals and rocks, and made contributions to the understanding of the formation of the Appalachian Mountain range. 

Sources: "Florence Bascom." Women in Geology, University of Illinois, Accessed 4 Feb. 2019.

"The Stone Lady, Florence Bascom." National Park Service, 14 Sept. 2017, Accessed 4 Feb. 2019.

Camera Craft Studios, Minneapolis [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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