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Women in Science and Environmental Professions (FOR 797, Section 2)


Robin Hoffman Ruth Yanai Terri Donovan
404 Marshall 346 Illick 356 Illick
470-6546 470-6955 470-6792
rehoffma@mailbox.syr.edu rdyanai@mailbox.syr.edu donovan@

Course Overview: Welcome to the Women in Science and Environmental Professions seminar. This is a 1-credit college-wide seminar, which means that the class is geared towards a diversity of students from various departments at ESF. The main goal of the course is to provide an open forum for female and male faculty and students to interact and discuss gender issues pertaining to science. The course consists of one hour of lecture or discussion per week, with opportunities to interact with female professionals outside of class.

Course Objectives: After completing this course, the student should be able to:

1. Articulate the issues and obstacles facing female professionals.

2. Discuss career strategies for professional development.

3. Demonstrate professional presentation skills.

Course Layout: The schedule consists of 5, 3-week cycles. The first week of a cycle will consist of general discussions of a topic pertaining to women in science and environmental professions. The class as a whole will discuss several readings on a given topic. Students will be expected to (1) briefly summarize an assigned reading and its major points to the class, and (2) formulate 2 questions from each of the readings for class discussion.

The third week of the cycle will consist of a seminar from a visiting scholar, which will include plenty of opportunities to interact with that person in a mentoring atmosphere. The second week will consist of readings and discussion of a general topic that is meant to introduce the class to the visiting scholar’s work. This is necessary because the course participants come from a variety of backgrounds and everyone will benefit by knowing more about a speaker before they actually come to ESF. The second week’s discussion will consist of an overview of a general topic, led by up to 4 members of the class, which will include specific examples of the speaker’s work. This session affords an opportunity for students to practice and critique their presentation skills.

Student Expectations: To earn a passing grade, each student is expected to select reading materials, participate in class discussions, and lead or co-lead a discussion on a given speaker’s work. We have recruited some of the most well-respected female professionals in different fields to visit ESF. We hope (expect) that all students will seize the opportunity to interact extensively with the speakers during their visits, and to help make their visits to ESF memorable and productive.

FOR 345 Women in Scientific and Environmental Professions

Class meets Tuesdays, 4:00 – 5:00, room 324 Bray

Jan 19: Introductions and discussion: Career patterns of women.

Readings (students will read selected articles and be prepared to discuss their articles with the rest of the class.)

    Sonnert, G., and G. Holten. 1996. Career patterns of women and men in the sciences. American Scientist 84:63-71.

    Etzkowitz, H., C. Kemelgor, M. Neuschatz, B. Uzzi, and J. Alonzo. 1994. The paradox of critical mass for women in science. Science 266:51-54.

    Benditt, J. 1992. Women in science. Science 255:1365-1388.

    Primack, R. B., and V. O’Leary. 1993. Cumulative disadvantages in the careers of women ecologists. BioScience 43:158-165.

Jan 26: Readings and discussions of animal behavior / Ellen Ketterson’s work.

Presenters: Paulette, Stacia, Melanie.

Feb 2: Seminar: Ellen Ketterson, Indiana University. Seminar in Moon Conference Room at 4:00, followed by a reception and class dinner at Terri’s house.

Feb 9: Discussion: Personality (because we didn't find materials on Learning Styles)

Myers-Briggs Classification of Types

Feb 16: Readings and discussions of sustainability / Tarla Peterson’s work.

Presenters: Jennifer, Kari, Cheryl.

Peterson and Peterson. Ecology: deep, feminist, and ??

Feb 23: Seminar: Tarla Peterson, Texas A&M University. Seminar at 4:00, followed by a book signing reception and class dinner at Nyland’s house.

Mar 2: Discussion: Productivity differences in women and men.

Fox, M. F. 1983. Publication productivity among scientists: a critical review. Social Studies of Science 13:285-305.

Sonnert, G. 1995. What makes a good scientist? Determinants of peer evaluation among biologists. Social studies of Science 25:35-55.

Mar 9: Readings and discussions of forest management / Donna Perison’s work.

Presenters: Siri, Heather

Perison, D. 1998. The sustainable forestry initiative: how well will it work for wildlife in specific locations. Women in Natural Resources 19:28-29.

Perison, D., J. Phelps, C. Pavel, and R. Kellison. 1997. The effects of timber harvest in a South Carolina blackwater bottomland. Forest Ecol. Manag. 90:171-185.

Mar 16: Spring Break

Mar 23: Seminar: Donna Perison, International Paper (the Farnsworth lecture). Seminar in 5 Illick at 4:00, followed by a reception.

Mar 30: Readings and discussions of landscape achitecture / Anne Whiston Spirn

V. Hennigan and J.D. Carpenter. 1988. Women in the ASLA: A descriptive analysis. Landscape Journal 17:70-84

E. Koerner. 1997. Silent Partners. The Environmental Forum, March/April 18-23.

D. Nevins. 1985. The triumph of flora: Women and the American landscape, 1890-1935. Antiques 904-922.

What is landscape architecture? The American Society of Lanscape Architects.

Apr 5: Seminar: Anne Whiston Spirn Seminar at 4:00, followed by a book signing reception and class dinner at Susan’s house

Apr 13: Discussion: Productivity, again?

Loehle, C. 1987. Why women scientists publish less than men. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America. 68:495-496.

Sih, A., and K. Nishikawa. 1988. Do men and women really differ in publication rates and contentiousness? An empirical survey. Bull. Ecological Society of America 69:15-16

Cole, J. R. and H. Zuckerman. 1983. The productivity puzzle: Persistence and change in patterns of publication of men and women scientists. In Advances in motivations and achievement (M. W. Steinkamp, and M. L. Maehr, eds.). JAI Press.

Cole, J. R., and B. Singer. 1991. A theory of limited differences: Explaining the productivity puzzle in sciences. In The outer circle: Women in the scientific community (H. Zuckerman, J. R. Cole, and J. T. Bruer, eds.). Norton, NY.

Apr 20: Cheryl Cundall. Professional Ethics


Apr 27: Susan Stout. Role models and mentoring.


Brattstrom, B. H. 1995. Women in science: Do we ignore women role models? Bull. Ecological Society of America 76:143-145.

May 4: Wrap-up: What we learned and lessons for the future.

May 13: Dinner and informal discussion: Marilyn Wakeland Hoskins. Advice to women in environmental professions, with personal reflections. 6-8 p.m. Nifkin Lounge.

May 14: Seminar: Marilyn Wakeland Hoskins. "Community Forestry--Evolution and Future Prospects of a Global Movement." Seminar in 5 Illick at 4:00, followed by a reception.