SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Women in Scientific and Environmental Professions

Spring 2002 (FOR 496-10 & 797-2)

Class meets Tuesdays, 4:00 – 5:00, 213 Marshall Hall or 140 Baker Laboratory when there is a speaker.

Ruth Yanai Diane Kuehn Heather Engelman
346 Illick 205 Marshall 218 Marshall
470-6955 470-6561

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. Updates to this syllabus can be found at: .

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. Formulate insightful questions that elicit discussion.
  4. Demonstrate professional presentation skills.

Course Layout: The schedule consists of three types of meetings.

Four or five of the meetings coincide with the ESF public lecture series of the same name ( There will be additional opportunities to interact with the visiting scholars in a mentoring atmosphere.

A preceding meeting will introduce the class to a visiting scholar's field of work. This is necessary because the seminar's participants come from a variety of backgrounds; everyone will benefit by knowing more about a speaker before she arrives at ESF. The second week's discussion will consist of an overview of the speaker's general topic area, led by members of the class, including specific examples of her work. This session affords an opportunity for students to practice and critique their presentation skills.

The additional meetings 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.

Expectations of Students: Each student is expected to select reading materials (in addition to those listed below), participate in class discussions, and lead or co-lead discussion on a given speaker’s work and a general discussion topic. We have recruited some of the most well-respected female professionals in different fields to visit ESF. We expect that 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.

Students will be expected to formulate 2 questions from the weekly readings for class discussion. Students will compile a Class Journal that reports on readings, discussions, interactions with outside speakers, and personal experience. Graduate students' grades will be assigned based on the 2 class presentations (20% ea), class participation (including assessment of classmates presentations, 15%), submitted questions (15%), hosting of a speaker (15%), and the written report (15%).  Reports will be evenly divided amongst the students, with each responsible for 1-2 sessions.   Undergraduates' grades will be based on class participation, submitted questions, and the written report (equally weighted).

Schedule for Spring 2002

Jan 15: Introductions and discussion: Career patterns of women.

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

Jan 22: prepare for Sterling

Jan 29: Seminar: Eleanor Sterling, Director, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, Conserving biodiversity in Viet Nam and Bolivia: The need for adaptive management

Feb 5: Discussion: Mentoring

Feb 7 (Optional):  Potluck dinner (5:00) and presentation (6:00) by L.H.M. Ling (Senior Lecturer, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands, and affiliated with the Women's Studies Program, Syracuse University), Voice for women in the academy.  Nifkin Lounge.

Feb 12: Prepare for Emery (Anderson - McLain) and  Zink-Sharp (Joxsa - Zink et al.)

Feb 19: Seminar: Marla Emery, Research Geographer, USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station, Burlington, VT, Living by gathering in a forested landscape:  non-timber forest products in the Northeast

Feb. 26: Women's Voices

Mar 5: Seminar: Audrey Zink-Sharp, Associate Professor, Wood Mechanics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, Architecture of a wood cell wall:   concentric rings or helical plates?

Mar 12: Spring Break

Mar 19: Mid-course evaluation

Mar 26: Discussion: Campus Climate

Apr 2: Prepare forEllen Druffel

Apr 3 (Optional):  Discussion with Amy Stiefel (Forester, M&C Brothers, Inc. and Greene Lumber Co., Davenport, NY): meeting mill needs and practicing good forestry.  Invited lecturer in FOR 496/796:  Procurement/Consulting, 135 Baker.

Apr 9: Farnsworth lecture.  Dr. Susan Stafford, Forest Sciences Department Head and Professor of Applied Statistics and Research Information Management, Colorado State University. Facing the Future: Meeting the Information Challenges for Natural Resources Management.   NOTE:  Dr. Stafford's lecture starts at 3 pm instead of 4. 

Apr 16: Seminar: Ellen Druffel, Professor, Earth Systems Science Department, UC-Irvine, Unstable oceans and the long memory of coral reefs

Updated dates/topics:

Apr 23: Discussion: Productivity differences in women and men.

Apr 30: Discussion: Balancing Work and Personal Life and Course Wrap-Up