ESF Women's Caucus
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

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

Class meets Tuesdays, 4:00 – 5:00, room 327 Marshall


Robin Hoffman Ruth Yanai
404 Marshall 356 Illick
470-6546 470-6955

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 five 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 second week 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 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.

Student Expectations:

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 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.

Jan 18: Course introductions and discussion: Career choices of women, academic choices of women at ESF.
  1. American Association of University Women. 1994. Shortchanging Girls, Shortchanging America: Executive summary.
  2. Fort, D. C. 1997. Feminism's Lessons for Women in Science. JCST27(1):53-55.
  3. Goldberg, P. Creeping toward inclusivity in science: Executive summary. Proceedings: Women in Science and Engineering Choices for Success.
  4. Primack, R. B., and V. O’Leary. 1993. Cumulative disadvantages in the careers of women ecologists. BioScience 43:158-165.
  5. Sonnert, G., and G. Holten. 1996. Career patterns of women and men in the sciences. American Scientist 84:63-71.
Jan 25: Introduction and discussion of Kristina Hill's work.
  1. Hill. K. 1994. Gender, moral "voices," and the making of environmental policy: A case study in Norway's Ministry of Environment. Landscape Journal, 13(2): 145-151, Fall 1994.
  2. Hill, K. 1999. Ring parks as inverted dikes. Landscape Journal, Spring 1999.
  3. Hennigan, V. and Jot. D. Carpenter. 1998. Women in the ASLA: A descriptive analysis. Landscape Journal, 17(1): 70-84.
  4. Welsh, B. and D. Sherno. 1999. Gallup poll shows public awareness of scope of work performed by landscape architects. Land, February.
Feb. 1 Speaker: Kristina Hill "Fuzzy Sets and Categorical Ambiguity"

Assistant Professor, University of Washington

Feb. 8 Campus climate.
  1. Phillips-Miller, D. L., K Guilfoyle, D. Ehrenreich, F. Sammarruca, and B. Howard Meldrum. 1999. Exploring campus climate for women. Women in Natural Resources, Vol. 20(3): 23-39.
  2. Phillips-Miller, D. L., K Guilfoyle, D. Ehrenreich, F. Sammarruca, and B. Howard Meldrum. 1999. Exploring campus climate for women: part II. Women in Natural Resources, Vol. 20(3): 23-39.
  3. Zernike, K. 1999. MIT women win a fight for bias. Boston Globe, March 21, 1999.
  4. 1983. The climate for women: President's action plan. SUNY ESF. Syracuse, NY.
  5. Fellows, M. O., J. J. Kimberlin, and J. F. Palmer. 1995. Summary tabulation of the 1995 ESF working environment survey. SUNY ESF. Syracuse, NY.
Feb. 15 Discussion: Learning styles and perceptions of men and women.

Readings to be announced.

Feb. 22 Introduction and discussion of Jeannine Siembida's work.
Feb. 29 Speaker: Jeannine Siembida,Supervisor of Tecnical Services, Champion International "From Bark to Boxes".
Mar. 7 Discussion: Productivity differences.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Fox, M. F. 1983. Publication productivity among scientists: a critical review. Social Studies of Science 13:285-305.
  4. Sonnert, G. 1995. What makes a good scientist? Determinants of peer evaluation among biologists. Social studies of Science 25:35-55.
  5. Loehle, C. 1987. Why women scientists publish less than men. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America. 68:495-496.
  6. 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.
Mar. 21 Introduction and discussion of Sandra Brown's work.
Mar. 28 Speaker: Dr. Sandra Brown, Winrock International, Corvallis, OR

"Kyoto, forests, and Climate Change" (Co-sponsored with the Faculty of Foresty as the Annual Farnsworth Lecture).

Apr. 4 Discussion: Mentoring.
  1. Brattstrom, B. H. 1995. Women in science: Do we ignore women role models? Bull. Ecological Society of America 76:143-145.
Apr. 11 Campus Climate at ESF
Apr. 18 Speaker: Suzanne LaLonde, Director of Recycling and Waste Reduction, OCRRA, "Recycling 101"
Apr. 25 Campus Climate blueprint.
May. 2 Campus Climate blueprint (continued) and course evaluations.