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

Women in Science and Environmental Professions (FOR 797, Section 2) Spring 2001 Tuesdays, 4:00 5:00, 327 Marshall


Heather Engelman, Visiting Instructor Janine DeBaise, Assistant Professor
218 Marshall 105 Moon Library

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. 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 lead or co-lead a discussion on a given speaker’s work, to select reading materials (Those listed below have been used in the past. Student leaders, can choose from, add to, or replace these selections), and participate in class discussions. 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 compile a Campus Climate journal with suggestions from readings, discussions, interactions with outside speakers, and personal experience. Journal entries will assist in the preparation of a class report about the climate at ESF, and a blueprint for needed changes.

Jan 16 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 23 Introduction and discussion of JoAnn Burkholder’s work.
  1. Burkholder, J.M., and H.B. Glasgow, Jr. 1997. Pfiesteria piscicidia and other Pfiesteia-like dinoflagellates: Behavior, impacts, and environmental controls. Limnology and oceanography 45: 1052-1075.
  2. Harvel, et. al. 1999. Emerging marine diseases-climate links and anthropogenic factos. Science 285: 1505-1510.
  3. White, G. 2000. From Jonah to NOAA: women in fisheries professions. Women in Natural Resources 21(4): 20-24.
Jan. 30 JoAnn Burkholder, Professor and Director, Center for Applied Aquatic Ecology, NCSU
The Toxic Pfiesteria Complex: A Story of Water Pollution, Fish Kills and Human Health at the Science/Policy Border
Feb. 6 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, 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, 20(3): 23-39.
  3. Syracuse University College of Arts and Sciences. Undated. Faculty and Staff Surveys.
  4. Zernike, K. 1999. MIT women win a fight for bias. Boston Globe, March 21, 1999.
Feb. 13 Introduction and discussion of Marilyn Fogel’s work.
Feb. 20 Dr. Marilyn L. Fogel, Senior Scientist, Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington
Finding Evidence of Life in the Solar System: Ideasa from Earth
Feb. 27 Discussion: Learning styles and perceptions of men and women.
  1. Tannen, D. 1991. Men and Women use different approaches in classroom discussion.. Chronicle of Higher Education. June 19. 1991
  2. Rosser, S.V. 1990. Women's Ways of Knowing. Chapter 4 in Female Friendly Science. Pergamon Press.
  3. Paragon Educational Consulting Student Learning Style Inventory.
Mar. 6 Discussion: Productivity differences.
  1. Creamer, E.G. 1998. Equity and equality in measuring faculty productivity. Women in Higher Education September 1998, 7-8.
  2. Kyvik, S. and M. Teigen. 1996. Child care, research collaboration, and gender differences in scientific productivity. Science Technology and Human Values 21(1): 54-71.
Mar. 20 Introduction and discussion of Susan Stout’s work.
Mar. 27

3 pm

Farnsworth Speaker: Susan Stout, Research Project Leader, USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station, Irvine, PA. Are we asking the right questions? Some thoughts about a silviculture and biophysical forestry research agenda for North America
Co-Sponsored by the Faculty of Forestry
Apr. 3 Discussion: Mentoring
  1. Brattstrom, B. H. 1995. Women in science: Do we ignore women role models? Bull. Ecological Society of America 76:143-145.
  2. AWIS Mentoring Project. Creating Tomorrow’s Scientists: Models of Communtity Mentoring.
  3. Rowe, Mary. 1977. Go find yourself a mentor. in Bourne, Patricia and Velma Parness, eds., Proceedings of the NSF Conference on Women's Leadership and Authority, University of California, Santa Cruz, California. 4 p.
  4. Kahn, M. 1971. Seminaring letter.
  5. The mentor as a faculty advisor.
Apr. 10 Preparation for Frances Spivy-Wever
Apr. 17 Frances Spivy-Weber, Exec. Director of the Mono Lake Committee, Lee Vining, CA Environmental Organizing: a woman's local, national, and international leadership experience
Apr. 24 SHIRLEY MALCOLM, Head, Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Bringing Science to People and People to Science: New Faces -- New Places
Sponsored by Urban Initiative and Office of Multicultual Initiative
May. 1 Campus Climate blueprint and course evaluations.