Women Environmentalists have been trailblazing environmental issues for centuries. Some say there is a natural connection between women and the environment. This connection may account for what it is that attracts women environmentalists to this particular field. The biological nurture instinct allows women to readily recognize and acknowledge the impact of humanity on the environment.An early 1960’s book, Woman’s Role in Economic Development, written by Ester Boserup, was attributed for the growing interest in the connection between women and the environment.
Likewise, a number of women can be credited with leading the way for environmental education and advancements in environmental studies. In celebration of Earth Day month last April, amightygirl.com published an article celebrating 15 women for their strong impact on the advancement of environmental awareness. According to the article, there are 15 women environmentalists that we should all be thankful for.
15 Women Environmentalists Everyone Should Know:
Read their bios for more information about their specific contributions to environmental awareness.
photographed by Katie Kathman
- Anna Botsford Comstock (1854 – 1930) Designed the first children’s outdoor nature studies program. First female professor at Cornell University. Wrote The Handbook of Nature Study.
- Kate Sessions (1857 – 1940) First female to graduate with a science degree from University of California. Arranged for hundreds of trees to be planted annually in Balboa Park and San Diego.
- Rosalie Barrow Edge (1877 – 1962) Founded the Emergency Conservation Committee. Known for her work to preserve endangered birds, especially Eagles and Hawks.
- Marjory Stoneman Douglas (1890 – 1998) Wrote the book The Everglades: River of Grass and is responsible for the environmental activism that saved The Everglades from ruin.
- Margaret Thomas Murie (1902 – 2003) Advocated for the protection of Alaska’s at risk territories. Played a crucial role in passing the Wilderness Act which created the National Wilderness Preservation System.
- Rachel Carson (1907 – 1964) Author of the book Silent Spring, which brought awareness to the dangers of synthetic pesticides. The popularity of the book brought about the modern environmental movement and eventually the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Dian Fossey (1932 – 1985) Laid extensive groundwork for female biologists through her study of mountain gorillas in Rwanda.
- Jane Goodall (b. 1934) Considered the expert on chimpanzees for her 55 year study of the primates in Tanzania. She challenged people’s thinking about the differences between humans and animals. The Jane Goodall Institute continues to help educate in a world-wide effort to grow understanding for protecting nature.
- Sylvia Earle (b. 1935) A marine biologist known for her advocacy for the protection of oceans.
- Wangari Maathai (1940 – 2011) Nobel Peace Prize winner for dedication to environmentalism and women’s rights.
- Biruté Galdikas (b. 1946) Advocate for the preservation of the rainforest, as the home of orangutans. She is a professor and president of the Orangutan Foundation International.
- Winona LaDuke (b. 1959) Native American activist. Founder of non-profit White Earth Land Recovery Project and co-founder of Honor the Earth.
- Erin Brockovich (b. 1960) Investigated illnesses from groundwater contamination and built a huge case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Educates about the dangers of contamination.
- Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores (1971 – 2016) Founded Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). Worked to resolve issues involving destruction of the environment caused by logging, plantations, and dams.
- Isatou Ceesay (b. 1972) founded the Njau Recycling and Income Generation Group. Her initiative to upcycle plastic bags has turned the waste problem into a source of income for women in Gambia.
The work of these women environmentalists is astonishing and inspirational. Yet, their work is also far from over. The legacy they began continues to live as environmental specialists, strive to educate our world for a better earth.
As the implications for humanity’s impact on environmental safety grows, so does the need for environmental specialists. Businesses depend on the expertise of EHS specialists to ensure the company’s compliance with OSHA standards and other specified requirements.
What Do Women Environmentalists Do?
Photographed by Katie Kathman
Environmental health and safety, or EHS, refers to the general welfare of the workplace and everyone in it. For the function and safety of effective production, a broad understanding of basic safety measures is required. In order to regulate workplace safety, organized efforts and procedures are established. These efforts mean that accidents and exposure to harmful substances are significantly reduced. The goal is to allow work sites to operate at their highest level of function, while reducing the company’s carbon footprint on the environment.
A variety of online courses are available to help you get your environmental specialist certification. Start browsing our catalog for available online courses and get started today.