Throughout history women have made their mark in a wide variety of ways. Each Saturday I plan to highlight one of these remarkable women. There will be no limit to the areas of history that I may include; however as a guide I will look to the month of their birth, the month of their death or the month associated with their mark in history when I select them. Is there an outstanding women in history you would like me to include? I welcome your suggestions. Would you like to guest blog one of the world’s outstanding women? Let me hear from you.
Today an outstanding woman from the world of science. Meet Winifred Goldring.
Winifred Goldring (February 1, 1888 – January 30, 1971) was a pioneering female paleontologist whose work included a description of stromatolites. She was the first woman in the nation to be appointed as a State Paleontologist.
Early life and Education
Goldring was born in Kenwood, New York. In 1905 she graduated as valedictorian from The Milne School in Albany, NY. Enrolled in Wellesley College with an intended major in classical languages, she became intensely interested in geology and changed her major, attaining an A.B. (with honors) in 1909 and an A.M. in 1912.
Goldring became the fourth State Paleontologist of New York, and the first woman to hold that position. In 1949 she was elected president of the Paleontological Society (the largest association of paleontologists in the world)–the first woman to hold that office and one of only two women to attain that position to this day. Because these were (and still are) male-dominated geological societies, large numbers of men must have supported her candidacy for Goldring to win, underscoring her prominence as a nationally-known geologist respected for the quality of her research, despite prevalent gender prejudices in academia.
Goldring was an educator as well as researcher, and she commissioned and designed dioramas for the New York State Museum. Petrified Sea Gardens, the stromatolite site that she studied, is a National Natural Landmark and a National Historic Landmark of the United States.