A little while back, we decided to take a stand for a demographic we felt was underrepresented: female ecologists. This was one of my favorite blog posts I wrote in recent memory, in part because I knew so little about these awesome female scientists, so it was a learning opportunity for me as a writer as well as for (hopefully) my readers.
However, after I posted, I realized that the women I’d opted to honor were a bit… well, monochromatic. So this week, the time has come to right that wrong by dedicating a post entirely to women of color who are taking big steps to help save our planet.
You may have never heard of MaVynee Oshun Betsch, but if you’ve visited the beach lately, you’ve witnessed the impact of her work. A real-life Robin Hood, the activist dubbed “Beach Lady” gave away much of her personal fortune to instead dedicating her life to preserving American beaches.
We often say in this blog, “No water no life.” Nothing drives this home faster than the reality of water pollution, particularly given the various oil spills throughout history. Enter Dr. Beverly Wright, who has fought to preserve the Mississippi River and since Hurricane Katrina has expanded her activism efforts to focus on water issues throughout Louisiana.
The 2015 Paris Agreement, an international attempt to curb global pollution, has been in the news a lot lately. It can be credited to many activists dedicated to making it work, not the least of which is Chrstiana Figureres. A dedicated conservationist and diplomat, Figureres has served as a climate advisor with the UN, and to this day continues to fight for a cleaner planet.
Let’s be real here: there are major strides that need to be made in the world before we can even begin to talk about equal representation as a reality in the sciences. What we can do in the meanwhile is try to give credit where credit is due. If there are any badass women working in ecology that you think we’ve missed, share in the comments below!