Winifred Goldring

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Winifred Goldring
Born (1888-02-11)February 11, 1888
Kenwood, New York
Died January 30, 1971(1971-01-30) (aged 82)
Residence New York State
Nationality American
Fields Paleontology
Alma mater Wellesley College
Known for First woman appointed as a state paleontologist

Winifred Goldring (February 1, 1888 – January 30, 1971[1]) was a pioneering female paleontologist whose work included a description of stromatolites.[2] She was the first woman in the nation to be appointed as a State Paleontologist.[3]

Early life and Education[edit]

Goldring was born in Kenwood, New York.[4] 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.[3]

Professional career[edit]

Goldring became the fourth State Paleontologist of New York, and the first woman to hold that position.[3] In 1949 she was elected president of the Paleontological Society[3] (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.[5]

Goldring was an educator as well as researcher, and she commissioned and designed dioramas for the New York State Museum.[1] Petrified Sea Gardens, the stromatolite site that she studied, is a National Natural Landmark and a National Historic Landmark of the United States.


  1. ^ a b Kluessendorf, 1998, p.14
  2. ^ Joanne Kluessendorf (July 14, 1998), National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Petrified Sea Gardens / Ritchie Park PDF (420 KB), National Park Service  and Accompanying 2 exterior photos from 1998, plus image of Winifred Goldring, undated PDF (550 KB)
  3. ^ a b c d Hernick, Linda. "Women's History: Winifred Goldring". New York State Museum. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Kluessendorf, 1998, p.12
  5. ^ Kluessendorf, 1998, p.13