Helen M. Martin
Helen Mandeville Martin (1889–1973) was an American geological researcher and educator for the Michigan Geological Survey. Martin was known for her roles as a geological editor, lecturer and cartographer; twenty five years after their creation, in 1955, the surface formation maps of glacial features in Michigan were the best available and utilized by industries in Michigan for use in their mineral resource sector. Martin was popular for her role in encouraging females to pursue science during a time when this was a male dominated profession and wrote articles on the emergence of female educators in the 1930’s. Martin was a key player in encouraging conservation education and best known for her personal involvement in the creation of one such school for teachers in Higgins Lake, Michigan. She was involved in many different organizations working towards educating about conservation, one such role was as a conservation chairperson of the National Council of State Garden Clubs for six years after her retirement. For her efforts in conservation Martin received awards from U.S. Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare, the Public Health Service, the U.S. Forestry Service, and the American Forestry Association. In 1988 Martin was inducted into Michigan's Women’s Hall of Fame as a state geologist for the Michigan Department of Conservation in Michigan.
Martin was born in North Dakota in 1889 as the daughter of Lawrence Mathew and Mary (Mandeville) Martin. Initially, she attended the University of Michigan to become a writer, but later switched her major and she graduated in 1908 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and geology. After earning her undergraduate degree, Martin worked as a geology and physiography instructor at a high school in Battle Creek, Michigan. In 1916, she returned to the University of Michigan where she acquired her master’s degree in the same area of study. She would spend the majority of her life in Michigan until she retired in 1958.
After receiving her master's degree in geology, Martin she worked for several oil companies, however, Martin's most recognizable accomplishments came as a state geologist in the Geological Survey Division of the Michigan Department of Conservation. As a member, she would develop several geological maps displaying the topography of the Michigan area. Two of the more widely used maps that she created were the centennial geological map of Michigan and the surface formation map of Michigan. These geological maps were vital in the economic development of Michigan in the mid-1900s in the field of mineral resource extraction. She would remain a member of the Geological Survey Division for 30 years until she retired on December 1, 1958. She would, however, remain very active in the geological community until she died in 1973.
Years at the University of Michigan
As one of the first group of women to attend higher education in a co-ed environment, Martin's university years were marked by many memorable moments. During a survey conducted by the University of Michigan in 1924, she said her fondest memories were during: “the old Country Fairs; our Junior Girls Play… the suspense of the mid-year exams; my first ‘Grainers”; the star riot, and how the upstate papers exaggerated it; the dedication of Memorial Hall; the senior law parties; Michigamua, etc; etc; etc…. parties.” In this survey, Martin also expressed great admiration for the University’s President, James B. Angell. She admired Angell’s affection and his incredible memory. Martin’s favorite moment with Angell was “the snowy winter morning when President Angell stopped me and called me by name- how did he ever know the name of obscure me.”
Martin's research was focused on the conservation of natural resources in Michigan. Her work includes the compilation of the centennial geological map of Michigan in 1936 and the surface formation map of Michigan in 1955. The significance of her research and subsequent mapping rests in the potential for development of the state's mineral resources for commercial and economic purposes. The maps continue to be in use to this day. Martin also conducted geological surveys of over 13 counties across the state of Michigan.
Martin's Impact on Women in Geology
Martin has helped women take a big step in geology, which was historically known as a male-dominated science. She portrayed a crucial role in the conservation education and wrote of the emergence of female educators in the 1930s. Martin was also introduced in the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame in 1988.
Later Life and Death
After her retirement in 1958, Martin was a chairperson in the national council of the State Garden clubs. One of martins proudest moments was when she was involved in the establishment of the conservation school for teachers at Higgins Lake. She was viewed as a role model for young women that were considering geology for their career. This was because in her youth she achieved a profession in geology that was thought to be only for men. Martin passed away in 1973. Ten years after her death, Martin was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame.
Awards and Honors
Due to her life-long devotion to geology and conservation of Michigan’s natural resources, Martin had earned her position in Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame. The compilation of the centennial geological map of Michigan (1936) and the surface formation map of Michigan (1955) are claimed to be her most important accomplishments. The significance of these maps helps to increase the potential development of Michigan’s state mineral resource. The maps are still used to this day. For Helen, her proudest personal achievement was her involvement with establishing the conservation school for teachers at Higgins Lake.
Not only did Martin make wonderful contributions to the world of geology, but she was a role model and mentor for young women considering geology as a career. She reflected on her own efforts in her youth to achieve in a profession which was considered reserved for men, in order to uplift and inspire young woman wanting to achieve similar goals. Helen was listed in Who's Who and Men in Science, a huge accomplishment for women in science especially during her time.
- Outline of the Geological History of Branch County
- Outline of the Geological History of Cheboygan County
- Outline of the Geological History of Hillsdale County
- Outline of the Geological History of Ingham County
- Outline of the Geological History of Kalamazoo County
- Outline of the Geological History of Lenawee County
- Outline of the Geological History of Mecosta County
- Outline of the Geological History of Midland County
- Outline of the Geological History of Oceana County
- Outline of the Geological History of Ottawa County
- Outline of the Geological History of Roscommon County
- Outline of the Geological History of Saginaw County
- Outline of the Geological History of Michigan
- Outline of the Geological History of Shiawassee County
- Co-author of Outline of the Geological History of the Grand Traverse Region
- “Ne-Saw-Je-Wan” as the Ottawas say; A Tale of the Waters That Run Down from Lake Superior to the Sea by Edward A. Kirby, Muriel Tara Straight & Helen M. Martin
- An Index of the Geology of Michigan
- Geology of Ogemaw County
- Co-author of Bibliography of Michigan Geology by Edward A. Kirby & Helen M. Martin
- Dutton, Carl (1957). "Reviews An Index of Michigan Geology". The Journal of Geology. 65 (5): 560. Bibcode:1957JG.....65..560D. doi:10.1086/626462.
- She was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame in 1988 for her contributions to geology and her impact on women in science.
- Kehew, Alan; Curry, B. Brandon (2018). Quaternary Glaciation of the Great Lakes Region: Process, Landforms, Sediments, and Chronology. Geological Society of America. ISBN 9780813725307.
- "DNR - Academy". michigan.gov. Retrieved 2019-02-07.
- Marquis. "Who Was Who in America 1607-1984".
- "Unconventional Petroleum Geology", Elsevier, 2017, pp. ii, doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-812234-1.09001-4, ISBN 9780128122341 Missing or empty
- "Helen Martin Collection :: Archives of Michigan Finding Aids". seekingmichigan.contentdm.oclc.org. Retrieved 2019-02-07.
- E. Attaway and Rabe Barritt, Doris and Marjorie. "Women's Voices: Early Years at the University of Michigan" (PDF). umich.edu/~bhl/.
- Dutton, Carl E. (1957). "An Index of Michigan Geology . Helen M. Martin , Muriel T. Straight". The Journal of Geology. 65 (5): 560. Bibcode:1957JG.....65..560D. doi:10.1086/626462.
- "Helen Martin Collection :: Archives of Michigan Finding Aids" (PDF). seekingmichigan.contentdm.oclc.org. Retrieved 2019-02-07.
- "Michigan Women's Hall of Fame" (PDF). michiganwomenshalloffame.org.
- "Martin, Helen M. (Helen Mandeville), 1889-1973 - Social Networks and Archival Context". snaccooperative.org. Retrieved 2017-10-11.
- "Martin, Helen M. (Helen Mandeville), 1889-1973 @ SNAC". snaccooperative.org. Retrieved 2019-02-07.
- "Michigan Women's Historical Center & Hall of Fame" (PDF). michiganwomenshalloffame.org.
- "Martin, Helen M. (Helen Mandeville), 1889-1973 | The Online Books Page". onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-03.