Jane Blankenship

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Jane Blankenship Gibson
Jane Blankenship Gibson 1961.jpg
Blankenship in 1961, illustrating a news story about "sex desegregation" in science and the importance of encouraging more women to become scientists during the Cold War.[1][2]
Born Paris, Texas
Other names Jane Carruth Blankenship
Jane C. Blankenship
Fields Physical Science
Institutions Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Lockheed Aircraft, Peace Corps, University of California San Diego, General Atomics
Alma mater University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Stanford University
Thesis Rotational Analysis of the 0-0 Band of the B2 Σ U -> X2 Σ g Transition of N+ 2 from Shock Tube Spectra.[3] (1962)
Children Gregory Wade Gibson, Dr. Robin Margaret Gibson

Jane Blankenship won high science honors while at Oak Ridge High School before graduating in June 1958 from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a B.S. in chemistry. She worked summers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where her father Dr. Forrest F. Blankenship was a physical chemist, and then married Carl H. Gibson, a chemical engineer, and became employed as a spectroscopist for Lockheed Research Laboratory in Palo Alto, California.[1]

Life and Times[edit]

Jane Carruth Blankenship and twin sister Elizabeth Ann Blankenship were born on 20 June 1936 in Paris, Texas to Forrest Farley Blankenship and Margaret Berry Burke.[4][5]

Forrest Blankenship entered college at the age of 14 and had obtained his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees at the University of Texas by the age of 19. He then became head of the sciences department at Paris Junior College. He alternately taught at PJC to support his young family and pursued graduate studies at the University of Chicago and University of Texas. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in physical chemistry at the University of Texas in Austin in 1943. Margaret Burke was a hometown Paris girl who was a student and valedictorian at Paris Junior College. The pair met on the tennis courts which led to romance, marriage and a lifetime of tennis rivalry.

The family moved to Norman Oklahoma where Dr. Blankenship joined the faculty in the chemistry department. Jane enjoyed the articles in Science News available in her classroom and at age 7 decided she wanted to become a scientist. She loved to read and learn everything she could about the sciences and whenever her schools offered a Science Fair she developed and entered a project.

When Jane was age 15 Dr. Blankenship accepted a position at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN. As a senior at Oak Ridge High School Jane was a winner of the regional science fair and a finalist at the National Science Fair in 1954. She also entered the Westinghouse Science Talent Search and won honorable mention in the national competition. The application included conducting a research project at home, writing a scientific paper and taking nationally competitive exam.

Jane attended University of Tennessee and graduated in 1958 with a major in physical chemistry and a minor in math. During her undergraduate years, Jane worked summers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Jane married Carl H. Gibson in May 31, 1958 and they went to Palo Alto, CA. Carl pursued graduate studies at Stanford University in the chemical engineering department studying turbulent mixing on a National Engineering fellowship (post sputnik).

Jane accepted a position at Lockheed Research Laboratory adjacent to the Stanford campus. There she performed spectroscopic studies of species in high temperature air using a shock tube. Soon she enrolled in a master's program at Stanford because she wanted to study quantum mechanics and continued to work at Lockheed.

Jane and Carl were very interested in President Kennedy's proposal to start the Peace Corps. They took the application screening test when it was first offered. To their surprise they were invited to be in the first Peace Corps group to be fielded (Ghana). This was in April, 1962 and they were still in the middle of getting their theses approved. They had to decline saying they would not be available until June. The Peace Corps responded with an assignment to Hyderabad, India where they would be lecturers at Osmania University.

In June 1962 Carl received his PhD in chemical engineering and Jane graduated with an MS in physical sciences. They set off immediately for two months of Peace Corps training at the University of Illinois. Carl and Jane value the two-year experience in India and knew once they were immersed with jobs and children the opportunity would be lost.

After a lengthy journey home from India (crossed the Indian Ocean on a freighter during Monsoon season, tour of East Africa by jeep, down the Nile River by paddle wheel boat, Egypt, Europe from Greece to the top of Finland) Carl visited many campuses and applied for post docs. They selected University of California San Diego (UCSD) which was just being formed (some graduate students but no undergraduates when they arrived in January 1965).

Time to start the family. Greg arrived March 1965 and sister Robin 19 months later in Dec 1966. Jane chose to enjoy parenting and took a hiatus from her career. Greg became a civil engineer and Robin earned a PhD in biochemistry at UCSD. Carl and Jane divorced in 1974.

Jane became a Staff Research Associate in Professor Donald Helinski's molecular biology lab at UCSD in 1975. There she learned to use restriction enzymes to delete and add genes to plasmid DNA in E-coli bacteria. In those days it was called "recombinant DNA".

In 1979 Jane transferred to General Atomics with the title Senior Scientist. She spent the rest of her career at GA working on various energy, fission and fusion research contracts.

Jane retired in June 2007 and is happily playing in San Diego. She is a photography enthusiast. She attends several lectures each week at UCSD under the auspices of the Osher Life-Long Learning Institute. She enjoys reading various journals to stay abreast of the latest science developments. Yes, she still reads Science News and is a fan of Tom Sigfried. Science Service has played an influential role in her life!

Hobbies have included scuba diving and a lot of tennis. Jane was always at home when backpacking in her beloved Sierra Nevada Mountains. Walking, hiking and camping in the wilderness is still a favorite pass time.

National Attention

In 1961, a news story was written regarding “sex desegregation” in the sciences and a photograph of her was utilized to illustrate the critical significance of inspiring women to pursue careers in science.[2][6]

As of 2008 Professor David Kaiser of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology began offering a graduate level course titled “Cold War Science” that discussed the role women featured during the Cold War and included Jane Blankenship Gibson as an example.[7]

Thesis[edit]

  • Rotational Analysis of the 0-0 Band of the B2 Σ U -> X2 Σ g Transition of N+ 2 from Shock Tube Spectra.[3]

Select Publication[edit]

  • Gibson, Jane Blankenship. (1962). Rotational Analysis of the 0-0 Band of the B2 [sigma Subscript U]-> X2 [sigma] g Transition of N+ 2 from Shock Tube Spectra. Physical Sciences Program, Stanford University.
  • Gibson, J.B., "Calculations of TRISO Particle Behavior with the TRISO Stress Analysis Model", General Atomics Report GA-906291 (1981)
  • Norman, J.H., D.R. O'Keefe, G.E. Besenbruch, L.C. Brown, and J.B. Gibson, "Improvements in the Sulfur -Iodine Water-Splitting Cycle: Alternative Methods of Processing HI-H2O-I2 Solution", Proceedings Fourth World Hydrogen Energy Conf., June 1982; General Atomics Report GA-A16667 (1982)
  • Gibson, J.B. editor "Annual Report to DOE of the Fusion Programs in Applied Plasma Physics and Development and Technology Fiscal 1985", General Atomics Report GA-A18308 (Feb 1986).
  • Gibson, J.B. editor "Annual Report to DOE of the Fusion Programs in Applied Plasma Physics and Development and Technology Fiscal 1986", General Atomics Report GA-A18692 (Dec 1986).
  • Gibson, J.B., "Bigger Better Bubbles", General Atomics Report GA-D18639 (1986)
  • Gibson, J.B., "Advanced Propulsion as a Business Opportunity for GA", Internal report for GA Fusion Business Development, (1990).
  • Gibson, J.B., "Primary Crusher Component Test Report" (Milestone within the NPR-MHTGR Target Compact Tritium Extraction Demonstration program), GA -910173 (1990).
  • Gibson, J.B., "Tritium Extraction System Emergency Procedures" GA-910243 (1991).
  • Gibson, J.B., MHTGR-NPR Test Specification for Post-Irradiation Heating of HRB-17/18 Triso-Coated HEU UCO Fuel Particles", CEGA-000337 (April 1991).
  • Gibson, J.B., "Test Status Report for the Core Conduction Cooldown Test Facility Heating Test of HRB-17/18 Fuel particles", CEGA-M-1835 (Sep 1991)
  • Gibson, J.B., "Test Status Report for the NPR-1, NPR-2 and NPR-1A Irradiation Tests", CEGA-M-91-2474 (Oct 1991)
  • Gibson, J.B. and C.Y. Young "NP-MHTGR Test Specification for Post-Irradiation Examination of Fuel Irradiation Capsules NPR-1A", CEGA-002093 (March 1992).
  • Gibson, J.B. and C.Y. Young "NP-MHTGR Test Specification for Post-Irradiation Examination of Fuel Irradiation Capsules NPR-1", CEGA-002031 (April 1992).
  • Gibson, J.B. and C.Y. Young "NP-MHTGR Test Specification for Post-Irradiation Examination of Fuel Irradiation Capsules NPR-2", CEGA-002150 (April 1992).
  • Gibson, J.B. "NP-MHTGR Test Specification for NPR-1B Fuel Irradiation Capsule", CEGA-002210 (1992).
  • Gibson, J.B. "NP-MHTGR Fuel Product Specification for CCT-1 Irradiation Capsule", CEGA-002338 (Nov 1992).
  • Gibson, J.B. "NP-MHTGR Test Specification for CCT-1 Irradiation Capsule", CEGA-002371 (Nov 1992).
  • Gibson, J.B., "ICFT Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) Layer Production Procedure", GA-910610 (rev. NC1994), (rev. A 1995).
  • Gibson, J.B., W.A. Baugh, L.C. Brown, D.O. Husband, M.L. Hoppe and D.A. Steinman, "Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) Coating Process At General Atomics", Proceedings of the 10th Target Fabrication Specialists' Meeting, Taos, NM (1995).
  • Gibson, J.B., A. Greenwood and D.A. Steinman, "Wall Thickness Variation Measurement", "Proceedings of the 11th Target Fabrication Specialist s' Meeting, Orcas Island, WA (1996).
  • Gibson, J.B. editor "Inertial Confinement Fusion Target Component Fabrication and Technology Development Support Annual Report Oct. 1996 through Sep 1997 to DOE", General Atomics Report GA-A22816 (Mar 1998).
  • Gibson, J.B., M.L. Hoppe, A. Greenwood, D.A. Steinman, and R.B. Stephens, "Precise Measurement of Shell Diameters", Proceedings of the 12th Target Fabrication Specialist s' Meeting, Jackson Hole, WY (1998).
  • Gibson, J.B. editor "Inertial Confinement Fusion Target Component Fabrication and Technology Development Support Annual Report Oct. 1997 through Sep 1998 to DOE, General Atomics Report GA-A99516 (Dec 1998).
  • Gibson, J.B. and R.B. Stephens, "Large Shell AFM Measurements", Proceedings of the 13th Target Fabrication Specialist s' Meeting, Catalina Island, CA (1999).
  • Gibson, J.B. editor "Inertial Confinement Fusion Target Component Fabrication and Technology Development Support Annual Report Oct.1998 through Sep 1999 to DOE, General Atomics Report GA-A23240 (Dec 1999).
  • Takagi, Masaru, R. Cook, R. Stephens, J. Gibson and S. Paguio, “Decreasing Out-of-Round in Poly(a-Methylstyrene) Mandrels by Increasing Interfacial Tension”, Fusion Technology, 38, 46 (2000).
  • Takagi, Masaru, R. Cook, R. Stephens, J. Gibson and S. Paguio, “Stiffening of PaMS Mandrels During Curing”, Fusion Technology, 38, 50 (2000).
  • Takagi, Masaru, R. Cook, R. Stephens, J. Gibson and S. Paguio, “The Effects of Controlling Osmotic Pressure on a PaMS Microencapsulated Mandrel During Curing”, Fusion Technology, 38, 54 (2000).
  • R.B. Stephens, J.B. Gibson and T. Mroczkowski, “Seeing shell Wall Fluctuations”, Fusion Technology, 38, 132 (2000).
  • Gibson, J.B. and R.B. Stephens, "Advances in Wallmapping", Proceedings of the 14th Target Fabrication Specialist s' Meeting, West Point, NY (2001).
  • Gibson, J.B., "ICFT AFM Spheremapper Characterization Procedure", GA document 910869 (2002).
  • Takagi, Masaru, R. Cook, B. Mcquillan, F. Elsner, R. Stephens, A. Nikroo, J. Gibson and S. Paguio, “Development of High Quality Poly(a-Methylstyrene) Mandrels for NIF”, Fusion Technology, 41, 278 (2002).
  • Gibson, J.B., "Spheremapper / Wallmapper Measurements", Web based tutorial (2002).
  • Nikroo, A, J.B. Gibson and E. Castillo, “Effect of Low Mode Defects in PAMS Shells on Thick and Thin GDP Shells Made Using the Depolymerizable Technique” Proceedings of the 15th Target Fabrication Specialist s' Meeting, Gleneden Beach, OR (2003).
  • Takagi, M., R. Cook, B. Mcquillan, J. Gibson and S. Paguio, “Fabrication of Up to 4-mm Diameter Microencapsulated PAMS Mandrels for High Gain Target Designs” Proceedings of the 15th Target Fabrication Specialist s' Meeting, Gleneden Beach, OR (2003).
  • Gibson, J.B., R.B. Stephens, A. Nikroo, J.Bousquet, "Progress with AFM Spheremapping: Noise Reduction and Coverage Improvement", Proceedings of the 15th Target Fabrication Specialist s' Meeting, Gleneden Beach, OR (2003).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Jane Blankenship Gibson". Smithsonian Institution Archives. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Davis, W. (1964). Need Sex Desegregation. The Science News-Letter, 22-22.
  3. ^ a b Gibson, Jane Blankenship. (1962). Rotational Analysis of the 0-0 Band of the B2 Σ U -> X2 Σ g Transition of N+ 2 from Shock Tube Spectra. Physical Sciences Program, Stanford University.
  4. ^ Texas Birth Index. (1903-1997). FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VDDX-ZGX : accessed 8 August 2015), Jane Carruth Blankenship, 20 Jun 1936; from "Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997," database and images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 2005); citing Texas Department of State Health Services.
  5. ^ Texas Birth Index. (1903-1997). FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V87J-FW8 : accessed 8 August 2015), Elizabeth Ann Blankenship, 20 Jun 1936; from "Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997," database and images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 2005); citing Texas Department of State Health Services.
  6. ^ Ewino, Ann. (16 December 1961). Place for Women in Science. Alton Evening Telegraph. Alton, Illinois. p. 17.
  7. ^ Kaiser, David. (Fall 2008). STS.436 Cold War Science. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), http://ocw.mit.edu (Accessed 8 August 2015). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.