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Society of Woman Geographers

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The Society of Woman Geographers was established in 1925 at a time when women were excluded from membership in most professional organizations, such as the Explorers Club, who would not admit women until 1981.[1][2] It is based in Washington, D.C., and has 500 members.[3] Groups are located in Chicago, Florida, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.[4]

The society was organized by four friends, Gertrude Emerson Sen, Marguerite Harrison, Blair Niles and Gertrude Mathews Shelby, to bring together women interested in geography, world exploration, anthropology and related fields.[5][6] Membership was restricted to women who had "done distinctive work whereby they have added to the world's store of knowledge concerning the countries on which they have specialized, and have published in magazines or in book form a record of their work."[1]

The society's first president was Harriet Chalmers Adams, who held the post from December 1925 until 1933.[7] Marion Stirling Pugh served as its president twice, in 1960–1963 and 1969–1972.[8] Famous members included: historian Mary Ritter Beard, photographer Margaret Bourke-White, novelist Fannie Hurst, mountain climber Annie Smith Peck, anthropologist Margaret Mead, Eleanor Roosevelt, and author Grace Gallatin Seton Thompson.[1]

Gold Medal[edit]

The Society's Gold Medal is its highest honor. It is awarded to a member whose "original, innovative, or pioneering contributions are of major significance in understanding the world's cultures and environment." The first gold medal was presented to Amelia Earhart in 1933. The medal was designed by sculptor Lucille Sinclair Douglass, and shows Winged Victory on the arc of the world.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Ware, Susan (1988). Letter to the World: Seven Women who Shaped the American Century. New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-04652-4.
  2. ^ Eppinga, J. (2009). They Made Their Mark: An Illustrated History of the Society of Woman Geographers. Globe Pequot. pp. 218–220. ISBN 978-0-7627-4597-5.
  3. ^ "What is "The Society of Woman Geographers"?". Alan Squire Publishing. May 27, 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  4. ^ "About The Society of Woman Geographers". The Society of Woman Geographers. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  5. ^ White, April (April 12, 2017). "The Intrepid '20s Women Who Formed an All-Female Global Exploration Society Excluded from the men-only Explorers Club, they established their own group for adventurers". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  6. ^ Olds, Elizabeth (1985). Women of the Four Winds. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-36199-0.
  7. ^ Anema, Durlynn (2004). Harriet Chalmers Adams: Adventurer and Explorer. Aurora, Colorado: National Writers Press. ISBN 0-88100-131-7.
  8. ^ "Marion Stirling Pugh, 89". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2020-05-14.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "SWG Gold Medalists". Society of Woman Geographers. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  10. ^ "CONICET researcher wins Gold Medal of International Society of Woman Geographers". National Scientific and Technical Research Council - Argentina. 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  11. ^ "Mountain Researcher Constanza Ceruti Gold Medalist of the ISWG". Mountain Research Initiative. 10 July 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  12. ^ "Rebecca Lee - Graphic designer and polar researcher". South China Morning Post. 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  13. ^ "Susan D. Shaw, Dr.P.H., FN '07". The Explorer's Club. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  14. ^ Hewitt, Rich (May 4, 2011). "Marine research institute director to receive national awards". Bangor Daily News.
  15. ^ Scardina, Julie; Flocken, Jeff (March 6, 2012). Wildlife heroes : 40 leading conservationists and the animals they are committed to saving. Running Press. p. 38. ISBN 9780762443192.
  16. ^ Pike, Kaitlin (February 15, 2005). "Field Lauds Atwater's Earth-Shaking Work". The Daily Nexus. University of California, Santa Barbara. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  17. ^ "A Society of Their Own". The Buzz. March 5, 2019. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  18. ^ Petura, Barbara. "A Conversation with Pam Flowers Musher, Explorer, Author". Working Dog Web. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  19. ^ Bodin, Madeline (July 5, 2016). "The Museum at the End of the World". Hakai Magazine. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  20. ^ Holmes, Madelyn (2004). American Women Conservationists: Twelve Profiles. McFarland & Company. pp. 156–160.
  21. ^ "Pennant, Society of Women [sic] Geographers, STS 41-G, Sullivan". Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  22. ^ Yount, Lisa (2007). A to Z of Women in Science and Math. Infobase Publishing. pp. 75–77. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  23. ^ "Awards and Distinctions". Jane Goodall Institute. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  24. ^ "Blum, Arlene (1945—)". Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  25. ^ "Arlene Blum papers, M1558". Online Archive of California. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  26. ^ Nichols, C. Reid; Porter, David; Williams, Robert G. (2003). Recent Advances and Issues in Oceanography. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 162. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  27. ^ Morell, Virginia (1995). Ancestral Passions: The Leakey Family and the Quest for Humankind's Beginnings. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 448.
  28. ^ "Matthew Williams Stirling and Marion Stirling Pugh papers". Smithsonian Institution.
  29. ^ "Irene Aloha Wright, Historian Of the Caribbean, Is Dead at 92". The New York Times. 1972-04-08. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  30. ^ "Margaret Mead 1962". Kappa Delta Pi. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  31. ^ "FINDING AID TO THE GEORGE PALMER PUTNAM COLLECTION OF AMELIA EARHART PAPERS, 1785-1948" (PDF). Purdue University Libraries. Retrieved 4 February 2020. Medal from the Society of Women [sic] Geographers, 1933

External links[edit]