Florence Bascom was born July 14, 1862, in Williamstown, Massachusetts and died June 18, 1945, in the same city. Bascom was the first female geologist in the United States. She was a woman of many firsts, including the first woman hired by the U.S. Geology Survey in 1896, the first woman to present a paper before the Geological Society of Washington in 1901, and the first woman elected to the Council of the Geological Society of America in 1924. While Bascom was studying for her PhD at John’s Hopkins University, she was forced to sit behind a screen so she wouldn’t disturb the men. Bascom was a professor at Bryn Mawr College for 33 years, where she founded the Department of Geology that trained many of the first women geologists of the 20th century. The first edition of American Men and Woman of Science gave Bascom 4 stars, which is an honor for any scientist, whether male or female. During her career, Bascom published over 40 articles on genetic petrography, geomorphology, and gravel.
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