Margaret Mee: Explorer/Conservationist, Botanist/Scientific Illustrator

Bromelia anticantha Bertol. Cultivated in São Paulo. Procured from Minas Gerais. Margaret Mee, 1964. Permission for reproduction received from Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Rare Book Collection, Washington, D.C., Online Exhibits, Highlights from the Collections, Margaret Mee, The Paintings.

Margaret Mee, née Brown (1909-1988), was a British contemporary artist considered to be one of the most remarkable women of the twentieth century.1 She was referred to as the premier female explorer of the Brazilian rainforest and an outstanding botanical artist. Her voice was one of the first courageous ones to be raised against the exploitative destruction of Amazonia and she spoke for its conservation until her death.

Bertha “Bertie” Parker Cody: First Female Native American Archaeologist

Bertha Parker Pallan [Cody] (1907-1978) is considered one of the first female Native American archaeologists.

Bertha “Bertie” Parker Cody is widely considered to be the first female Native American archaeologist. Cody, who also went by her Seneca name Yewas, was born in Chautauqua County, New York in 1907. Her mother, Beulah Tahamont, was an actor of Abenaki descent. Her father, Arthur C. Parker, was an archaeologist of mixed Seneca descent, and the first president of the Society for American Archaeology.

Courtney Letts de Espil: Borden-Field Museum Alaska Arctic Expedition of 1927

“One must wear white in stalking Arctic game,” quips author Courtney Letts de Espil (Mrs. John Borden) in her 1928 book The Cruise of the Northern Light, which is a 317-page account of the Borden-Field Museum Alaska Arctic Expedition of 1927.1 Public Excitement As The Expedition Launches While newspaper accounts Continue Reading

Dr. Margery C. Carlson: Botanist, Professor, and Conservationist

Margery Carlson (1892-1985) Botany Research Associate shown [outdoors] with some of the packs of [plant] specimens she collected on expedition. © The Field Museum, B80585.

  “Every collector hopes that he will be able to bring home some species unknown to science, never before described or even given a botanical name.” – Margery Carlson¹ An Auspicious Beginning Dr. Margery C. Carlson was born in November 21, 1892 in Arthur, Illinois.²,³ She was named after the marguerite Continue Reading

Yvette Borup Andrews: First Asiatic Zoological Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History

Yvette Borup Andrews with squirrel, China, September 20, 1916,” Research Library | Digital Special Collections, accessed July 10, 2018, http-::lbry-web-007.amnh.org:digital:items:show:74486.

In 1891, Yvette Borup was born to Mary Brandreth and Col. Henry Borup in Paris, France¹. Though both parents were American, Borup would spent the majority of her early life in Europe, as her father was a military attache in France, then later Germany. During her time in Germany, Borup Continue Reading

Mina Benson Hubbard: Labrador Mapping Expedition

Mina Hubbard: The Woman Who Mapped Labrador

In an epic story of love, trials, and vindication at the dawn of the 20th century, the farm-raised daughter of European immigrants to Canada became the first white woman to explore and map the backcountry of Labrador. An Unexpected Pioneer Mina Benson Hubbard’s background gave no indication of her pioneering Continue Reading

Matthew Henson: Explorer, Scientist

Featured Image: Matthew Henson in Greenland in 1901.  “My thoughts were on the going and getting forward, and on nothing else.” -Matthew Henson, explorer, scientist1, 2, 3, 4 A member of the first expedition to reach the North Pole, Matthew Alexander Henson was an experienced member of several polar missions Continue Reading

Alice Eastwood: Pioneering Botanist, Explorer & Naturalist, Lifelong Lover of Flowers & Plants, California Academy of Sciences Curator of Botany

Alice Eastwood collecting plant specimens in the field, while holding her wooden plant press Childhood/Alice in Wonderland Alice Eastwood was born on January 19, 1859 in Toronto, Canada.1,4 Her childhood was a difficult one; at age 6, she promised her dying Irish mother, Eliza Jane (Gowdey) Eastwood, that she would Continue Reading

Jane Tost and Ada Rohu: A Remarkable Mother-Daughter Taxidermy Team

In 1863 taxidermist Jane Tost (c.1817-1889) was the first woman to be professionally employed by the Australian Museum, and later with her daughter Ada Rohu (1848-1928) she founded the extremely successful taxidermy and curio business – Tost and Rohu – which operated in Sydney from 1878 until the 1930’s.