Celebrate Women’s History Month!

March is Women’s History Month! Learn more about some of the women who play invaluable roles in the conservation and environmental spaces and continue to shape and guide the field today.

Sustainability at Portland State University

Winona LaDuke is a Native American activist who, among many other things, help co-found the Indigenous Women’s Network. She is devoted to protecting Native lands and would then go on to create the White Earth Land Recovery Project (WELRP), which buys back reservation land. She has written many books about the struggles that the Native American community faces.

Photo by Bonnie L. Campbell/USFWS

Dr. Sylvia Earle is an expert on marine biology, writer, oceanography and a pioneer in her field. She was the first woman Chief Scientist at NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and she brought much needed attention to pollution and its effects on our ocean and its wildlife.

Tina Short, left, with her daughter Ms. Kym Elder, right National Park Service photo

Tina Short was one of the first Black women to serve as a Park Ranger around Washington D.C. She was instrumental in founding public programming that still exists today at Fort Dupont Park like community gardens, music festivals, camp, and afterschool programs.

Photo by Luke Duggleby

Isatou Ceesay noticed heaps of trash in her village in Gambia and decided to do something about it. With a group of women, the now “Queen of Recycling” began using this plastic to create purses. The project eventually grew into the Women’s Initiative Gambia and now hosts 40 groups of over 2,000 members. 

Rachel Carson wrote the famous book, Silent Spring, which sparked the modern environmental movement, helped initiate the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and lead to a nationwide ban on the use of the pesticide, DDT. In her book, Carson called out the chemical indiustry for their products’ terrible effects on wildlife, the environment, and people.

We are lucky to have so many women with instrumental roles in our environment. Below are just a few more:

Happy Women’s History Month! Join us in celebrating the incredible work women have done for the environment and the many human beings who rely on it.