Natural Determination

To be a wildlife biologist, it helps to have skills: to climb 30 feet up a tree to reach an eagle’s nest, to monitor a tranquilized wolf before it wakes or to track a wolverine in the high country. And in years past, it would have helped to be a man.


April 27, 2015

Pat Kennedy
Pat Kennedy

To be a wildlife biologist, it helps to have skills: to climb 30 feet up a tree to reach an eagle’s nest, to monitor a tranquilized wolf before it wakes or to track a wolverine in the high country. And in years past, it would have helped to be a man.

For much of the 20th century, wildlife positions in universities, agencies and industry were all but closed to women. Pat Kennedy, Oregon State professor and wildlife biologist at the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center in Union, is documenting the stories of women who persevered as volunteers, poorly paid assistants and part-time technicians to pursue their science.

Among her subjects are biologists in the United States, Canada and Australia. She is working with a publisher and expects to complete a draft in 2015.

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CATEGORIES: Service to Oregon Healthy People Print Issues Spring 2015 Departments Stewardship


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