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Women's History Month

2009 - Women Taking the Lead to Save our Planet

This exhibit borrows the 2009 National Women's History Project theme to honor women who have taken the lead in the environmental or "green" movement  --  from Rachel Carson, the founder of the contemporary environmental movement, to Julia "Butterfly" Hill, who spent two years on the top of redwood tree to prevent loggers from cutting it down. 

Women who are scientists, engineers, business leaders, writers, filmmakers, conservationists, teachers, community organizers, religious leaders, workplace leaders and housewives have shown exceptional vision and leadership.  Here we offer glimpses of just a few of these women.  Do you know a woman who has worked to protect the environment on a local, state, or national level?

Exhibit photos

Sources Used in Exhibit


  • Braidotti, Rosi, et al, eds. Women, the environment and sustainable development: towards a theoretical synthesis.  London; Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: Zed Books in association with INSTRAW, 1994. (HQ1240.W6627 1994)        
  • Breton, Mary Joy.  Women pioneers for the environment.  Boston: Northeastern University Press, c1998.  (GE55.B74 1998)           
  • Littig, Beate.  Feminist perspectives on environment and society.  Harlow, England New York: Prentice Hall, 2001.  (HQ1233.L598 2001)        
  • Merchant, Carolyn.  Earthcare: women and the environment.  New York: Routledge, 1996.  (HQ1233.M46 1996)         
  • Riley, Glenda.  Women and nature: saving the "Wild" West.  Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999.  (GE55.R55 1999)           
  • Sachs, Carolyn E., ed.  Women working in the environment.  Washington, D.C.: Taylor & Francis, 1997.  (HQ1240.W666 1997)       
  • Schreurs, Miranda A.  Historical dictionary of the green movement.  2nd ed. Lanham, Md.: The Scarecrow Press, 2007.  (Reference GE195 .P36 2007)
  • Sontheimer, Sally.  Women and the environment: a reader.  New York: Monthly Review Press, 1991.  (HQ1240.5.D44W64 1991)     
  • Stein, Rachel, ed.  New perspectives on environmental justice: gender, sexuality, and activism.  New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2004.  (GE220 .N48 2004)
  • Steinzor, Rena I.  Mother Earth and Uncle Sam: how pollution and hollow government hurt our kids.  1st ed.  Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2008.  (RJ383.S74 2008)           


  • Holmes, Madelyn. American women conservationists: twelve profiles. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2004.  (QH26 .H66 2004)
  • Parenteau, Patrick.  “She runs with wolves:  In memory of Mollie Beattie,”  Trumpeter 14:4.
  • United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Environment and Public Works. Nomination of Mollie H. Beattie: hearing before the Committee on Environment and Public Works, United States Senate, One Hundred Third Congress, first session, on the nomination of Mollie H. Beattie, to be Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, July 28, 1993.  Washington: U.S. G.P.O, 1993. (GOVMIC Y 4.P 96/10:S.HRG.103-182)


  • Caldicott, Helen.  A desperate passion: an autobiography.  New York: W.W. Norton, 1996.  (JX1962.C34 A3 1996)       
  • Caldicott, Helen.  Missile envy: the arms race and nuclear war.  1st ed.  New York: Morrow, 1984.  (U264.C34 1984)            
  • Caldicott, Helen.  The new nuclear danger: George W. Bush's military-industrial.  New York: W.W. Norton, 2004.  (UA23.C18 2004)           
  • Caldicott, Helen and Craig Eisendrath.  War in heaven: the arms race in outer space.  New York: W.W. Norton, 2007.  (UG1520.C35 2007)         


  • Carson, Rachel. The edge of the sea. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1955. (QH91.C3)
  • Carson, Rachel. The sea around us. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. (GC21 .C3 2003)
  • Carson, Rachel. The sense of wonder. New York: Harper & Row, 1965. (QH51.C35)
  • Carson, Rachel. Silent spring. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1962. (SB959.C3)
  • Carson, Rachel. Under the sea-win: a naturalist's picture of ocean life. New York, Oxford University Press, 1952. (QH92.C3 1952)


  • Douglas, Marjory Stoneman. The Everglades: river of grass. New York: Rinehart, 1947. (F317.E9D6)


  • Glover, Linda K. and Sylvia A. Earle, eds. Defying ocean's end: an agenda for action. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2004. (QH541.5.S3 D37 2004)
  • Earle, Sylvia A. Old Dominion University presents Sylvia Earle [videorecording]. President's science lecture series. Norfolk, VA: Old Dominion University, 2001. (LD4331 .A572 2001 Special Collections)
  • Earle, Sylvia A. Sea change: a message of the oceans. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1995. (GC21.E27 1995)


  • Gibbs, Lois Marie. Dying from dioxin: a citizen's guide to reclaiming our health and rebuilding democracy. Boston, MA: South End Press, 1995. (RA1242.D55 .G53 1995)
  • Gibbs, Lois Marie. Toxic struggles: the theory and practice of environmental justice. Philadelphia: New Society Publishers, 1993. (TD180.T68 1993)


  • Goodall, Jane.  Walking with the great apes : Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Biruté Galdikas. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991. (QL26.M66 1991)
  • Goodall, Jane. The chimpanzees I love: saving their world and ours. 1st ed. New York: Scholastic Press, 2001. (QL737.P96 G5848 2001 Juvenile Books)
  • Goodall, Jane. Reason for hope: a spiritual journey.  New York: Warner Books, 1999. (QL31.G58 A3 1999)
  • Goodall, Jane. Through a window: my thirty years with the chimpanzees of Gombe. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990. (QL31.G58A3 1990)
  • Jane Goodall Institute.
  • Lindsey, Jennifer. Jane Goodall: 40 years at Gombe: a tribute to four decades of wildlife research, education, and conservation. New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1999. (QL31.G58 L56 1999)


  • Hill, Julia Butterfly. The legacy of Luna: the story of a tree, a woman, and the struggle to save the redwoods.  San Francisco, Calif.: Harper San Francisco, 2000. (SD129.H53 A3 2000)


  • “The Story of Hazel Johnson”


  • Holmes, Marian Smith. “Interview: Margaret Lowman,” Smithsonian, December 2006 p. 24.
  • Lowman, Margaret D. and H. Bruce Rinker. Forest canopies. 2nd ed.  Amsterdam: Elsevier Academic Press, 2004. (QH541.5.F6 F66 2004)
  • Lowman, Margaret. It's a jungle up there: more tales from the treetops. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006. (QH31.L79 A3 2006)


  • National Parks Conservation Association.
  • Sherman, Mrs. John Dickinson.  Women’s part in national park development.  Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1917.
  • “Sherman, Mary Belle King,” Notable American Women, 1607-1950: A Biographical Dictionary, 1971.  Retrieved from Biography Reference Bank.


  • Clarke, Robert.  Ellen Swallow: the woman who founded ecology.  Chicago, Follett Pub. Co., 1973.  (QH31.R5C55)
  • Vare, Ethlie Ann.  Adventurous spirit: a story about Ellen Swallow Richards. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, 1992.  (QD22.R48 V37 1992 Juvenile Books)