Biography of Florence Bascom

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Detailed Description

This video is a brief but informative introduction to the life and work of Florence Bascom, the first woman hired by USGS! It describes the significance of her accomplishments at USGS and the legacy of her work beyond geology. This video was produced by the Florence Bascom Geoscience Center a USGS science center recently renamed in honor of Bascom and organized within the North-Atlantic and Appalachian Region. The Florence Bascom Geoscience Center carries on the tradition of geologic mapping and science that came to define Florence's work at USGS. 


Date Taken:

Length: 00:01:42

Location Taken: US

Video Credits

Production: 522 Productions. 


When you think of a rockstar scientist, who comes to mind?  Einstein?  Sir Isaac Newton?  Or maybe Marie Curie?  But what about someone who was truly a rockstar.  We're talking about geologist Florence Bascom, AKA the stone woman.  A pioneer and a woman of many firsts, Bascom became the first woman ever to earn a PhD from Johns Hopkins University, and in 1896, became the first woman hired at the United States Geological Survey, or USGS.  During her 40-year tenure, she was among the first geologist to survey and map the geologic provinces of the North Atlantic and Appalachian region and did it all by hand.  She studied its rock structures, erosion cycles, and made discoveries about how mountains formed, and all of these contributions are still utilized by geologists today.  By the way, Bascom was doing this in a time when women were not even allowed to vote.  So, her legacy goes well beyond her research and work in the field.  It's the mission at USGS and the Florence Bascom Geoscience Center to provide unbiased, scientific data to the nation.  And now, a word from Florence, herself.  Take it away, Flo!

The fascination of any search after truth lies not in the attainment, but in the pursuit.

And there you have it, folks, Flo-B, a real, live rockstar.