Celebrating female pioneers in sustainability

Rachel Carson

To honor female scientists for Women's History Month, Arizona State University takes a look inside the lives of three female sustainability pioneers—Rachel Carson, Elinor Ostrom, and Nancy Selover.

Rachel Carson is most well-known for her book, Silent Spring. A fighter for the environment and people, she brought to light many environmental injustices such as pesticide use and ocean pollution. Carson was probably one of the first females to communicate the sustainability concept before "sustainability" was a word.

ASU's own Elinor Ostrom was the first woman to receive the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science in 2009. Trained in political science, Ostrom investigated how people organize and use natural resources without a government system. Later in her life, she focused her research on human impacts on climate change.

Nancy Selover, a professor in ASU's School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, is Arizona's first female state climatologist. Her main research focus and passion is water, a resource that is slowly disappearing in an urban desert oasis. As Arizona's climatologist, Selover's responsibility is to give public outreach and information on the local climate.