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Famous Female Geologists

Updated June 14, 2019 30.4k views27 items

List of famous female geologists, listed by their level of prominence with photos when available. This greatest female geologists list contains the most prominent and top females known for being geologists. There are thousand of females working as geologists in the world, but this list highlights only the most notable ones. Historic geologists have worked hard to become the best that they can be, so if you're a female aspiring to be a geologist then the people below should give you inspiration.

List people include Susan Kieffer, Ethel Shakespear and many more.

While this isn't a list of all female geologists, it does answer the questions "Who are the most famous female geologists?" and "Who are the best female geologists?"
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  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Catherine Joséphine "Katia" Krafft (née Conrad; 17 April 1942 – 3 June 1991) and her husband, Maurice Paul Krafft (25 March 1946 – 3 June 1991), were French volcanologists who died in a pyroclastic flow on Mount Unzen, in Japan, on June 3, 1991. The Kraffts were known for being pioneers in filming, photographing and recording volcanoes, often getting within feet of lava flows. Their obituary appeared in the Bulletin of Volcanology. Werner Herzog's documentary Into the Inferno mentions them. ...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 49 (1942-1991)
    • Birthplace: Mulhouse, France
    • Gender: Female
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Kathryn Dwyer Sullivan (born October 3, 1951) is an American geologist and a former NASA astronaut. A crew member on three Space Shuttle missions, she was the first American woman to walk in space on October 11, 1984. She was Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 6, 2014. Sullivan's tenure ended on January 20, 2017 with the swearing in of President Donald Trump. Following completion of her service at NOAA, she was designated as the 2017 Charles A. Lindbergh Chair of Aerospace History at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum., and...  more
    • Age: 69
    • Birthplace: Paterson, New Jersey
    • Gender: Female
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    Marie Tharp (July 30, 1920 – August 23, 2006) was an American geologist and oceanographic cartographer who, in partnership with Bruce Heezen, created the first scientific map of the Atlantic Ocean floor. Tharp's work revealed the detailed topography and multi-dimensional geographical landscape of the ocean bottom. Her work also revealed the presence of a continuous rift valley along the axis of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, causing a paradigm shift in earth science that led to acceptance of the theories of plate tectonics and continental drift....  more
    • Age: Dec. at 86 (1920-2006)
    • Birthplace: Ypsilanti, Michigan
    • Gender: Female
  • Jillian Fiona Banfield (born Armidale, Australia) is Professor at the University of California, Berkeley with appointments in the Earth Science, Ecosystem Science and Materials Science and Engineering departments. She leads the Microbial Research initiative within the Innovative Genomics Institute, is affiliated with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and has a position at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Some of her most noted work includes publications on the structure and functioning of microbial communities and the nature, properties and reactivity (especially crystal growth) of nanomaterials....  more
    • Age: 61
    • Birthplace: Armidale, Australia
    • Gender: Female