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Environment Matters Audio Podcast

Environment Matters
EPA Region 3
Topic: EPA Showcases Famous Women Scientists
Size: : 4,379k
Time: 04:41

Date: January 23, 2013

[Opening music]

Host:  Hello, I’m Lena Kim and welcome to Environmental Matters, EPA’s series of environmental podcasts. People choose their life’s work in many ways.  For some, that choice happens because you meet someone or learn about someone who inspires you.  EPA’s Paula Estornell discusses EPA’s Women in Science and Engineering Program and an exhibit about famous women scientists that she hopes will inspire others.  The exhibit will run from January through June in Philadelphia.

 Paula Estornell: The women who work in the scientific and engineering fields at EPA come from all over the United States, all different races, ethnicities, and ages.  It’s really a wonderful diverse group here at EPA. The backgrounds of the women’s scientists and engineers at EPA are really varied, it’s broad, it’s wonderful. We have biologists, ecologists, hydro geologists, we have life scientists, there’s all kinds of engineers here as well; civil, mechanical, environmental engineers., Women in Science in Engineering is very broad it doesn’t just include the natural sciences and engineering fields all of those professions are really represented here at EPA.

Paula Estornell:  Women In Science and Engineering group, our acronym is WISE. It’s a group focused on many things, but one of the aspects of what we do is really reach out to young women and girls and get them interested in scientific and engineering fields.  We speak at schools. We judge science fairs.  We reach out to universities; do a lot of outreach, information and even recruitment to get women engineers and scientists interested not only in that field but in working for the federal government.

Host:  Paula describes the photography exhibit WISE is hosting.  It focuses on a broad range of women’s scientific accomplishments, talents and backgrounds.

Paula Estornell: To stand in our Public Information Center right in Center City, Philadelphia and look at thirty images of women who have accomplished so much - -Nobel Peace prize winners, the head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,  people who really have been pioneers in science and engineering, all kinds of fields, medical fields, scientific fields, engineering fields.  They are displayed.  And hopefully viewing these images will be inspirational to young women who are considering getting into these non-traditional fields for women.

Paula Estornell: We chose the thirty famous women based on women that are available through the national women’s history project and from nominations from women here at our federal agency - - famous scientists and engineers who inspired them.  Our employees, their role models will be displayed on the wall.

Host: Paula Estornell - - an engineer and manager recently earned her PhD in sustainable development - - describes social scientist Jane Addams.  Addams was the leader in the early 1900s settlement movement in the U.S. and is featured in the exhibit.

Paula Estornell: She was a renaissance woman. She had some medical background, but could not get a medical degree because of the era in which she lived.  What she did instead was provide social services for the most needy, most under-served people living in the urban area. She was really a role model and the settlement houses she helped create in Chicago were replicated in other cities across the United States. She advised Presidents. She was the first woman too to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. She was an amazing person and had big impact on many people’s lives.

To find out more about this exhibit, visit the National Women’s History Project Website, and find out more; not only about the women that we’re displaying in the scientific and engineering fields but also about other famous women.

Host:  Thank you Paula, you can see the exhibit of famous women scientist’s weekdays at EPA’s Philadelphia Office in the Public Information Center at 17th and Arch Streets. 

[closing music]

Host: Other scientists featured are chemist Ellen Swallow Richards, geneticist Barbara McClintock and botanist and limnologist, Dr. Ruth Patrick.   

To find out more about careers at EPA see www.epa.gov and thank you for listening to Environment Matters.


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