Society of Women Geographers

What do Jane Goodall, Amelia Earhart, and I have in common? Membership in the Society of Women Geographers.

This wonderful group has been around since 1925, but I’m often surprised to find that women who are as passionate about travel, history, and geography as I am have never heard about it.

This is an international organization for women who have accomplished a fairly substantial amount of travel and research — so it’s not a group of kids. The backgrounds vary widely–adventurers, anthropologists, astronauts, food historians, wildlife researchers, Egyptologists, geologists, mountain climbers, archaeologists, and women pursuing pretty much any other area of study related to physical or human geography that you can imagine.

You can’t just join the group–you have to be nominated by two people, you have to document that you meet the membership criteria, and then the board votes on your application. However, if you think you qualify, you can contact the organization and find out if there is a group near you and visit them (most larger groups have monthly meetings). That’s a good way to find someone who might nominate you, if you do qualify.

If you’re interested in knowing what the membership criteria are, you can find them here, on the group’s website: Society of Women Geographers. The site also includes some history of the group and describes a bit more of its purpose.

There are loads of other organizations that pursue geographic interests, if you don’t yet meet the criteria of membership, so you won’t miss all the fun if you aren’t a member. However, if you do meet the criteria, it’s a great place to find people who share your interests.


Filed under Culture, Geography, History, Travel

2 responses to “Society of Women Geographers

  1. Pingback: Society of Women Geographers | The World's Fare | Women Who Dared |

  2. Margaret Mead (1901 – 1978), world-famous anthropologist and author of many books and articles. Interviewed in 1974 by Gertrude Dole and Jeanne Gurnee (SWG-related). One audiotape and transcript (copyright SWG). BA, Barnard College 1923. MA, Columbia University 1924, Psychology. PhD, Columbia University1929, Anthropology. Numerous honorary degrees and other awards. She was Curator of Ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and taught at Columbia University for many years. In this delightful interview, done as part of SWG’s 50thanniversary celebration, Mead insists that she will answer only questions about SWG, deflecting other questions by referring her interviewers to her C.V. and her book Blackberry Winter: My Early Years (1972). She joined SWG in 1928 and was a loyal member until she died in 1978, describing SWG as a lively interesting group of women. SWG also proved to be a good way for her to socialize and exchange ideas with her Museum colleagues, many of whom were married to SWG members. The interview touches upon her experiences as an anthropologist in an era when women were not welcomed in the field and describes her work during World War II. Awarded the SWG Gold Medal in 1942.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s