Tag Archives: women

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

Have Apron, Will Prosper

(This article appeared in the November 2000 issue of North Shore Magazine. It was the last piece I’d do for Tom, my first editor at the magazine. By the January 2001 issue, there’d be a new editor—fortunately, one with whom I enjoyed working for as long as she was at the magazine. However, Tom was the editor who accepted my first piece at North Shore, so I was sorry to see him go. As for the story, I loved interviewing these women—and I still smile when I see their products in stores.)

Though it was early, the big tent at the Long Grove festival was already bustling. However, it was not yet difficult to reach the tables where the free samples were being handed out. At the first booth, I savored bits of chicken cooked in a variety of tasty sauces. The garlic and herb was my favorite. I smiled at a young woman who was busy with toothpicks, and said, “Really delicious.” Then I moved on.

At the next booth, another woman was handing out samples of outrageously rich cake. I smiled again, then moved farther down the same booth, where I was offered a sliver of herb-basted turkey. Yum. I absently turned over the package, and noticed that it was made locally. I looked up at the cheerful woman behind the counter and said, “This is your company, isn’t it?” She replied that it was, then launched into her favorite stories about her business and her customers. I got her card, then headed back to the first booth.

The jar told me that the sauces were made in Wheeling. Now, I keep sufficiently abreast of food trends to have heard that women were having an impact on the specialty food business, but for some reason, I had never thought of it as happening here, in Chicago’s suburbs. I thought it was in New York, or maybe Los Angeles, but Wheeling? Yes, the young woman behind the counter was the business’s founder and owner. I got her business card, too. Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, Food, Thoughts