Pioneering Women in Water Quality

  • Jill S. Tietjen
Part of the Women in Engineering and Science book series (WES)


Women’s contributions in water quality have revolutionized the thinking of society about how to interact with the Earth’s natural resources. This chapter covers four prominent women pioneers in water quality. Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards, designated by Engineering News Record as “the first female environmental engineer,” developed the first state water quality standards in the late 1800s. Ruth Patrick, after whom the biodiversity tenet the Patrick Principle is named, matched the types and numbers of diatoms in water to the type and extent of water pollution and invented the diatometer to collect and measure those diatoms. Rachel Carson, credited as the catalyst for the environmental movement of the 1960s and 1970s that continues today, wrote extensively about the oceans in addition to authoring Silent Spring, an exposé on pesticides. “Her Deepness” oceanographer Sylvia Earle is working today to preserve the world’s oceans.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jill S. Tietjen
    • 1
  1. 1.Technically Speaking, Inc.Greenwood VillageUSA

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