Jess and Molly have both been active in southern forestry and forest entomology for several years. In July 2015, Jess approached Molly to be a speaker in a symposium titled ‘Women in Forest Entomology’ at the Southern Forest Insect Work Conference, not knowing that Molly, too, had been interested in gender equality in science, working on a survey to evaluate why minorities leave science.
Their relationship soon blossomed into a self-perpetuating cycle of awesomeness. They began working with the Entomological Society of America’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion to survey entomologists within the society and determine challenges people face in their field, focusing on issues specific to women and minorities.
In May of 2016, Jess organized a workshop on women in forest entomology that was held at the North American Forest Insect Work Conference. The workshop lead small group discussions about the role of gender, sexual orientation, age, and other characteristics in advancement through a scientific profession.
In September of 2016, Jess and Molly will present on recruitment and retention of young entomologists to the ESA and other scientific communities at the International Congress of Entomology in Orlando.
Their newest venture includes the Feminist Forester. A place where social issues and science connect. We hope to provide thought-provoking posts, guest spots, and distractions (most likely consisting entirely of cat videos). Please take a look around, and do not hesitate to contact us with questions, suggestions, or (constructive) comments!