To celebrate women in the workplace and this year’s centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, Archbold Biological Station is highlighting contributions made by women in our scientific community. For the past half-century there has been a strong presence of women at Archbold.

In 1976, with the passing of the founder, biological explorer Richard Archbold, his sister Frances Hufty assumed the Chair of the Board and served in that role until her passing in 2010. She was succeeded by current Chair of the Board, Dr. Mary Hufty, her daughter and niece of Richard Archbold. Dr. Hufty retired recently from a successful career in family medicine in California, but her biological roots run deep, supporting natural history, biological research, conservation, and education.

Since Dr. Hilary Swain became Executive Director in 1995 an increasing number of women have joined Archbold as Program Directors and lead scientists. Women in the workplace have contributed to success at Archbold, adding a wider set of skills, creativity, and cultural insights. Nowadays, women make up many of the staff, visiting scientists, board members, and volunteers.

Dr. Eric Menges, Director of the Plant Ecology program says, “I’ve always been proud that our program has welcomed women and that female alumni have felt that their internship was an important part of their training and professional development. Many of our female interns have gone on to make a strong mark in the ecological sciences with their research, education, and the development of future generations of ecologists.”

Female scientists contribute to making Archbold a great place for research, conservation, and education. Look out for future Highlands News-Sun articles featuring interviews with female staff and visitors at Archbold, reflecting on their experiences, and offering advice for schoolchildren and young women interested in the sciences and how they could build a career in research, conservation, and science education.

Dr. Hilary Swain concludes, “Archbold takes pride in supporting women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). According to, 36.1% of women in the U.S. graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in a STEM field. Archbold is excited to inspire more young women to pursue careers in science. We want to share our stories with them.”