7,243 Gifts

7,243 Gifts

Katherine Fowler-Billings, 1925


24,028 Dollars

120 Gifts

Matches and Challenges

Available matches and challenges have been met. Please continue to show your support to help this campaign make an even greater impact!

Geoscience Match


Thanks to James & Stella Robertson and an anonymous donor, your gift will be matched dollar for dollar — up to $15,000— during Day of the Badger.

This match has ended.

Katharine (Kay) Fowler-Billings (1902 – December 17, 1997) was an American naturalist and geologist. Katharine was born and raised in Boston, completed her BA at  Bryn Mawr College (1925), her MA at University of Wisconsin (1926), and her PhD at Columbia University (1930). 

When Fowler-Billings began her career, the field of geology predominantly consisted of men, and the sexism she faced often prevented her from conducting research. Due to this, she would occasionally disguise herself as a man to access geological sites and continue her research. (“Fowler-Billings, Katharine, 1902-. Katharine Fowler-Billings lantern slide collection, 1937: an inventory”. oasis.lib.harvard.edu.) 

The Department established the Kay Fowler-Billings Exercise in 2020 to provide an opportunity for any member of the department to propose an activity, event, or other purchase that improves department climate, diversity, and inclusiveness. To date the department has:  

  • purchased picnic tables and benches for the courtyard,  
  • provided seed funding to purchase new camping equipment for students to check out, enhancing equipment previously donated by alumni 
  • outfitted our lactation space with a mini-fridge and microwave (the department has newly dedicated a space specifically for new parents, an improvement from the shared space of years past) 
  • provided funding for academic advisors to travel to HBCUs to build connections in the advising community 
  • purchased graduate student application fee waivers for prospective students 
  • provided funding to establish a course to look at the ways in which student research can contribute to society and the achievement of desired societal outcomes 
  • held a Bystander Intervention Training that over 50 department citizens attended 
  • created an impactful, hands-on experience for middle school and high school students, with time split between the Geology Museum and SEM lab 
  • provided funding for a field experience for the Museum and the Eastern Shoshone Tribal Historical Preservation Office (ESTHPO), tribal Elders, and teachers along with their classes of middle and high school students from the Fort Washakie school system (Wind River Reservation, WY) to determine scientific names in the Shoshone language for two new Late Triassic genera were recently discovered 

Our 2024 Day of the Badger Goal is to raise $50,000 to endow a fund a Special Projects Fund in Kay Fowler-Billings’ honor to enable us to provide funding for these kinds of community-based, grass-roots activities for years to come.  

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