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I have written in an earlier diary about Jocelyn Crane Griffin and her association with William Beebe, the writer and biological scientist.  Beebe, whatever criticism may be leveled at him for being a jack of all trades - ornithologist, ichthyologist, entomologist, ecologist, etc. -, or for some personal lapses (such as describing some abyssal fishes without actually having specimens,) gave several women opportunities that were denied them by other scientists. Among these women were Jocelyn Crane Griffin, Rachel Carson, and another who has been seldom mentioned outside of her profession - Gloria Hollister Anable, the first woman to dive to more than 400 feet in a diving ball, the bathysphere, in 1931.

Born in 1900 in New York City, she attended Connecticut College for Women, from which she graduated in 1924. She got her Masters degree in zoology at Columbia and worked for a short time on cancer research at the Rockefeller Institute.  She was offered an assistantship with Beebe in 1928 and stayed on until World War II, when she joined the Red Cross.  There she met her husband Anthony Anable, who later laid the groundwork for the first Nature Conservancy land project, Mianus River Gorge. Hollister remained chairman emeritus of the Mianus River Gorge Conservation Committee until her death.

Much of her research with Beebe was primarily concerned with deep sea and reef fish and she contributed greatly to our understanding of these creatures. However, she also was involved in the exploration of Guyana (then British Guiana) and led an expedition into the interior to Kaieteur Falls, during which she discovered 43 waterfalls previously unknown to all but the natives.    

During her college career she was twice elected class president and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. All in all she had a remarkable career at a time when women were not often taken seriously.  

Literature References:

Gould, Carol Grant, 2004. The Remarkable Life of William Beebe: Explorer and Naturalist. Island Press, Washington.

Internet Refences:

Gloria Hollister Anable 87, Dies; An Explorer and Conservationist

Gloria Hollister Anable '24: Into the deep.

Originally posted to Desert Scientist on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 04:56 PM PDT.

Also republished by Backyard Science, SciTech, Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism, History for Kossacks, This Week in the War on Women, and Community Spotlight.

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