Women In Hydrological Forecasting: a Call for Action

Today is International Women’s Day, and many professional societies and communities of practice reflect on issues of gender balance, recognising achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic, political or otherwise. Within HEPEX, our then HEPEX columnist Bettina Schaefli reflected on gender balance in the EGU, raising the “big open question is here of course what we can do about this in our everyday work?”.

Hydrological forecasting has many more individuals that deserve mentioning. However, if we dip into archives such as the history-of-hydrology.net wiki, of the 121 “biographies of hydrologists”, there is only one female hydrologist from the past who has a biography there – Elizabeth Shaw. In hydrological forecasting, we should also celebrate Helen Joyce Peters, who was most likely the first operational forecaster using and designing an ensemble forecast technique (see this blog post on the Origins of ESP).

Surely, there are many other examples! Let’s follow Bettina’s answer to her question: “become more pro-active”! and increase the number of entries in the history-of-hydrology.net wiki (you can find instructions on how to do this and a template here), work on a relevant HEPEX blog (find out how to publish a blog post here), or tweet.


Pictured: Helen Joyce Peters (left), likely the first operational ESP forecaster, and some of the current women in HEPEX at EGU 2014 (right; left to right: Patricia Trambauer, Sara Liguori, Maria-Helena Ramos, Bettina Schaefli, Liz Stephens, Hannah Cloke, Marie-Amélie Boucher)



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