World's first woman forestry graduate celebrated

Friday 23 Jul 2021

A path through the trees: Mary Sutherland — forester, botanist & women’s advocate, by Vivien Edwards - The NZIF have just celebrated a new book on the life and times of Mary Sutherland, the first woman forestry graduate in the world. She was a foremost New Zealand forester, a pioneer akin in stature to Kate Shepherd. She was also an active advocate for women’s right to higher education.

Her career began in Britain during the First World War, and she emigrated to New Zealand in 1923 where the fledgling State Forest Service employed her until forestry retrenched in the 1930s. With her forester’s skills, she moved into botany at the Dominion Museum, and farm forestry with the Department of Agriculture.

Sutherland played an important role in New Zealand’s afforestation and in creating community awareness of the value of forestry. At the time her expertise was largely undervalued and the importance of her contribution overlooked. However, her career and life gently broke down barriers and prejudices towards professional women, and she was highly regarded by many of her male peers.

A Path Through the Trees tells the professional and personal story of this remarkable woman. Vivien Edwards, the author, has drawn on reports, photographs and journals, as well as through interviews, to document this determined woman in an early era of forestry.

To order online click here

Source: NZIF

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