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Jill S. Schneiderman Professor of Earth Science and Associate Chair for Earth Science

  • S.B., Earth Science, Yale University, 1981
  • M.A., Earth Science, Harvard University, 1985
  • PhD, Earth Science, Harvard University, 1987

Jill Schneiderman earned her PhD studying metamorphic rocks in the New England Appalachians. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian examining heavy minerals in the Nile and its delta, she focused her geological research on sediment provenance studies. Her geological fieldwork has taken her from the Appalachian mountains to the Yangtze delta and many locations in between. Schneiderman’s most recent scientific research focuses on microplastics in terrestrial sands on Cape Cod. Additionally, using feminist approaches to critical science studies, she is engaged in debates about the proposed designation of a new geological epoch termed the “Anthropocene.”

Schneiderman has long been intellectually active at the intersection of science and social justice. For example, in 1997, she received funding from the National Science Foundation to develop and teach a first-in-the-nation interdisciplinary course on earth science and environmental justice. As a Congressional Science Fellow for the Geological Society of America in the US Senate during the 104th Congress she advised the Senate minority leader on science and environmental issues. In 2003, Professor Schneiderman was a Fulbright fellow at the Centre for Gender and Development Studies, University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago where she pursued research on women and water resources on the island. In 2009 she was a Fellow of the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education developing curriculum on geologic time and contemplative practice. In addition to her numerous peer-reviewed papers in natural science and the humanities, she is the editor or co-editor of four books: The Earth Around Us: Maintaining a Livable Planet (2003); Exploring Environmental Science with GIS (2005); For the Rock Record: Geologists on Intelligent Design (2009); and Liberation Science: Putting Science to Work for Social and Environmental Justice (2012) and blogs regularly on the topic of science and spirit.

  • BS, Yale University; AM, PhD, Harvard University
  • At Vassar since 1994

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Selected Publications

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Schneiderman, J.S. “The Anthropocene Controversy,” in Grusin, R. ed. Anthropocene Feminism, University of Minnesota Press, 2017. 169-195.

Schneiderman, J.S. “Against All Odds: A Geologist Revels in the Unlikely Reality of Life on Earth.” Review of A Most Improbable Journey: A Big History of Our Planet and Ourselves by Walter Alvarez, Science 354 (6512) 4 November 2016: 559.

Schneiderman, J.S. “Microplastics in Dune Sands, Outer Cape Cod, Massachusetts,” Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs 48.7 (2016) doi: 10.1130/abs/2016AM-282703.

*Hoch, O. and Schneiderman, J.S. Study of “Longshore Variation of Grain Size Distribution Along the South Shore of Long Island, New York: Test of a Sediment Transport Model.” Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. 48. 2 (2016): 21.

Schneiderman, J.S. “Naming the Anthropocene.” philoSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism. 5.2 (Summer 2015): pp. 179-201.

Price, J.R., Wilton, D.H.C., Tubrett, M.N., Schneiderman, J.S., Xudong, F., Peresolak, K. “Predicting radioactive accessory mineral dissolution during chemical weathering: The radiation dose at the solubility threshold for epidote-group detrital grains from the Yangtze River delta, China.” Chemical Geology 393-394 (2015): 93-111.

Schneiderman, J.S. “Geologic Time,” in Trefil, James ed. Discoveries in Modern Science: Exploration, Invention, Technology, Vol. 2. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Macmillan Reference USA, 2015. 434-439.

Schneiderman, J.S. “Uniformitarianism,” in Trefil, James ed. Discoveries in Modern Science: Exploration, Invention, Technology, Vol. 3. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Macmillan Reference USA, 2015. 41169-1172.

Schneiderman, J.S. “Geologic Map That Changed the World,” in Trefil, James ed. Discoveries in Modern Science: Exploration, Invention, Technology, Vol. 2. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Macmillan Reference USA, 2015. 431-434.

Joyce, J., Nevins, J. and Schneiderman, J. “Animals in Common: Commodification, Violence and the Making of Workers and Ducks at Hudson Valley Foie Gras,” in Gillespie, K. and Collard, R. eds. Critical Animal Geographies. New York: Routledge 2015. 93-107.

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Photo: Dixie Sheridan / Vassar College