New Mexico Network for


P.O. Box 18073, Albuquerque, NM 87185


July 1996

NMNWSE Board of Directors

Libby Haas
Albuquerque, NM

Past President
Nancy Stages
Las Cruces, NM

Vice President
Lynda Towers
Los Alamos, NM


Rachael Pitts
Albuquerque, NM

dede Collins
Santa Fe, NM

Kelli Livermore
Tijeras, NM

EYH Coordinator
Adrienne Dare
Silver City, NM

Fund Raising
Yolanda Jones King
Moriarty, NM

Wyona Turner
El Paso, TX

Carol La Delfe
Los Alamos, NM

Mary Bochmann
Las Cruces, NM

Central Chapter
Sarah Rahman
Albuquerque, NM

Eastern Chapter
Mercedes Agogino
Portales, NM

Northern Chapter
Deborah Kubicek
Los Alamos, NM

Southern Chapter
Vickie Reynolds
Las Cruces, NM


Georgia Fritz

LANL retiree Georgia Fritz died June 26 following a fall while hiking in the Jemez Mountains.

A chemist, Fritz joined the Laboratory in 1962 in the Health Research Laboratory. She transferred into Explosives Technology in 1975 and moved to Waste Management in 1988. She retired in 1991 and later worked as a Laboratory associate in Analytical Chemistry.

Fritz was co-founder of both Los Alamos Women in Science and the Northern New Mexico chapter of the Mexico Network for Women in Science and Engineering. Both of these groups (now merged into the LAWIS-Northern Chapter of NMNWSE) encourage women to choose science careers. She also was active in the American Chemical Society, the American Association for Testing Materials, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Association of University Women. In 1986, she received the first Governor's Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women. She again garnered the award in 1993.

Fritz is survived by her husband, Joe; sons, Peter and David; daughter, Diane; parents, Pierre and Bertha Thomas; sister, Elizabeth; and brother, Peter.

(Adapted from the July 12, 1996 edition of the Los Alamos National Laboratory NewsBulletin)


by Libby Haas

I was so glad to have seen Georgia Fritz at the last Board Meeting. It had been a while since I had seen her and as always she was eager to volunteer for tasks with which the board needed help. She also told us about the presentation she was preparing for a meeting of the Northern Chapter and for the Annual Meeting on women involved in the Los Alamos Project. I was really looking forward to hearing it. Georgia will indeed be missed.

Speaking of the Annual Meeting -- it's just around the corner! Northern Chapter has been busy for months planning all the details and making arrangements. It sounds like it will be another great time for all. Don't forget to fill out your registration form and mail it in with your check.

Thanks to all who volunteered to run for positions on the state board next year and to serve on boards for the local chapters. Serving on the board is a big committment, but so rewarding. Working to encourage young women to pursue careers in math and science is very satisfying.

It's not too early for each current board members to verify that their notebook is in good order to turn over to the person who will be serving in that capacity next year. I know I have some things to file. Don't forget to do your job description by months and put it in the notebook as well.

That's all for now -- see you soon in Santa Fe. Libby


The National Science Foundation drew hundreds of women and men-representing academia, research institutions, government, museums, and professional societies-to the nation's capital last December to examine the status of women in the professions of science and engineering. The conference-Women and Science, Celebrating Achievements, Charting Challenges-asked participants to take stock of recent advances by women in the scientific workplace and to identify current obstacles and future challenges.

Before the conference began, participants had been asked to identify overall trends and challenges within their own disciplines. Their responses were wide-ranging. "The trend that threatens opportunities for women in my field (physical sciences/engineering) is the continued downsizing of R&D-particularly research-in corporations and national laboratories," wrote one participant. A materials engineer stated that many companies have strong recruiting programs for women (and ethnic minorities) but no internal support system for these groups once they're hired, perhaps a reflection of c corporate response to government-mandated quotas.

Starting young

These and other observations seem to reflect an American cultural climate that is changing, but still poses barriers to women in these professions. Most participants agreed that more directed efforts are needed to attract girls to the sciences, and that those efforts should target girls at a younger age.

"The perception that physical sciences are 'too hard for a girl' can only be overcome when girls truly believe they can do the work. The fields are academically demanding, but not in any way beyond the reach of individuals who are willing to do the work to develop the background and understand the concepts, and who believe in their abilities," wrote Meera Chandrasekhar, physics professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and Rebecca Litherland, science department, Columbia (Mo.) Public Schools.

"Although female participation in undergraduate geoscience programs has increased significantly over the last decade-from 26.5 percent in 1985 to 35.9 percent in 1995-the environment in precollege classrooms can still be 'chilly' for girls who are considering careers in science," says Marilyn Suiter, AGI's director of Education and Human Resources. "Teachers must learn to identify and diminish negative cultural factors in the learning environment at all K-16 grade levels."

Participants at the breakout session, "Changing Curriculum and Instruction," which Suiter chaired, recommended: 1) gender/equity training, 2) documenting problematic behaviors of bias, and 3) developing policies to deter harassment and other behaviors of bias.

"The climate for girls at some schools can be very discouraging," agrees geoscientist Priscilla Grew, vice-chancellor for research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Often it's a peer problem, rather than a teacher problem, she added. Still, teachers should always be careful about gender gaps within their classrooms: Are boys selected more often than girls to lead activities or answer questions?

Career vs. family conflicts

While perceptions change over time, one problem will never go away: the conflict between career-building and the biological clock. Many conferees believed the career vs. family issue was the major obstacle facing women scientists today.

"Many academic institutions do not have adequate maternity and family-leave policies, so it is still difficult for women to cope with the demands of having a family and a career," observed Carol B. Lynch, dean of the graduate school and associate vice-chancellor for research at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Often women scientists elect not to have children, she added, or encounter fertility problems if they delay their decision too long.

"Although institutions like the National Science Foundation have good programs to help women scientists, it is the pervasive attitude of science as "all consuming," perpetuated through home institutions and by some colleagues, that serves as the main stumbling block to the retention and advancement of women in our fields," states Carol de Wet, geoscience professor (sedimentology) at Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa. (Geotimes April 1995).

De Wet adds that women are still up against a science system that was designed in the 1940s and '50s by men and reflects their expectations and practices. But as Linda Wilson, president of Radcliffe College, pointed out, it is that system that is now obsolete, and or dysfunctional for the 1990s.

Science service?

The meeting highlighted one example of where the national agenda and scientific community are out of step, says de Wet. There is an emphasis on community involvement, and participation of scientists in local schools, especially geared toward girls and their developing attitudes toward science, is encouraged. "Women scientists have typically participated in greater numbers at this level than have their male counterparts, but it is unrecognized and unvalued-not undervalued-by the professional scientific community," she states. One part of the "sea change" would be to recognize the importance of such work and give it value in tenure, promotion, and national standing.

Struggles for acceptance

One of the purposes of the conference was to acknowledge the gains that women scientists have already made and the changes they have helped bring about. "In preparing for this conference," said Priscilla Grew, "I stumbled across the fact (news to me) that I had been only one of four women in the United States to earn a Ph.D. in earth science in 1967. The cohort changes in the last three decades in terms of women earning earth-science degrees at all levels have been indeed remarkable."

Yet Grew's discussion group also noted that there still appears to be a "glass ceiling"- women have not attained substantial cohort strength in senior tenured positions at leading universities.

Marine scientist Vera Alexander observed that there has been "a clear and quite dramatic increase" in the number of professional women in her field over the past decade which reflects, she believes, an increasingly supportive atmosphere in most oceanography graduate programs.

But acceptance of women as equal professional partners varies from one discipline to the next. Alexander also noted that the acceptance and availability of women in the field of fisheries is far lower than in marine science. "There is a great deal of tradition in [that] field," she says, "and I suspect that this, too, is changing slowly."

Daryl Chubin, director of NSF's Division of Research, Evaluation, and Communication (Education and Human Resources Directorate) and one of the conference planners, agrees. "There are many differences between scientific fields; we gained a clearer understanding of how discouraging it is for women to work and gain advancement within certain disciplines."

Future conferences

Most attendees found that the opportunities to interact with women in their own fields as well as other disciplines were particularly valuable. "I hope the NSF will organize a follow-up conference," says Grew. "Next time, I think women in private-sector R&D should be invited. Universities are increasing their interaction with industry and we need to develop linkages among women geoscientists in both the academic and private-sector communities."

And, she added with a laugh, next time the conference should NOT take place concurrently with the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, an event which forced many women geoscientists to choose between events in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco.

The conference last December-the first on this subject sponsored by NSF as a cross-agency event-was planned and administered by the Education and Human Resources Directorate. But other directorates within NSF may manage the next conference, says Chubin. A conference report is expected to be available by the end of the current academic year, he adds. For additional information, contact the Web site of NSF's Education and Human Resources Directorate: <>.

First published in the March 1996 issue of Geotimes and reprinted with permission of the American Geological Institute, publisher of Geotimes.



June 22, 1996.

The meeting was called to order at 10:10 a.m. at the home of Karen Schultz Paige by President Libby Haas with the following Board Members present: Kelli Bitner, Mary Bochmann, Adrienne Dare, Libby Haas, Yolanda Jones King, Deborah Kubicek, Karen Schultz Paige and Wyona Turner. Proxies were held for Mercedes Agogino and dede Collins. Past Board Member Georgia Fritz was a guest at the meeting and volunteered to serve as Secretary for the next two meetings. The minutes from the April meeting were reviewed and approved. The Treasurer's report was not available. Reports were heard from Standing Committees and chapters. New business included a discussion of ordering lapel pins to be made available at the Annual Meeting in October. The proposal was approved and lapel pins will be ordered. The meeting adjourned at 12:05 p.m.


Central Chapter (Kelly Bitner)

The Central Chapter met on June 19 at the home of Ellen Evans. Our guest speaker, Dr. Ellen Louderbough, explained the legal basis for City of Albuquerque v Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Louderbough was a clerk for Judge Mechem at the time of his ruling on this case.

The business portion of the meeting included a summary of the last State Board meeting minutes. Debby Potter indicated that she may be interested in an At-Large Board position

Northern Chapter

Summer is a slower time for the Northern Chapter and we have fewer meetings and activities than usual. We started the spring with an interesting talk on fissils by Maureen Hudson. Unfortunately, the talk was not as well attended as we had hoped. However, those that did attend enjoyed learning about fossils and trying out their new knowledge on the fossil hunting expedition she lead us on the next day.

In mid-June we hosted our annual summer picnic. This is our big membership drive for the year and over eighty tickets wre sold for the event. We grilled hamburgers and hotdogs over gas grills in order to comply with the current fire restrictions. The party-goers included women from a wide range of technical fields, students, families, children, and dogs. Many women picked up brochures and application forms so we are hopeful about the outcome of this membership drive.

Future activities for the northern chapter include plans for a lunch-time talk from Georgia Fritz on the women involved in the Manhattan Project. In addition, our chapter is planning our own annual meeting, held every September, as well as the State NMNWSE Annual Meeting.

Southern Chapter

No Report

Eastern Chapter

No report.


This report was unavailable for presentation and approval at the June meeting but is included here, courtesy of Treasurer Rachael Pitts. It (or an updated version) will be presented for approval at the August Board meeting.

July 1996 (Rachael Pitts)










Opening Balance







Money Market

























Fund Raising






- Checking







- Money M.














Annual Mtg.







Chapter Rebates







EYH Conferences






Los Alamos




Las Cruces




Silver City








EYH Workshop



EYH Printing




Fund Raising




Memb. Booklet




Memb. Mailings







Officers' Exp.




PO Box




Public Relat.



Science Fair




Travel - Board




Travel - Pres.




















Ending Balance








M. Market















1996 Annual Meeting (Deborah Kubicek)

It is time again for NMNWSE's Annual Meeting and Symposium. This year's conference will be held October 18-20th at the Fort Marcy Compound in Santa Fe. I have stopped by to take a peek and it is a very lovely, serene, condo-like community. It is located a few blocks from the infamous downtown Santa Fe plaza. We will schedule the meetings to allow for some free time to explore/shop around.

We were lucky to get a New Mexico State Representative, Liz Stefanics, as our keynote speaker for Saturday's lunch and a surprise Entertainer for Saturday evening. The Registration form and Call for Papers is enclosed in this Newsletter. The more people that attend, the more fun we'll all have! Don't miss out on a chance to meet some of the other women in the Network and to visit the capital of our great state. For more information, don't hesitate to contact me by phone: (505) 665-2150 or by email:

Elections (Kelli Livermore)

Rachael Pitts has said she is not willing to run for Treasurer again. Therefore, we need an individual who is. I recommend the President appoint a Secretary for one year, and next year we nominate and elect a Secretary.

We need a candidate (or more!) for Vice President/President-Elect. Additionally, we need a candidate to fill the position of member-at-large for two different positions. One is the one I will be vacating, the other is the position which was established in the 1995 election.

Adrienne Dare and Wyona Turner have both agreed to run for their positions again. Thanks to both of them for carrying on.

I have asked each of (the Board members) to bring names of interested individuals. Because I am unable to attend the June meeting, I ask you to please mail them to me.

Ballots will be mailed the week after the next Board of Director's meeting. The return date will be on or before September 15.

(The following article was apparently intended for the April Newsletter but was not received in time. I am printing it here because, even though late, the message is important for all members to hear.)

Job Description:

Elections Chair

The operating by-laws and policies and procedures for this position are these:

Article IV Board of Directors

Section 4.2 The Board of Directors of the NETWORK shall consist of no fewer than six (6) and no more than fifteen (15) members. A minimum of three (3) Directors shall be elected at large by the membership of the NETWORK. One (1) Director shall be elected by the membership of each of the chapters. Officers of the NETWORK shall also be members of the Board. The Directors elected by the membership at large of the NETWORK shall serve for two (2) year terms. The terms of the Directors elected by the membership of each chapter shall be for a period of (1) year or until their successors have been chosen.

Section 4.3 Election of officers and members of the Board of Directors shall be by written ballot. Installation shall be at the annual meeting.

Article V Officers

Section 5.2 The term of office for the President and President-elect shall be one (1) year with the President-Elect automatically succeeding to the office of President. The terms for office for the Secretary and Treasurer shall be two (2) years.


Election Committee Chair

  1. Is a member of the Board of Directors and attends Board of Directors Meetings.
  2. Chairs a committee to establish a slate for election of NETWORK officers and members of the Board of Directors according to the standard procedure on Elections (Procedure 89-PR02).
  3. Contributes to furthering the work of the Board of Directors and the NETWORK.

Standard Procedures


The Chair of the Election Committee supervises the establishment of a slate of candidates. In accomplishing this, she must become familiar with Article IV, Sections 4.1 through 4.3 and Article V of the NETWORK Bylaws and have available a list of the terms of the current officers and the directors.

The nominating process begins in the spring. The slate of candidates is to be completed and the mailing labels provided to the Election Committee by the August Board meeting.

Recommended process: At the April meeting, request one person from each Chapter poll that Chapter's members to determine who might be interested in and competent to hold the position(s) coming up in the next election. At-large members rotate every other year. As it now stand, the Secretary and the Treasurer were both elected in the 1994 election. The Secretary should not be elected again until 1997 to restore the proper cycle.

An attempt should be made to keep the Board as balanced as possible regarding representation of the Chapters. Thus, the Network tries to elect a President/Elect from Central, then from Northern, then from Southern. In 1996, the President/Elect should come from the Southern Chapter if at all possible. In addition, the members-at-large should also represent the various Chapters/regions as much as possible. Thus, in 1996, one candidate from Northern Chapter, one candidate from Southern Chapter, and one candidate from Central Chapter should be on the ballot. In addition, a new Committee Chair has been created, Publicity, and that position needs to be filled. Lastly, Wyona Turner was appointed by the President to fill the position Lynda Towers vacated so when the appointments take place at the annual meeting, that issue will need to be addressed.

The election results are announced at the annual meeting and publicized in the newsletter following the annual meeting. The membership elects the members at large, but the President appoints each member-at-large to Chair a Standing Committee. That is usually negotiated at the Board meeting which takes place during the Annual Meeting.

Thus, I would like each Board member to leave this meeting with the intent to recruit future Board members. Those same individuals can "recruit" themselves if they're interested in staying on the Board, but I would like to have a list of individuals from each Chapter/region presented to me at the June meeting. Of course, the information presented in the "recommended process" of this report should be used to establish criteria for recruitment.

The individuals whos positions are up for election in the 1996 election are: Vice President/President Elect Lynda Towers; either Secretary (vacant now) or Treasurer (Rachael Pitts) should be elected this year, but not both. We need to get out of the routine in which they are both elected in the same year. I have no idea how that happened. Members-at-large up for re-election: Kelli Livermore, Adrienne Dare, Wyona Turner and the new member-at-large position. I do not wish to run again. Although Wyona has only occupied the position of Membership Committee Chairman since she was appointed in October 1995, because Lynda Towers occupied it for a year prior to that, the position is up for this election.

Science Fair

NMNWSE Awards for Young Women's Projects at the April 13, 1996 Science Fair in Socorro, New Mexico

Senior Engineering: Kanika Chawla, Socorro HS, Socorro, NM, "Biomimetics: Materials Engineering in Nature Phase III, Finite Element Method."
This is the third year of Kanika's project in which she first studied the structure of shells with their alternating hard and soft layers. The next year she constructed an artificial composite with similar alternating layers and studied its properties. This year she used finite elements to model the composite and found that it accurately simulated fracture behavior.

Senior Environmental Science: Jennifer A Thompson, Farmington HS, Farmington, NM, "Refuse Reclamation of Saccharomyces cerevisias in Creating Flocculant Aid for Wastewater Treatment."
Jennifer investigated the possibility of improving the removal of lead from contaminated wastewater. She compared removal by lysed S. cerevisias alone, polyelectrolite filtration alone, and in combination. The combination was most efficient, increasing removal from 77% to 92%.

Junior Earth and Space Science, Tamara M. Holcomb, Madison MS, Albuquerque, NM, "What Are the Load Bearing Capacities of Different Soils?"
Concerned with reports of houses slowly sinking, Tamara tested three types of material: east mesa soil, sand, and arroyo gravel, to determine their load bearing characteristics. Her test consisted of measuring the depth a dowel would sink into each material with different loadings; east mesa soil was best, the sand was next, and the gravel was very poor.

Junior Engineering, Lindsey M. Gardner, Van Buren HS, Albuquerque, NM, "Lindsey's Automatic Double-Dutch Jump Rope Machine."
Because "Jumping Rope is a sport I really enjoy," Lindsey decided to build a machine that would turn the rope, so that she could jump double-dutch any time she wanted. Her first effort using a ceiling fan and tetherball pole failed. Her next machine, using bicycle wheels and an old air conditioner motor worked. It can safely turn one or two ropes at two different speeds.

Newsletter (Carol LaDelfe)

Newsletters went out in April with the 1995-1996 Membership Directory. Be sure to check out NMNWSE's World Wide Web page ( Recent back issues of the News are available there. We have pages for the Annual Symposium with links to Santa Fe locations, including the Fort Marcy Compound, and a symposium registration form. There are also links to recent local and national news items and to several other organizations that might be of interest to our members.

Publicity (Mary Bochmann)

No Report


No Report


All contributions to the newsletter or Web pages are welcome. The next newsletter will be the Annual Meeting edition to be published in LATE October. Send any other (non-Annual Meeting) news for that issue to Carol LaDelfe by September 30th at:
600 Los Pueblos
Los Alamos, NM 87544