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Gertrude M. Watney fonds

Media Type: 
Multiple media
Call Number / Archival Reference Number: 
STEM Field: 
Fonds consists of biographical information about Watney, copies of her B.A. (1923), M.A. (1926) and Ph.D. (1933) theses, teaching material, correspondence, copies of publications and photographs.
Biography/Administrative History: 
Gertrude May Watney (nee Smith) was born in New Denver in 1902. After completing her elementary and high school education in New Denver, Smith came to UBC where she earned a B.A. in 1923. Smith continued her career at UBC obtaining her M.A. in Zoology in 1926. From 1926 to 1928 she served as an instructor in biology and then zoology. During the summers of 1926, 1927 and 1928, Smith carried out research at the Pacific Biological Station at Nanaimo. In 1928 Smith began graduate work in zoology at the University of California at Berkeley (she would complete her Ph.D. from that institution in 1934). In 1930 she returned to UBC as an assistant professor in zoology and remained at the University until 1940. Smith married Reverend Doug P. Watney, a professor of theology at the Anglican Theological College in 1937. When she returned to UBC in 1930, Watney became one of a very few women faculty members at that time. She offered the following recollections of her situation: ... there were very few women, in any field, on the faculty, and none in science, as I remember. There were several laboratory instructors and junior assistants, but no professors. However, I was not aware of doing anything unusual at that time. My colleagues in the Arts departments worked, as I did, together with the men on the faculty without any suggestion that we were out of place. We were not as conscious of 'women's rights' and 'women's lib' as many of the women are today, and I think that, in some ways we were happier for it, and perhaps accomplished as much. Following the change of the Zoology department head in 1940, Watney's contract was not renewed.
65 cm of textual records and published materials, 2 photographs: b&w; 20.5 x 25.5 or smaller, 1 map
Hosting Institution: 
University of British Columbia
Collection Contact:
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