Biography of Lois M. Jones

Lois Jones was a graduate student at The Ohio State University who led the first all-female expedition to Antarctica in 1969. Her team set up camp and spent several weeks in Antarctica's McMurdo Dry Valleys region, collecting samples and otherwise conducting geological fieldwork. Her trip was funded in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation, and carried out under the US Navy's 'Operation Deep Freeze'. Ms. Jones is widely credited with being the first woman to have reached the south pole. Her team's success assuaged established concerns regarding the employment of female scientists for fieldwork in hostile environments, and ultimately paved the way for broader participation of women in scientific research. Following her polar expedition, Jones spent eight years (1969-77)teaching at the University of Georgia, followed by sixteen years as a petroleum geologist for Conoco Inc. (now ConocoPhillips Co.), before finally retiring after a brief tenure at Kansas State University. Jones' name is borne, through her personal endowments, by the Lois M. Jones Fellowship Fund in Geological Sciences, and the Lois M. Jones Endowment for Cancer Research Fellowship. She died in March of 2000 at the age of 65.