by Sheila Alfsen
Diligent, talented, industrious and devoted are only some adjectives to describe Margaret Steere. Margaret was a native of Michigan, but came to Oregon early during her career. Schooled at the University of Michigan with degrees in geology, Margaret applied her skills in cartography for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during World War II. She joined the staff of Oregon’s Department of Geology and Mineral Industries and worked for 30 years as a geologist and geologic editor. Upon retirement, Margaret continued her service to the state as a volunteer. Margaret’s expertise in geology included paleontology as she utilized her skills to maintain and curate the collection for DOGAMI’s museum as well as authoring numerous articles on fossils.
Her contributions to the Geological Society of the Oregon Country include many articles for the Geological Newsletter, publication preparation, leading field trips and other, behind-the-scenes tasks in the Society’s operation. She joined GSOC in 1945 while still living in Michigan but moved to Oregon the following year. So significant were her contributions, she was elected a GSOC Fellow in 1981.
As a young woman in the geosciences in the pre-war era, Margaret was a trendsetter to pursue a career and excel in a field that was dominated by males. Her memory lives on as an outstanding example of a professional geologist and loyal member of the Society.