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Mary C. Baltz
Mary C. Baltz photo
Baltz as a Survey Party Chief in Canastota, New York
Born 1923
United States
Died September 2011
Other names Mary Baltz Tyler
Alma mater Cornell University
Known for first woman soil scientist officially assigned in the field for the American Soil Conservation Service
Scientific career
Institutions Soil Conservation Service

Mary C. Baltz (1923 – September 2011) was an American soil scientist.

Career

Mary Baltz was the first woman soil scientist officially assigned in the field for the Soil Conservation Service.

After graduating from Cornell University, Baltz joined the soil survey as a Junior Soil Surveyor in 1946 and later became a Survey Party Chief.

Labor shortages during World War II gave her the opportunity to work in a job that, up to that time, had been reserved for men. By 1951, Baltz was responsible for soil mapping on farms in Madison, Oneida and Lewis counties in the state of New York, and was later assigned the task of map measurement for the entire state. The work was done by cutting out the soil map delineations on copies of the field sheets and then weighing the areas with the same label. The weight was later converted to acres.

Baltz hired the team of women to work with her in the winter months.

Willow cuttings planting operation
Team of women scientists hired by Mary Baltz

She worked for the SCS until the 1960s.

Trivia

Mary Baltz was mentioned in a Forgotten Superheroes of Science section of The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast, episode #633.

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