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Women's History Month at WHOI

Joanne Malkus was the first female meteorologist to earn a doctorate, discovered what keeps hurricanes moving forward, and revealed what drives the atmospheric currents in the tropics. As a research associate at WHOI in the summers from 1948-1951, she constructed some of the first mathematical models of clouds. To validate her work, she needed to fly into very tall clouds near the equator. The Navy lent WHOI an old PBY-6A airplane, which they outfitted with scientific instruments, but at WHOI during that time, women were not allowed to do field research. The naval officer who arranged the aircraft, however, told WHOI, "No Joanne, no airplane." She flew. (Photo by Jan Hahn, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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