Celebrating the Women of Discovery

Over the past two years, we’ve written up profiles on each of our “Women of Discovery – women who’ve made significant discoveries and contributions in the fields of medicine, technology, science, space and geography (just to name a few) throughout history. To honor some of these individuals, we’ve named nearly all of the streets in Discovery West after 19 intelligent, courageous, inquisitive and inspiring women who have contributed so much to our world. Take a look at the list below of all of the Women of Discovery. 

  • Ann Bancroft (b. 1955) is an American explorer and was the first woman to successfully finish several expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic.
  • Patricia Bath (1942-2019) was an early pioneer in laser cataract surgery, discovering new methods that have saved the sight of innumerable people. 
  • Kalpana Chawla (1962-2003) was an American engineer and NASA astronaut and the first Indian-born woman to fly in space. 
  • Katharine Burr Blodgett (1898-1979) was an American physicist and chemist, born in 1898. 
  • Dian Fossey (1932-1985) was one of the foremost primatologists in the world.
  • Pearl Kendrick (1890-1980) was an American bacteriologist whose pioneering research in collaboration with colleague Grace Eldering, led to the first whooping cough vaccine. 
  • Kathleen Kenyon (1906-1978) was a brilliant archeologist best known for her excavations in Ancient Jericho during the 1950s.  
  • Ann Kiessling (b. 1942) is a native Oregonian and reproductive biologist. 
  • Henrietta Swan Leavitt (1868-1921) was an American astronomer who, after graduating college, worked for Harvard College Observatory measuring and cataloging the brightness of stars. 
  • Annie “Londonderry” Kopchovsky (1870-1947) was the first woman to bicycle around the world. 
  • Maria Goeppert Mayer (1906-1972) was a German-born American physicist who won the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering the nuclear shell structure of the atomic nucleus. 
  • Ellen Ochoa (b. 1958) was the first Latina woman to go into space as a crew member of the 1993 space shuttle Discovery.
  • Margaret Pittman (1901-1995) was a pioneering bacteriologist whose research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on typhoid, cholera and pertussis helped generate the development of vaccinations against these diseases.
  • Theresa Singleton (b. 1952) is one of the foremost archeologists studying slavery in the Americas. 
  • Lady Hester Stanhope (1776-1839) was a British socialite, adventurer and traveler. In 1815, she undertook an archeology expedition in Israel to uncover 600-year old relics.
  • Donna Strickland (b. 1959) discovered a technique using high-intensity ultrashort pulses of light beams that are used today and was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics for her work on chirped pulse amplification.
  • Kathryn Sullivan (b. 1951) was the first American woman to walk in space in 1984. 
  • Marie Tharp (1920-2006) was an American geologist and oceanic cartographer who helped create the first scientific map of the Atlantic Ocean floor. 
  • Fanny Bullock Workman (1859-1925) set several women’s altitude records, published eight travel books with her husband, and championed women’s rights and women’s suffrage. 

Discovery West’s vision is to create a community filled with variety where everyone can thrive and enjoy all that the Central Oregon lifestyle has to offer. Honoring women who have done everything from developing the whooping cough vaccine, walking in space or even studying primates, is one part of that vision. These Women of Discovery will not only have a place in history—but also in the Discovery West neighborhood.