We commemorate National Women’s History Month 2017 with a series that profiles remarkable women who work for Historical Research Associates (HRA). Research Historian Lindsey Weaver joined our Seattle office in April 2015. Her work focuses on environmental litigation and the history of natural resource management on Indian reservations. She has experience conducting research in government and archival documents related to natural-resource management, land-use history, and environmental contamination.
HRA: Before working at HRA, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
Lindsey: I worked for two years as the legislative correspondent for a former Colorado congresswoman. I managed the incoming and outgoing correspondence with constituents, which meant responding to the hundreds of letter, emails, and phone calls our office received on a regular basis. I started work just a couple of weeks before President Obama’s first inauguration, giving me a front row seat to the debates over the economy, energy policy, and health care reform. Needless to say, there was never a dull moment.
HRA: What was your dream job as a kid and why?
Lindsey: First it was marine archaeologist, but then I settled on photographer for National Geographic. After all, who wouldn’t want to get paid to travel the world and take pictures?
HRA: How has HRA helped you in your career development?
Lindsey: I took the job at HRA almost straight out of grad school and count myself incredibly fortunate to have landed at such a great company. I’m constantly learning something knew from the many experienced historians I work with, and continue to develop my writing and archival research skills.
HRA: What woman inspires you and why?
Lindsey: It’s difficult to choose just one, especially among all the amazing women I know, but when asked this question I always come back to Eleanor Roosevelt. From a wealthy family, she used her privilege to advocate on behalf of issues she felt were important, even if they weren’t popular, overcoming her own personal challenges along the way.
HRA: If you could interview one woman (dead or alive) who would it be?
Lindsey: Eleanor Roosevelt would certainly be on that list, but I’d also love to interview Nellie Bly or Madam C.J. Walker to learn more about their experiences as women who broke their respective molds of journalism and entrepreneurship in the late 19th century.
HRA: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?
Lindsey: Emma Watson.
HRA: What project at HRA has been your greatest success, and why?
Lindsey: Last fall I got the opportunity to work on project researching lesser known people in STEM fields for an IBM public relations effort associated with the recently released movie, “Hidden Figures.” I learned so much through this project about women, and men, who hadn’t been widely recognized for their contributions. One figure that stood out during our work was Maria Sibylla Merian, a German-born artist and naturalist who in 1699, at the age of 52, travelled with her youngest daughter to Suriname to study and illustrate insect and plant life there. She was self-financed, independent (she and her husband had divorced), and probably one of the first recognized female scientists. It was amazing to be a part of a project bringing more focus to such incredible historical figures.