Doris Sloan is a geologist and educator who engaged in teaching and environmental activism throughout the Bay Area, across California, and beyond. Sloan was born on October 28, 1930, in Freiburg, Germany. At age four, she and her family fled Nazi Germany after her father, embryologist Viktor Hamburger, accepted an appointment at Washington University in St. Louis. Sloan attended Bryn Mawr College from 1948-1951, and, upon her mother's illness, returned to St. Louis and graduated in 1952 from Washington University with a BA in Sociology. In 1952, Sloan moved to San Francisco, California, with her husband, with whom she had four children, and to Sonoma County in 1957. Sloan then worked with citizen activists to successfully stop PG&E's construction of a nuclear power plant on Bodega Head in 1964. Sloan moved with her children to Berkeley in 1963, and worked in San Francisco with a Quaker lobbying group, the Friends Committee on Legislation. In her early forties, Sloan began graduate studies in geology at UC Berkeley. She earned her MS in Geology in 1975 and her PhD in Paleontology in 1981, having completed an ecostratigraphic thesis on fossils in sediments beneath the San Francisco Bay. For many years, Sloan taught Environmental Science courses at UC Berkeley and geology courses for UC Extension, and she lectured on travel excursions and field trips for Cal Discovery, the Yosemite Association, and other organizations. Sloan became a board member with Save the Bay and a founding member of Citizens for East Shore Parks. In 2006, Sloan published with UC Press the popular book, Geology of the San Francisco Region. In this oral history, Sloan discusses all of the above with details on her environmental and anti-nuclear activism, her experiences as a female geology graduate student at UC Berkeley, and her diverse teaching career.




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