Over My Head
Over My Head is a travel memoir that captures the misadventures of an inexperienced geologist as she begins pioneering field research in southern South America. Making waves in two repressive cultures, the author was one of the first women to work in the male-dominated world of field geology and the only woman on US and Chilean ships working in Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica. The author’s voyages, beginning in the mid-1970’s, re-trace segments of Darwin’s and Magellan’s historic journeys into the uncharted fjords and trackless forests of Tierra del Fuego.
From the first scene, where she clings to a ledge alone as the tide rises over her boot tops, to her near-death experiences with killer whales, a collapsing glacier, and foundering ships, these experiences trace the author’s evolution from an ill-prepared beginner to a competent leader.
In search of the rocks and archaeological sites that might unravel Tierra del Fuego’s tortured natural and social history, the author finds that she must re-draw not only the primitive geologic map of the islands but is forced to follow her own inner compass to survive.
Over My Head won the Reader’s Views 2012 Green Award for Best Nonfiction on an Environmental Theme.
“…a pioneering female geologist explores the topography of South America and the shifting landscape of women in the sciences…. A satisfying journey through 1970’s sexual politics and the lands of the southernmost part of the Earth.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Dr. Margaret Winslow's book is truly remarkable. Her adventures in the southern areas in and around South America and Antarctica are incredible to read about. If you enjoy books about real adventures by real people this is absolutely the book for you. Dr. Winslow must be one of the bravest people -- she undertakes hair-raising adventures in the name of science (geology), discovery and exploration -- and survives to tell the tale. Her book is humorous, entertaining and breath-taking all at the same time.”
—Brad Borkan, author with David Hirzel of When Your Life Depends on It: Extreme Decision Making Lessons from the Antarctic