19 Facts About Arlene Blum


Arlene Blum was born on March 1,1945 and is an American mountaineer, writer, and environmental health scientist.


Arlene Blum is best known for leading the first successful American ascent of Annapurna, a climb that was an all-woman ascent.


Arlene Blum led the first all-woman ascent of Denali, and was the first American woman to attempt Mount Everest.


Arlene Blum is Executive Director of the Green Science Policy Institute.


Arlene Blum was graduated from Reed in 1966 and attended MIT and UC Berkeley, where she earned a PhD in biophysical chemistry in 1971.


Arlene Blum was part of the first all-woman team to ascend Alaska's Denali in 1970.


Arlene Blum participated in a 1976 expedition up Mount Everest as part of the American Bicentennial Everest Expedition, but did not reach the summit.


Arlene Blum led the first expedition to climb Bhrigupanth in the Indian Himalayas, leading a team of Indian and American women.


Arlene Blum then attempted what she called the "Great Himalayan Traverse", a two-thousand-mile journey across the treacherous but beautiful peaks of the Himalayas from Bhutan to India.


Arlene Blum crossed the Alps from Yugoslavia to France, bearing her baby Annalise on her back in a backpack.


Arlene Blum taught at Stanford University, Wellesley College, and the University of California, Berkeley.


Arlene Blum discovered that the same Tris her research had helped remove from children's pajamas was back in California couches and baby products.


In 2007 Arlene Blum co-founded the Green Science Policy Institute with the goal of bringing scientific research results into policy decisions to protect human health and the environment from toxic chemicals.


Arlene Blum has published articles about science policy in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, and Science magazine.


Arlene Blum's award-winning memoir, Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life tells the story of how Blum realized improbable dreams among the world's highest mountains, in the chemistry laboratory, and in public policy.


Arlene Blum's awards include a Purpose Prize to those over 60 who are solving society's greatest problems, National Women's History Project selection as one of "100 Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet" and a Gold Medal from the Society of Woman Geographers, an honor previously given to only eight other women including Amelia Earhart, Margaret Mead, and Mary Leakey.


Arlene Blum is the founder of the annual Berkeley Himalayan Fair and the Burma Village Assistance Project.


Arlene Blum serves on the boards of the Society for the Preservation of Afghan Archeology; ISET, an organization dedicated to solving climate, water and disaster problems in South Asia; and the advisory boards for Project REED which builds libraries in Asia, Environmental Building News, and the Plastic Pollution Coalition.


Arlene Blum has a daughter, Annalise Blum, a 2010 graduate of Stanford University in environmental engineering.