Jeanne Russell Janish was the first female graduate from Stanford University with a master's degree in geology. Her botanical illustrations are recognized nationally and generations of Nevadans have learned local botany from her field guide illustrations.
Janish was born in 1902 in Marshall, Iowa, but grew up in California. She graduated from Vassar College in 1924 with a major in Latin and a minor in geology. She continued studies at Stanford and in 1926, became the first woman to receive a master of science degree in geology from the university.
Limited opportunities for women to work in the sciences inspired Janish to become a botanical illustrator. Over her career she produced approximately 11,500 illustrations for dozens of major publications. The New York Botanical Gardens honored her by naming a particular species of penstemon for her.
After a stint in China where she met her husband, Carl Janish, the couple moved back to the United States, settling in Las Vegas in the 1950s. The Janishes pursued interests in archaeology and botany while Jeanne painted guides to the plant life of the desert and mountain areas of Southern Nevada. She was well known for her illustrations in biology, geology, and botany. Janish died on February 8, 1998.
Elizabeth Warren. Jeanne Russell Janish, Biographical Notes, Janish Papers. Special Collections, Lied Library, UNLV, n/d.