She was born in Chicago, Illinois. Her father was James Edward Foster and mother was Minnie MacAuley Foster.
She graduated from Illinois College, George Washington University and from American University, with a Ph.D.
Beginning in 1918, she worked for the United States Geological Survey. In 1942, she worked on the Manhattan Project in the Chemistry and Physics Section, under Roger C. Wells, on the analysis of uranium and of thorium. She retired in March 1965.
She died at Holy Cross Hospital, Silver Spring, Maryland.