Geologists

A geologist is a scientist who specializes in the study of the earth. Geologists analyze the materials that make up the earth, the structure of the earth, and the processes going on under and above the surface of the earth. Geology is also concerned with the history of the earth, how the materials, structures, processes and the organisms have changed over time. It is a field of science that attempts to understand the history of our planet through the examination of the earth’s crust, rocks, minerals, and fossil remains. Geologists need to a strong base in other sciences like physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics also to be able to explain the various phenomena that affect the earth. As compared to other scientists, they are required to spend more time outdoors though laboratory work is also essential to analyze the samples. Geologists try to understand why natural processes like earthquakes, landslides, floods, etc. occur and how man can take precautions to minimize damage from these disasters. They also study and help to locate various types of materials found in earth like petroleum, metals, underground water, etc. which are of use to human beings. Geologists analyze fossil remains of the ancient organisms that once inhabited the earth in order to determine the process of evolution and climate change. This section provides you with biographies and timelines which contain information about the life and works of various famous geologists from all over the world.
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 1 Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin.
6
Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: February 12, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: The Mount House, Shrewsbury, England
Died: April 19, 1882

Widely regarded as one of the most influential personalities in the history of mankind, Charles Darwin was an English biologist, naturalist, and geologist. He is credited with publishing the Theory of Evolution, which explains the evolution of life from a unicellular organism to human beings. A prolific writer, Charles Darwin also wrote important books on plants and barnacles.

 2 John Muir

John Muir.
4
Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: April 21, 1838
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dunbar
Died: December 24, 1914

John Muir was a Scottish-American naturalist, environmental philosopher, glaciologist, botanist, zoologist, and author. Nicknamed Father of the National Parks and John of the Mountains, Muir was an influential proponent of the preservation of wilderness in the US. He is credited with co-founding the American conservation organization, The Sierra Club. Muir is considered a hero by many environmentalists around the world.

 3 Alfred Wegener

Alfred Wegener.
4
Famous As: Researcher
Birthdate: November 1, 1880
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: October 31, 1930

In the early 1900s, meteorologist Alfred Wegener did not find too many takers for his theory that all the continents of the world had initially been a single mass named Pangaea and that continental drift had caused them to split apart. Wegener died on his fourth expedition in Greenland.

 4 Stephen Jay Gould

Stephen Jay Gould.
4
Famous As: Paleontologist
Birthdate: September 10, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bayside, New York, United States
Died: May 20, 2002

Stephen Jay Gould was an American evolutionary biologist, paleontologist, and historian of science. One of the most widely read and influential authors of popular science, Gould was named a Living Legend in April 2000 by the US Library of Congress. He is also counted among the most frequently cited scientists, as far as evolutionary theory is concerned.

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 5 David Bernays

David Bernays.
4
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: United States

 6 Robert Ballard

Robert Ballard.
4
Famous As: Deep Sea Explorer
Birthdate: June 30, 1942
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas, United States
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 7 Harrison Schmitt

Harrison Schmitt
4
Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: July 3, 1935
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Santa Rita, New Mexico, United States
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 8 David A. Johnston

David A. Johnston
4
Famous As: Volcanologist
Birthdate: December 18, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: May 18, 1980
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 9 Wen Jiabao

Wen Jiabao
4
Famous As: Politician, Geologist, Economist
Birthdate: September 15, 1942
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tianjin

Wen Jiabao is a retired Chinese politician who served as the country's head of government from 2003 to 2013. As Premier, Wen Jiabao played a major role in directing Beijing's economic policy. Nicknamed the people's premier, Wen worked towards bettering the lives of migrant workers and farmers rather than focusing on GDP growth in rich coastal areas and large cities.  

 10 Charles Lyell

Charles Lyell.
4
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: November 14, 1797
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Angus
Died: February 22, 1875

Charles Lyell was a Scottish geologist best remembered for his work Principles of Geology, which explains the origin of the earth. He is also remembered for his pioneering explanation of climate change. A close friend of Charles Darwin, Charles Lyell is also credited with influencing many of Darwin's works pertaining to the theories of evolution.  

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 11 George de Mohrenschildt

George de Mohrenschildt
4
Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: April 17, 1911
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mazyr
Died: March 29, 1977

 12 Louis Agassiz

Louis Agassiz.
4
Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: May 28, 1807
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Montier
Died: December 14, 1873

Louis Agassiz was a biologist and geologist. He was famous as a scholar of Earth's natural history. Born in Switzerland, he completed his education in Europe and emigrated to USA. He was appointed a professor of zoology and geology at Harvard University. He later founded the Museum of Comparative Zoology at the Lawrence Scientific School.  

 13 Georges Cuvier

Georges Cuvier.
4
Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: August 23, 1769
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Montbéliard, France
Died: May 13, 1832

Georges Cuvier was a French zoologist and naturalist. A major figure in the early 19th century's research of natural sciences, Cuvier played an important role in establishing the fields of comparative paleontology and anatomy by comparing fossils with living animals, for which he is sometimes regarded as the founding father of paleontology.

 14 Mikhail Lomonosov

Mikhail Lomonosov.
4
Famous As: Scientist, Poet, Geologist, Astronomer
Birthdate: November 19, 1711
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lomonossowo, Russia
Died: April 15, 1765

Russian polymath Mikhail Lomonosov was born to a fisherman father and left his village later to satiate his hunger for knowledge. Apart from reforming Russian language and literature, he also made the first colored glass mosaic in his country and discovered the atmosphere of Venus. He loved simple life.

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 15 James Hutton

James Hutton
4
Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: June 3, 1726
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: March 26, 1797

 16 Katia Krafft

Katia Krafft
4
Famous As: Volcanologists
Birthdate: April 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Soultz-Haut-Rhin, France
Died: June 3, 1991

 17 John Wesley Powell

John Wesley Powell.
4
Famous As: Explorer, Geologist
Birthdate: March 24, 1834
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mount Morris
Died: September 23, 1902

John Wesley Powell was a geologist and explorer of the American West. He undertook a series of adventures as a young man and later joined the military. He is best known for the three-month-long geographic expedition he undertook down the Green and Colorado rivers. He was made the director of the U.S. Geological Survey in 1881.  

 18 Douglas Mawson

Douglas Mawson.
4
Famous As: Explorer, Geologist
Birthdate: May 5, 1882
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Shipley
Died: October 14, 1958

Douglas Mawson was an Australian Antarctic explorer, geologist, and academic. Counted among the most important leaders of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, Mawson was honored with a knighthood in 1914. Best remembered for his contribution to Australian geology, Mawson was featured on the Australian one-hundred-dollar note from 1984 to 1996.

 19 Eugene Merle Shoemaker

Eugene Merle Shoemaker
4
Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: April 28, 1928
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: July 18, 1997

Best known for discovering the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet, with his wife, Carolyn, and David H. Levy, Eugene Merle Shoemaker was an American astrogeologist who had also worked with the U.S. Geological Survey. He had been part of NASA’s lunar exploration missions. Following his death, his ashes were transported to the Moon.

 20 Matthew Fontaine Maury

Matthew Fontaine Maury
4
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: January 14, 1806
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Spotsylvania County, Virginia, United States
Died: February 1, 1873

American astronomer, naval officer, oceanographer and author Matthew Fontaine Maury, who first served the United States Navy and then the Confederacy States Navy, made significant contributions in oceanography. His book Physical Geography of the Sea is counted among the first comprehensive books on oceanography. Navies and merchant marines across the world adopted his uniform system of recording oceanographic data.

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 21 Kathryn D. Sullivan

Kathryn D. Sullivan
4
Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: October 3, 1951
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paterson, New Jersey, United States

 22 William Buckland

William Buckland
4
Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: March 12, 1784
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Axminster, Devon, England
Died: August 14, 1856

 23 Nicolas Steno

Nicolas Steno
4
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: January 11, 1638
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: November 25, 1686

 24 Birbal Sahni

Birbal Sahni.
3
Famous As: Palaeobotanist
Birthdate: 1891 AD
Birthplace: Saharanpur district
Died: April 10, 1949

Birbal Sahni was a pioneer of palaeobotanical research in India. The founder of the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, he also taught botany at BHU and Lucknow University. He was also interested in music and tennis, and loved collecting coins. He was a Fellow of The Royal Society, too.

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 25 Harry Glicken

Harry Glicken
4
Famous As: volcanologist
Birthdate: March 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: June 3, 1991

 26 Patrick Geddes

Patrick Geddes
4
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: October 2, 1854
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ballater, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Died: April 17, 1932
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 27 Milutin Milanković

Milutin Milanković
4
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: May 28, 1879
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dalj, Croatia
Died: December 12, 1958

 28 William Smith

William Smith
3
Famous As: paleontologist, civil engineer, geologist
Birthdate: March 23, 1769
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Churchill
Died: August 28, 1839

 29 Charles Francis Richter

Charles Francis Richter
3
Famous As: Seismologist
Birthdate: April 26, 1900
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: near Hamilton, Ohio
Died: September 30, 1985

 30 Harry Hammond Hess

Harry Hammond Hess
3
Famous As: Geologist, Officer
Birthdate: May 24, 1906
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: August 25, 1969
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 31 Shen Kuo

Shen Kuo
3
Famous As: physicist, cartographer, mathematician, astronomer, poet
Birthdate: 1031 AD
Birthplace: Hangzhou, China
Died: 1095 AD

Shen Kuo was an eleventh century Chinese statesman and polymath, best remembered for authoring Mengxi bitan. Initially employed with central government, he had a successful career before he was banished on false charges, a move that allowed him to produce several scholarly books on mathematics, music, astronomy, calendars, cartography, geology, optics and medicine, out of which many were later purged.

 32 Conrad Schlumberger

Conrad Schlumberger
3
Famous As: Geophysicist
Birthdate: October 2, 1878
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Guebwiller, France
Died: May 9, 1936
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 33 Iain Stewart

Iain Stewart
3
Famous As: Geologist, TV Presenter
Birthdate: 1964 AD
Birthplace: East Kilbride, Scotland

 34 Inge Lehmann

Inge Lehmann.
3
Famous As: Seismologist, Geophysicist
Birthdate: May 13, 1888
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Østerbro, Denmark
Died: February 21, 1993

Danish seismologist Inge Lehmann is remembered for her groundbreaking discovery of the Earth’s solid inner core and molten outer core, using seismic waves. While she initially studied math, she later deviated to seismology, with a focus on ascertaining earthquake epicenters. The William Bowie Medal-winning scientist died at age 104.

 35 Vladimir Vernadsky

Vladimir Vernadsky.
3
Famous As: Mineralogist
Birthdate: March 12, 1863
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: January 6, 1945

Vladimir Vernadsky was a geochemist and mineralogist who is widely regarded as one of the founders of radiogeology, biogeochemistry, and geochemistry. He is also credited with founding the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. Vernadsky is best remembered for his book, The Biosphere, which discusses Eduard Suess' work. He won the prestigious Stalin Prize in 1943.

 36 Karl Terzaghi

Karl Terzaghi
3
Famous As: Mechanical engineer
Birthdate: October 2, 1883
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia
Died: October 25, 1963

The pioneer of soil mechanics, Karl Terzaghi was the son of an army lieutenant-colonel and studied in a military boarding school, where he developed his passion for geography. He eventually graduated as a mechanical engineer. He later also taught at MIT and penned iconic works such as Erdbaumechanik.

 37 Walter Alvarez

Walter Alvarez
3
Famous As: Geologist, Scientist, Archaeologist, University teacher
Birthdate: October 3, 1940
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berkeley

 38 Marie Tharp

Marie Tharp
3
Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: July 30, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ypsilanti, Michigan, United States
Died: August 23, 2006

 39 Arthur Holmes

Arthur Holmes
3
Famous As: Geophysicist, Geologist
Birthdate: January 14, 1890
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gateshead
Died: September 20, 1965

 40 Ian Plimer

Ian Plimer
3
Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: February 12, 1946
Sun Sign: Aquarius

Australian geologist Ian Plimer taught mining geology and earth sciences at institutes such as the University of Adelaide. Apart from publishing over 120 research papers, he has also been a co-editor of the five-volume Encyclopedia of Geology and has penned the award-winning A Short History of Planet Earth.

 41 John Needham

John Needham
3
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: September 10, 1713
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 30, 1781

 42 Marcia McNutt

Marcia McNutt
3
Famous As: Geophysicist
Birthdate: February 19, 1952
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

 43 Francis Beaufort

Francis Beaufort
3
Famous As: Hydrographer
Birthdate: May 27, 1774
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Navan
Died: December 17, 1857

 44 Clarence King

Clarence King
3
Famous As: Clarence Rivers King
Birthdate: January 6, 1842
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Newport, Rhode Island, United States
Died: December 24, 1901

 45 Henry Fairfield Osborn

Henry Fairfield Osborn
3
Famous As: Geologist, Paleontologist
Birthdate: August 8, 1857
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fairfield
Died: September 6, 1935

 46 Adam Sedgwick

Adam Sedgwick
3
Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: March 22, 1785
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dent
Died: January 27, 1873

Adam Sedgwick was a British Anglican priest and geologist. He is credited with guiding and mentoring Charles Darwin during his early years. However, Sedgwick went on to oppose Darwin's theory of evolution. The world's oldest student-run geological society, The Sedgwick Club, was established in his honor in 1880.

 47 M. King Hubbert

M. King Hubbert
3
Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: October 5, 1903
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: San Saba, Texas, United States
Died: October 11, 1989

 48 Walter Munk

Walter Munk
3
Famous As: Oceanographer
Birthdate: October 19, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 8, 2019

 49 Henry Schoolcraft

Henry Schoolcraft
3
Famous As: Geographer
Birthdate: March 28, 1793
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Guilderland, New York, United States
Died: December 10, 1864

 50 William Morris Davis

William Morris Davis.
3
Famous As: Geographer, Geologist, Meteorologist
Birthdate: February 12, 1850
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 5, 1934
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