Rock Stars

These articles are reviewed and edited by members of GSA's History & Philosophy of Geology Division.

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If you would like to submit a brief life story of a Rock Star geologist, see the Division's guidelines.

Title (in alpha order by the Rock Star's last name) PDF Published
A Life of Firsts: Florence Bascom
Jill S. Schneiderman
PDF format July 1997,
p. 8–9.
Norman L. Bowen: The Experimental Approach to Petrology
H.S. Yoder Jr.
PDF format May 1998, p. 10–11
Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin (1843–1928)
Robert H. Dott Jr.
PDF format Oct. 2006, p. 30–31
Preston Cloud: Peripatetic Paleontologist
J. Thomas Dutro. Jr.
PDF format Aug. 1999, p. 16–17
Reginald Aldworth Daly (1871–1957): Eclectic Theoretician of the Earth
James H. Natland
PDF format Feb. 2006, p. 24–26
James Dwight Dana (1813–1895): Mineralogist, Zoologist, Geologist, Explorer
James H. Natland
PDF format Feb. 2003, p. 20–21
Darwin the Geologist
Léo F. Laporte
PDF format Dec. 1996, p. 8–10
George Mercer Dawson: Pioneer Explorer of Western Canada
Charles H. Smith
PDF format Aug. 2002, p. 16–17
John William (Sir William) Dawson: Geologist and Educator
Susan Sheets-Pyenson
PDF format Sept. 1998, p. 14–15
Kenneth Orris Emery (1914–1998): Pioneer Marine Geologist
Donn S. Gorsline and Kelvin S. Rodolfo
PDF format Nov. 2003, p. 18–19
William Maurice Ewing: Pioneer Explorer of the Ocean Floor and Architect of Lamont
William Wertenbaker
PDF format Oct. 2000, p. 28–29
Robert M. Garrels (19161988): Pioneer of Modern-Day Sedimentary Geochemistry and Geochemical Cycling
Fred T. Mackenzie
PDF format Oct. 2007, p. 25–27
Robert Minard Garrels (1916–1988)
Lee R. Kump
PDF format Feb. 2016, p. 20–21
Model Survey Geologist: G. K. Gilbert
Joanne Bourgeois
PDF format Feb. 1998, p. 16–17
Charles Frederick Hartt — A Pioneer of Brazilian Geology
William R. Brice and Silvia F. de M. Figueirôa
PDF format Mar. 2003, p. 18–19
Arthur Holmes: An Ingenious Geoscientist
Cherry L.E. Lewis
PDF format Mar. 2002, p. 16–17
Clarence King: Pioneering Geologist of the West
K.R. Aalto
PDF format Feb. 2004, p. 18–19
Andrew Cowper Lawson (1861–1952): How a Boy from Canada Became a Legendary Professor of Geology at Berkeley
Gerard V. Middleton
PDF format Apr./May 2006, p. 50–51
Sir William Edmond Logan, Father of Canadian Geology: His Passion Was Precision
Charles H. Smith
PDF format May 2000, p. 22–23
A Scientist Concerned About Society: Kirtley F. Mather (1888–1978)
Kennard B. Bork
PDF format July 1996,
p. 8–10
Grand Vision of Edwin D. McKee
Earle E. Spamer
PDF format Nov. 1999, p. 18–19
Raymond Cecil Moore: A Great 20th Century Geological Synthesizer
Daniel F. Merriam
PDF format Aug. 2003, p. 16–18
Israel Cook Russell (1852–1906)
K.R. Aalto
PDF format Feb. 2009, p. 14–15
Francis Parker Shepard, 1897–1985
Joseph R. Curray
PDF format Dec. 2001, p. 20–21
Eugene M. Shoemaker and the Integration of Earth and Sky
Mary G. Chapman
PDF format Apr. 2001, p. 20–21
George Gaylord Simpson (1902–1984)
Léo F. Laporte
PDF format Sept. 2004, p. 16–17
William “Strata” Smith
Hugh Torrens
PDF format Sept. 2015, p. 38–40
Laurence L. Sloss and the Sequence Stratigraphy Revolution
Robert H. Dott Jr.
PDF format Mar. 2014, p. 24–26
Marie Tharp—Plate Tectonics Pioneer
Hali Felt
PDF format June 2017,
p. 32–33.
W.H. Twenhofel: Patriarch of Sedimentary Geology
R.H. Dott Jr.
PDF format July 2001, p. 16–17
Formative Years of the Scientific Career of T. Wayland Vaughan
Robert N. Ginsburg
PDF format Nov. 1995,
p. 233–234
From Farmer-Laborer to Famous Leader: Charles D. Walcott (1850–1927)
Ellis L. Yochelson
PDF format Jan. 1996,
p. 8–9
Johannes Walther (1860–1937): More than the law of facies correlation
Eberhard Gischler
PDF format Aug. 2011, p. 12–13
David White (1862–1935): Pioneer in Coal, Petroleum, and Paleobotanical Studies
Paul C. Lyons and Elsie D. Morey
PDF format June 2006, p. 54–55
The Father of Modern Volcanology: Howel Williams (1898–1980)
Alexander R. McBirney
PDF format Aug. 2000, p. 26–27
J. Tuzo Wilson
Derek York
PDF format Sept. 2001, p. 24–25