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Distinguished geologists of Wisconsin’s past are focus of book

Wisconsin has a long history of geological exploration. A book published by the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey examines the careers of a number of notable geologists who were fascinated by Wisconsin’s geologic heritage.

The book is an absorbing look into the lives, times, theories, and political intrigues of some of the major players in the history of the study of Wisconsin geology. For example, Increase A. Lapham was ahead of his time: He wrote about the finiteness of fossil fuels in 1867. T.C. Chamberlin took his childhood love of nature and parlayed it into jobs that ranged from chief geologist of Wisconsin to president of the University of Wisconsin to chair of the University of Chicago geology department. Lack of political expertise hindered the professional lives of Frederick W. Sardeson and Gilbert O. Raasch. The careers of several other Wisconsin geologists and their far-reaching influences are also chronicled.

Some of the contributors to the volume are Allan F. Schneider (volume editor; emeritus professor, University of Wisconsin–Parkside), Robert H. Dott, Jr. (emeritus professor, University of Wisconsin–Madison), Lee Clayton (Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey), Donald G. Mikulic (Illinois State Geological Survey), and Joanne Kluessendorf (Weis Museum of Natural History).

The 93-page, softcover book, which is volume 18 of the Survey’s Geoscience Wisconsin series, is priced at $10 per copy. It is available from the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, 3817 Mineral Point Road, Madison, Wisconsin 53705-5100; telephone 608/263.7389. Shipping charges are extra.

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