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List of Famous Geologists

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List of famous geologists, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top geologists in the world? This includes the most prominent geologists, living and dead, both in America and abroad. You might also enjoy the world's best geological formations as well as the greatest scientific breakthroughs of 2017. This list of notable geologists is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic geologists were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned geologists.

This list of important geologists ranges includes Charles Lyell, Charles Darwin, James Hutton, and more. These geology scholars and scientists have all influenced our knowledge of earth science and the study of rocks.

From reputable, prominent, and well known geologists to the lesser known geologists of today, these are some of the best professionals in the geologist field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous geologists ever?" and "What are the names of famous geologists?" then you're in the right place.

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  • Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, (14 November 1797 – 22 February 1875) was a Scottish geologist who demonstrated the power of existing natural causes in explaining Earth history. He is best known as...  more
  • Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian polymath, painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. He is...  more

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  • Harrison Hagan "Jack" Schmitt (born July 3, 1935) is an American geologist, retired NASA astronaut, university professor, former U.S. senator from New Mexico, and, as a crew member of Apollo 17, the...  more
  • James Hutton ( ; 3 June 1726 – 26 March 1797) was a Scottish geologist, physician, chemical manufacturer, naturalist, and experimental agriculturalist. He contributed to what was later called...  more
  • Charles Robert Darwin, (; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. His proposition that all...  more

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  • George Gibbs was an American ethnologist, naturalist and geologist who contributed to the study of the languages of indigenous peoples in Washington Territory. Known for his expertise on Native...  more
  • John Bidwell (August 5, 1819 – April 4, 1900) was known throughout California and nationally as a pioneer, farmer, soldier, statesman, politician, prohibitionist, and philanthropist. He was active in...  more
  • William 'Strata' Smith (23 March 1769 – 28 August 1839) was an English geologist, credited with creating the first nationwide geological map. At the time his map was first published he was overlooked...  more
  • Alfred Lothar Wegener (; German: [ˈʔalfʁeːt ˈveːgənɐ]; 1 November 1880 – November 1930) was a German polar researcher, geophysicist and meteorologist. During his lifetime he was primarily known for...  more

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  • John Muir (; April 21, 1838 – December 24, 1914) also known as "John of the Mountains" and "Father of the National Parks", was an influential Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental...  more
  • James Francis Reilly II (born March 18, 1954) is an American geologist and a former NASA astronaut. He flew on three space shuttle missions: STS-89, STS-104 and STS-117. Reilly is the current...  more
  • Florence Bascom (July 14, 1862 – June 18, 1945) was the second woman to earn her Ph.D in geology in the United States, and the first woman to receive a Ph.D from Johns Hopkins University, which...  more
  • Colin J. Campbell, PhD Oxford (born 1931) is a retired British petroleum geologist who predicted that oil production would peak by 2007. He claims the consequences of this are uncertain but drastic,...  more
  • Anthony R. "Tony" Barringer (October 20, 1925 – August 15, 2009) was a Canadian/American geophysicist. He made numerous contributions to mineral exploration technology. His most famous work was the...  more
  • Walter Alvarez (born October 3, 1940) is a professor in the Earth and Planetary Science department at the University of California, Berkeley. He is most widely known for the theory that dinosaurs...  more
  • Eugene Merle Shoemaker (April 28, 1928 – July 18, 1997), also known as Gene Shoemaker, was an American geologist and one of the founders of the field of planetary science. He is best known for...  more
  • Charles Francis Richter (); April 26, 1900 – September 30, 1985) was an American seismologist and physicist. Richter is most famous as the creator of the Richter magnitude scale, which, until the...  more
  • Richard Earl Mourdock (born October 8, 1951) is an American politician who served as treasurer of the state of Indiana from 2007 to 2014. Running with the support of the Tea Party movement, he...  more
  • John Wesley Powell (March 24, 1834 – September 23, 1902) was a U.S. soldier, geologist, explorer of the American West, professor at Illinois Wesleyan University, and director of major scientific and...  more
  • Baron Dr. Carl (Karl) Ludwig von Reichenbach (full name: Karl Ludwig Freiherr von Reichenbach) (February 12, 1788 – January 1869) was a notable chemist, geologist, metallurgist, naturalist,...  more
  • Bruce Churchill Murray (November 30, 1931 – August 29, 2013) was an American planetary scientist. He was a director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and co-founder of The Planetary Society....  more
  • Henry Fairfield Osborn, Sr. (August 8, 1857 – November 6, 1935) was an American paleontologist and geologist. He was the president of the American Museum of Natural History for 25 years....  more
  • James Hall Jr. (September 12, 1811 – August 7, 1898) was an American geologist and paleontologist. He was a noted authority on stratigraphy and had an influential role in the development of...  more
  • Charles Whittlesey was a soldier, geologist and an investigator of mounds relics of the United States. He is described by Ephraim George Squier and Edwin Hamilton Davis, in their book Ancient...  more
  • Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky (Russian: Влади́мир Ива́нович Верна́дский; Ukrainian: Володи́мир Іва́нович Верна́дський; 12 March [O.S. 28 February] 1863 – 6 January 1945) was a Russian, Ukrainian, and...  more