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PubTalk 3/2004 — Mapping the American West

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Detailed Description

Clarence King and the 40th Parallel Survey

By James G. Moore, Geologist

  • After completing a geology degree at Yale and coming West in a wagon train, Clarence King worked with the California Geological Survey and was in the field party that discovered Mount Whitney
  • King led the United States Geological Exploration of the 40th Parallel (1867-79), which mapped topography and geology along a 100-mile-wide strip across Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming
  • King discovered the first known glaciers in the U.S., exposed the .great diamond hoax. of 1872, and wrote "Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada", a book that became a classic in western writing
  • In 1879 Clarence King became the founding Director of the U.S. Geological Survey, the Nation.s first civilian government science agency
  • King's enduring legacy includes excellence in combining mapping of geology and topography and supporting geologic field work with a full range of laboratory studies




Public Domain.