Research and Exploration
Of scholarship there has been no lack among the occupants of the chair of geology. Dr. Houghton, who, although he did no regular teaching, contributed to the geological collections and was a distinguished geologist of the pioneer period.
Dr. Winchell, though he had come to the University without training in geology and was probably better known through his lectures and writings as an orator and a great popularizer of science, contributed in important ways to the geology of the state. When state geologist, he worked out the basin structure of the Paleozoic formations of the Lower Peninsula and the stratigraphy of the Marshall group of the Mississippian. To the geological journals he contributed articles on more general problems of the science. His published books and papers make up a list of titles which covers thirteen pages; the wide range of topics includes education, religion, and administration.
His better-known books were Preadamites (1880), Sparks from a Geologist's Hammer (1881), World Life (1883), and Walks and Talks in the Geological Field (1886). Winchell's writings and lectures, more than those of any other representative of science in America, were responsible for the growing liberality of thought toward the great doctrine of evolution.
It is probably not widely known that Dr. Winchell started the regular recording of daily meteorological observations at the University of Michigan, a pioneer in this respect for the country. Winchell's series, begun in New York in 1848, were reported to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. In 1854 his request to the Regents was approved to make these observations regularly at the University Page 591with his own instruments (R.P., 1837-64, p. 575).
Mark Walrod Harrington, Instructor in Geology, Zoology, and Botany in 1872, became in 1879 Director of the Detroit Observatory at the University and started its series of meteorological observations, founded the American Meteorological Journal in 1884, and became Chief of the United States Weather Bureau in 1892 (see Part III: Meteorological Instruments and the Teaching of Meteorology).
Hilgard, who had held the chair of geology from 1873 to 1875, had, in contrast to Winchell, gone through a rigorous technical training and held an earned degree of doctor of philosophy. He thus represented somewhat more of the solid reputation in scholarship. A specialist in soils, his complete bibliography is very extensive, and includes 243 titles. This pre-eminence in scholarship was recognized by the conferment of the honorary degree of doctor of laws by the Universities of Mississippi, Michigan, Columbia, and California, by a gold medal from the Academy of Sciences in Munich, and by election to the National Academy of Sciences.
Russell, who succeeded Winchell in 1892, was a pioneer explorer-geologist of the Great Basin region of the West; he became a specialist of wide reputation on glaciers and was the author of a wide range of semipopular books on North American Lakes (1895), Glaciers (1897), Volcanoes (1897), Rivers (1898), and on North America with Reference to Its Geography (1904). His Quaternary History of Lake Lahontan, published by the United States Geological Survey, is a quarto monograph of 288 pages and forty-four plates, and his correlation paper on the Newark System, also issued by the United States Geological Survey, is a comprehensive monographic report of 344 pages.
He was in 1906 elected president of the Geological Society of America. His published papers number 122. He led two scientific and climbing expeditions to Mount Saint Elias, arrived near its summit on the second expedition, and pointed out the route to the Duke of Abruzzi, who finally succeeded in reaching the summit. In the exploring field Dr. Russell was a member of the Transit of Venus expedition of 1874 to New Zealand and Kerguelen Island in the Antarctic; in 1878 he took part in the government surveys west of the one-hundredth meridian (Wheeler Survey), in 1880-83 in surveys of the Great Basin region for the United States Geological Survey, from 1885 to 1888 in studies of the southern Appalachians, and in 1889 in exploring work for the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey along the northeastern boundary of Alaska. In 1902, after the grand eruption of Mount Pelée, he went with the National Geographic Society's expedition to the scene of the disaster.
The research work of Professor Hobbs before coming to the University was largely in the field of structural geology and petrography, with nearly a score of field seasons in western New England for the United States Geological Survey. After entering upon his duties at the University it has been within the field of dynamical geology, with emphasis on earthquakes, glaciers, and atmospheric circulation in its relation to continental glaciers. He has published four treatises: Earthquakes (1907), Existing Glaciers (1911), Earth Evolution (1921), and The Glacial Anti-cyclones (1926); a textbook, Earth Features (1912 and 1931); two narratives of exploration, Cruises Along ByWays of the Pacific (1923) and Exploring About the North Pole of the Winds (1930); a war history, The World War and Its Consequences, with an introduction by Theodore Roosevelt (1918); three biographical works, Leonard Wood (1920), Page 592Peary (1936), and Explorers of the Antarctic (1941); and also government and other reports and monographs. His published papers number 264 titles. Hobbs was in 1922 exchange professor at the University of Delft and in 1931 Russel lecturer at the University of Michigan (see Part II: Research Club). He is a member of the American Philosophical Society. He organized and led three scientific expeditions to Greenland from the University in 1926, 1927-28, and 1928-29, and was director of another in 1930 — all chiefly for the study of glacial and meteorological conditions.
Professor Case has done his principal research work in the field of vertebrate paleontology, which has required collection of the material on exploring trips in various areas of the western United States. In all, no less than thirty of these arduous collecting expeditions have been carried through, and in 1923 he traveled throughout the world for study of Permian areas. Professor Case is today an authority on the vertebrate life of the Permian and Triassic ages. The published material has been brought out in eight monographs by the Carnegie Institution of Washington. These have been: No. 55, Revision of the Pelycosauria; No. 145, Revision of the Cotylosauria; No. 146, Revision of the Amphibia and Pisces of the Permian; No. 181, Permo-Carboniferous Vertebrates of New Mexico; No. 207, The Permo-Carboniferous Red Beds; No. 283, Environment of Vertebrate Life in the Late Paleozoic; No. 321, New Reptiles and Stegocephalians from the Upper Triassic; and No. 375, Environment of Tetrapod Life in the Late Paleozoic of Regions Other than North America. His published papers are represented by 144 titles. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society and was Russel lecturer at the University in 1934. He was in 1929 president of the Paleontological Society of America.
Frank Leverett, for a score of years (1908-28) Lecturer on Glacial Geology, is an outstanding authority on the Pleistocene glaciology of North America. This has been recognized by his election to the American Philosophical Society and to the National Academy of Science and by the conferment upon him of the honorary degree of doctor of science by the University of Michigan in 1930. His greater monographs, all published by the United States Geological Survey, include The Illinois Glacial Lobe (1899), Glacial Formations and Drainage Features of the Erie and Ohio Basins (1902), and (with Frank Taylor) The Pleistocene of Indiana and Michigan and the History of the Great Lakes (1915). His published papers number 170 titles.
Charles Wilford Cook (1908-33), Professor of Economic Geology, was a specialist on deposits of salt, oil, gas, and molybdenum minerals and published some nineteen scientific papers.
Laurence McK. Gould (1921-32), Instructor, Assistant Professor, and Associate Professor in the department, has played an important part in scientific exploration. He was geologist and second-in-command of the first University of Michigan Greenland expedition (1926), geographer and topographer and second-in-command of the Putnam arctic expedition (1927), and senior scientist and second-in-command of the first Byrd antarctic expedition (1928-30).
Lewis B. Kellum, Associate Professor of Paleontology (1928 — ), has directed six scientific expeditions to Mexico in the years 1930 to 1935. They have been devoted to a geological study of eastern Durango, southern and southwestern Coahuila, the San Carlos Mountains, and northern Zacatecas. The expeditions have been financed by grants from the National Research Council, the Geological Society of America, and the University of Michigan. Geologists from the faculties Page 593of Chicago, Johns Hopkins, Michigan, and Rochester universities, and Michigan State, Rutgers, and Texas Technological College have taken part in these expeditions. Kellum's most important contributions are: "Paleontology and Stratigraphy of the Castle Hayne and Trent Marls in North Carolina" and "Evolution of the Coahuila Peninsula, Mexico."
Ralph L. Belknap, Associate Professor of Geology (1923 — ), has made four expeditions to Greenland, all sponsored by the University of Michigan. He was a member of the first expedition (1926), in charge of surveys, second-in-command of the second (1927) and third (1928) expeditions in like capacity, and he led the Michigan-Pan-American expedition to northwest Greenland in 1932.
Irving D. Scott, Professor of Physiographical Geology (1906 — ), is a specialist in the study of lakes and of dune formations. His scientific papers comprise eleven titles.
George M. Ehlers, Associate Professor of Geology (1914 — ), has specialized in Paleozoic paleontology and is credited with sixteen scientific papers.
Thomas S. Lovering, Associate Professor of Economic Geology (1934 — ), has studied especially the rocks of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, structurally and with regard to the ore deposits. His published papers number twenty-nine titles. The most important are: "Geology and Ore Deposits of the Breckenridge Mining District, Colorado," and "Theory of Heat Conduction Applied to Geologic Problems."
In view of the importance of the mineral deposits in the Upper Peninsula of the state, early made known by Douglass Houghton, the small development of the geological sciences at the University during its first half century is remarkable. For this there are several causes. A lack of confidence arose out of the Douglas-Rose scandal within the Department of Chemistry, for Douglas was in charge of all the geological work for the first ten years and for an even longer time for the work in mineralogy. However, the rivalry between the two peninsulas of the state and the location of the mineral deposits within the Upper Peninsula developed a local pride which was only satisfied when the School of Mines was finally established at Houghton, more than forty years after the founding of the University. This, as well as the location of the State College of Agriculture at the state capital, caused a division of state appropriations and a diversion of federal support when the Morrill Act was passed in 1865.* The needless triplication of personnel and laboratory equipment which these unwise decisions of the state legislature brought about, greatly handicapped Michigan and Iowa, which had much the same experience, among the state universities.