Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Schuchert, Charles (United States 1858-1942)
paleontology, paleogeography

Charles Schuchert received almost no formal education (he was forced to leave regular school at the age of twelve), yet was able to turn an amateur's interest in fossil collecting into a highly illustrious career in paleontology. At first gaining attention for his collections of invertebrate fossils and his studies on brachiopods, he became an increasingly knowledgeable source on worldwide geological patterns in general. After he joined the faculty at Yale he added a new dimension to his influence: as a leading teacher at the graduate level. Schuchert was also an influential expert on paleogeography, and in turn his opinions on the reasons for paleo-distribution patterns of invertebrates carried much weight in his time. He was especially known for his support of the "isthmian links" hypothesis (partly to contest continental drift theory), which posed the past existence of narrow connections of land to explain discontinuities of geographical distribution in the fossil record.

Life Chronology

--born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on 3 July 1858.
--1884-1887: employed preparing lithographic illustrations of bryozoans for the Minnesota and Illinois geological surveys
--1888: hired by James Hall and the New York Geological Survey
--1891-1892: works on brachiopods for the Minnesota Geological Survey
--1893: hired as assistant paleontologist by the United States Geological Survey
--1894-1904: assistant curator of invertebrate paleontology at the United States National Museum
--1897: takes part in expedition to Greenland led by Robert Peary
--1904: made professor of historical geology at Yale University
--1909-1921: chairman of the geology department at Yale University
--1910: publishes "Paleogeography of North America" in the Bulletin of the Geological Society of America
--1910: elected to the National Academy of Sciences
--1910: president, Paleontological Society
--1912-1923: administrative head of the Peabody Museum, Yale University
--1915: contributes to A Text-Book of Geology
--1922: president, Geological Society of America
--1927: vice-president, American Association for the Advancement of Science
--1934: awarded the Geological Society of America's Penrose Medal
--1935: publishes his Historical Geology of the Antillean-Caribbean Region
--dies at New Haven, Connecticut, on 20 November 1942.
--1955: his Atlas of Paleogeographic Maps of North America is published posthumously

For Additional Information, See:

--Biographical Memoirs, National Academy of Sciences (U.S.A.), Vol. 27 (1952).
--American National Biography, Vol. 19 (1999).
--National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 15 (1916).
--Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 12 (1975).
--Proceedings of the Geological Society of America for 1942 (1943): 217-240.
--Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 17(3) (1943): 219-220.
--Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 30(4) (1956): 986-989.
--Scientific Monthly, Vol. 56(1) (1943): 85-86.
--Nature, Vol. 152(3844) (1943): 15-16.
--American Journal of Science, Vol. 241(2) (1943): 130-133.

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Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights reserved.

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