George Mercer Dawson Geologist, Scientist, Explorer by William Chalmers


George Mercer Dawson Geologist, Scientist, Explorer by William Chalmers

In this adventure-filled book you can travel with pioneer geologist George Mercer Dawson on his field trips when Canada was a new and unexplored country. Dawson witnessed wildfires and buffalo stampedes on the Prairies, bushwhacked through the mountains, paddled dangerous northern rivers, and photographed remote coastal villages. As geologist and botanist to the North American Boundary Commission in the summers of 1873 and -1874, Dawson gathered information on the geology and mineral resources of the 49th parallel from the Lake of the Woods to the Rockies. In 1875 he joined the Geological Survey of Canada. The job of the Survey in the years following Confederation was to study as much of the Geology of the country as possible each summer and report on the mineral resource potential. Each spring Dawson left Montreal for several months of exploration in the West, and each fall he returned to write his reports. He was happiest working in the field. As a result of a debilitating childhood illness he was no taller than a boy, but he had remarkable stamina and wilderness survival skills. Dawson and his survey crews explored British Columbia, mapping and collecting specimens as they went. His survey of the province influenced government decisions on the route for the Canadian Pacific Railway. He was co-author of a book on BC First Nations languages, and he wrote a detailed report on the Haida. He worked in the Yukon in 1887 and re-ported on the Klondike gold fields ten years before the rush of '98. Dawson City is named for him. From 1895 until his death in 1901, George Mercer Dawson was Director of the Geological Survey of Canada. He was the finest field scientist of his time.

About the Author

William Chalmers leads sea kayaking expeditions on the Central Coast of British Columbia, Queen Charlotte Islands, and Baja, Mexico. He teaches outdoor education, communications, and survival skills. Chalmers holds a B.A. from the University of Victoria and a Masters degree from Concordia. In 1996, he published a novel, No More Worthy

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Book Info


194 pages


William Chalmers
More books by William Chalmers


Publication date

1st January 2000



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