Grove Karl Gilbert: A great engine of research

Stephen Pyne

Research output: Book/ReportBook

36 Scopus citations


As Stephen Pyne reveals in his biography, few other scientists can match Grove Karl Gilbert's range of talents. A premier explorer of the American West who made major contributions to the cascade of new discoveries about the earth, Gilbert described two novel forms of mountain building, invented the concept of the graded stream, inaugurated modern theories of lunar origin, helped found the science of geomorphology, and added to the canon of conservation literature. Gilbert knew most of geology's grand figures-including John Wesley Powell, Clarence Dutton, and Clarence King-and Pyne's chronicle of the imperturbable, quietly unconventional Gilbert is couterpointed with sketches of these prominent scientists. The man who wrote that "happiness is sitting under a tent with walls uplifted, just after a brief shower,", created answers to the larger questions of the earth in ways that have become classics of his science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherUniversity of Iowa Press
Number of pages306
ISBN (Print)1587296187, 9781587296185
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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