From Edinburgh to Salt Lake City - Archibald Geikie’s Travels in the American West, 1879

By EGI in News

March 25th, 2022

From Edinburgh to Salt Lake City - Archibald Geikie’s Travels in the American West, 1879

In 2016, Jonathan Craig, EGI Advisory Board Chairman, informed Rasoul Sorkhabi, EGI Research Professor, of the eminent British geologist Archibald Geikie’s travels to the American West (Colorado, Utah and Wyoming) in 1879 – the same year the U.S. Geological Survey formed. Geikie’s field trip to the United States is relatively little known. Craig also introduced Sorkhabi to the Haslemere Educational Museum in Surrey, United Kingdom, where Geikie’s papers and paintings are archived. Sorkhabi studied Geikie’s American writings and paintings, and contributed a research paper (“Sir Archibald Geikie: the North American connections”) to the book volume Aspects of the Life and Works of Archibald Geikie (Geological Society, London, Special Paper 480, 2019). This was followed by a brief “Rock Star” article on Geikie in the GSA Today (June 2020). More recently, Sorkhabi has detailed Geikie’s 1879 geologic trip to Utah in a paper published in the Utah Historical Quarterly (Summer 2021), published by Utah Division of State History. The journal’s editor, Jedediah Rogers, interviewed Sorkhabi to discuss how historical perspective enriches geoscience education and research. This interview (History and Geology: Q&A with Rasoul Sorkhabi) is available online. We hope you enjoy reading this interview and discussion.

Image caption: Painting by Sir Robert Geikie of American Fork Canyon, Utah, United States, from his 1879 tour (courtesy of Haslemere Educational Museum)

Publication from The Geological Society

GSA Today Article

Utah Historical Quarterly, vol. 89 no. 3

Interview: History and Geology: Q&A with Rasoul Sorkhabi | Utah Division of State History

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