James Dwight Dana Biography

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James Dwight Dana was born on February 12, 1813 in Utica, NY. His parents were Harriet Dwight and James Dana. At Utica high school, his teacher Fay Edgerton encouraged and developed his love and interest for science. He graduated in 1830 and enrolled in Yale College, where he studied natural history and geology. He graduated in 1833 and for two years, he became a mathematical instructor to midshipmen in the navy. During his teaching, he made his first scientific paper of Mt. Vesuvius volcano. After his journey he assisted Professor Benjamin Silliman at Yale College for two years. In 1836, Dana was invited to go on the Wilkes Expedition, first commissioned by the U.S. government for hydrographic and scientific survey of the Antarctic, the Pacific Islands, and the north-west American coast, headed by Capt. Charles Wilkins. He was appointed mineralogist and geologist; accompanied by Horatio Hale and Dr. Charles…show more content…
He made a publication of Mount Shasta in 1849 in response to the California gold rush. He was knowledgeable about the terrain and he wrote that the given geography and geology of northern CA made it likely that gold can be found there. Dana also contributed information on the volcanic landscape and activity in Hawaii. From 1880-1881, he went on the first geological studies of volcanoes and he theorized that the chain of volcanoes in the area consisted of two strands known as the “loa” and the “kea”. Throughout his time, Dana wrote and published more than 200 books and published papers on geology and mineralogy that colleges use
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