David White (geologist)

David White (Geologist)

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David White (geologist)

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David White (July 1, 1862 – February 7, 1935) was an American geologist, born in Palmyra, New York.

He graduated from Cornell University in 1886, and in 1889 became a member of the United States Geological Survey. Eventually, he rose to be chief geologist.

In 1903 he became an associate curator of paleobotany at the Smithsonian Institution. He wrote numerous papers on geological and paleontological subjects.

The David White House, his home for 15 years, is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

He made one of the most comprehensive studies on the Glossopteris Flora, the main component of the fossil deposits of mineral coal in Brazil White, D. (1908) Fossil Flora of the Coal Measures of Brazil, pp. 337-617 + 14 plates IN: White, I.C. (1908) "Commissão de Estudos das Minas de Carvão de Pedra do Brazil”, Final Report, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Part I, p. 1-300 ; Part II, p. 301-617 . (Facsimile edition: 1988).

David White won the Thompson Medal in 1931 and the Walcott Medal in 1934. He "himself considered that his structure-carbon ratio for the occurrence of oil and gas was his greatest scientific achievement."


  • Flora of the outlying Carboniferous basins of southwestern Missouri US Geological Survey Bulletin No. 98 (1893)
  • Fossil flora of the lower coal measures of Missouri US Geological Survey Monograph No. 37 (1899)
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