Ferdinand Vandiveer Hayden

"My love for Natural History is so great that I hardly feel any disposition for anything else." (1854)

American geologist and explorer of the West as head of the U.S. Geological Survey of the Territories, which focused on Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, and Idaho. Before the Civil War Hayden collaborated with Fielding Meek in government survey work. After the war Hayden competed with the King, Powell, and Wheeler surveys for Congressional funding. In 1879 all four surveys were finally folded into the new U.S. Geological Survey under Powell's plan and King's directorship, with Hayden continuing to work within the agency. Hayden's collections before the war were described by Leidy; during the 1870s Cope was his survey's official paleontologist. Invertebrate fossils were described by Newberry and fossil plants by Lesquereux. Hayden's work led to the establishment of Yellowstone National Park (1872). Hayden met Agassiz in 1868, spoke highly of Huxley, and hosted the Western botanical journey of Gray and Hooker in 1877.


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