Prasolov, Leonid Ivanovich
Born Apr. 1 (13), 1875, in the city of Eniseisk, now in Krasnoiarsk Krai; died Jan. 13, 1954, in Moscow. Soviet soil scientist and geographer. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1935; corresponding member, 1931).
After graduating from the University of St. Petersburg in 1898, Prasolov became head of the soil section of the Samara Provincial Zemstvo. Between 1908 and 1914 he directed soil research during the Resettlement Administration’s expeditions to Middle Asia, Transbaikalia, Eastern Kazakhstan, and Enisei Province. From 1915 to 1918 he directed the Don Soil Expedition, and from 1918 to 1925 he was a researcher in the soil section of the Commission for the Study of Natural Productive Forces of the Academy of Sciences. He joined the staff of the Soil Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1926 and was the institute’s director from 1937 to 1948.
Prasolov’s chief works dealt with the origin, geography, cartography, and classification of soils. He developed a theory of soil provinces and proposed basic principles for geographic zoning by soils. He was the first to estimate the soil resources of the world and of individual countries. Prasolov received the V. V. Dokuchaev Gold Medal for compiling a soil map of the world. He was also awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1942), three Orders of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and several medals.