Pumpelly, Raphael(1837–1923) geologist; born in Owego, N.Y. He expanded his childhood interest in geology by studies and travels in Europe (1854–60). He investigated Arizona's silver mines (1860), then embarked on frequently hazardous geological expeditions to eastern Asia (1861–65). He taught mining at Harvard (1866–73) while concurrently exploring Lake Superior mineral deposits (1866–77). After directing various geological surveys (1879–90), Pumpelly investigated the geology and archaeology of central Asia (1903–04). He made major contributions to the fields of coal and mineral mining, glaciology, and rock disintegration.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.