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Eleanora Knopf

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Occupation  Geologist
Died  January 21, 1974
Name  Eleanora Knopf
Eleanora Knopf
Full Name  Eleanora Frances Bliss
Born  July 15, 1883 (1883-07-15) Rosemont, Pennsylvania

Eleanora Frances Bliss Knopf (1883–1974) was a geologist who worked for the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and did research in the Appalachians during the first two decades of the twentieth century. She studied at Bryn Mawr College, and earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry, a master's degree in geology, and a Ph.D. in geology in 1912. After completing her Ph.D., she accepted a position at the USGS, where she met and married the geologist Adolph Knopf. She was the first American geologist to use the new technique of petrography which she pioneered in her life's work - the study of Stissing Mountain.

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Early life

She was born in Rosemont, Pennsylvania on July 15, 1883. Her father was General Tasker Bliss — a career soldier who became Chief of Staff of the US Army during the First World War. Her mother was Eleanora Emma Bliss nee Anderson. Both sides of the family could trace their ancestry to settlers from England.

Education

She attended Bryn Mawr College, where she earned her bachelor's degree in 1904. She was a student of Florence Bascom, who had started the geology department there. After two years at Berkeley, she returned to Bryn Mawr to work with Anna Jonas Stose on the study of the metamorphic rocks near the college. They presented their dissertation together and received doctorates in 1912.

Career

She joined the United States Geological Survey in 1912 and continued her work on the rocks around Bryn Mawr. At the USGS, she met and married Adolph Knopf. They moved to New Haven, where he taught at Yale University. She continued to work for the USGS on a when actually employed basis, studying the rocks of the Stissing Mountain region. These presented unusual difficulty due to thrust faults. She used the methods of Bruno Sander in which the fine structure of the rock was examined — the grains and the optical properties. This technique of petrography was new to US geology and her 1938 book on the subject, Structural Petrography, brought her much distinction.

She continued to study the Stissing Mountain rocks until her retirement in 1955 but also made some expeditions to the Rocky Mountains. This could be rigorous—"I counted 43 chigger bites on my anatomy and quit!"—but she lived to the age of 90 before dying in Menlo Park, California in 1974.

References

Eleanora Knopf Wikipedia


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