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David White was a model for excellence in the geological profession. From his early years with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) under the paleobotanist Lester Ward to his rise to chief geologist of the USGS and chairman of the Division of Geology and Geography of the National Research Council, he displayed a gift for paleobotanical and fossil-fuel research and the ability to combine it with administrative service. His research in paleobotany was focused on the Paleozoic, although his investigations extended into the Cretaceous and the Precambrian. He guided the USGS’s geological research program during World War I and directed activity...

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