John Strong Newberry (1822–1892) was trained in medicine but left a successful practice to join three major exploratory expeditions in the American West from 1857–1859, after which he abandoned medicine for paleontology and geology. He was among the first naturalists to study the Cascade Range in California and Oregon and to visit the Grand Canyon region of the Colorado Plateau. His expedition reports provided the stratigraphic and geomorphic foundations for later investigations, including the famous Powell, Hayden, King, and Wheeler surveys of the 1860–1880s, and the pioneering work in the Cascades in the 1880–1890s by Joseph Silas Diller and Israel Cook Russell. Although Newberry's later career focused on paleobotany, paleontology, and the geology of Ohio, he stands as a pioneer in western geology of the pre-Civil War era.

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