Berkeley's first paleontologist,
Joseph Le Conte, 1869-1901 (cont.)

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Hall's Natural History Museum
South Hall's Museum of Natural History in 1893. Note the fossils in the near cases. (photo by O.V. Lange; courtesy of the Bancroft Library)

Berkeley to study with Le Conte and then worked with the famed paleontologist Karl A. von Zittel in Munich for his Ph.D. Merriam returned to Berkeley as professor of paleontology in 1894 and taught along with Le Conte who remained very active until his death in 1901.
A founding member of the Sierra Club, Le Conte was very much interested in preserving the landscape. His first love in this respect was Yosemite, and he spent much time in the Valley, including his last days alive. He died there in


1901, and although he wished to be buried there, he was entombed under a piece of Yosemite granite in Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA (see photo next page). He is remembered widely in California, Georgia, and South Carolina by various place names. With his writings, teachings, collections, and students, particularly Merriam, Joseph Le Conte ensured the success of Berkeley's paleontology program for well over 100 years.

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