Vasily Dokuchaev biography and interesting facts

Vasily Dokuchaev a brief biography and interesting facts from the life of the Russian geologist and soil scientist, the founder of the school of soil science and soil geography are described in this article.

Short biography of Vasily Dokuchaev

Vasily Vasilievich Dokuchaev was born March 1, 1846 in the village of Milyukovo in the family of a priest. He was educated at the Vyazma Theological College and Smolensk Theological Seminary.

After graduating from the seminary, he, as the best pupil, was sent to the Theological Academy of St. Petersburg. But he studied in it for only three weeks. After he transferred to St. Petersburg University at the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics. The Foreigners, Mendeleev, Beketov, and Soviets had a huge influence on him. Vasily Dokuchaev dedicated his thesis to a geological description of the banks of the Kasni River. After graduation, he was left at the university as a curator of the mineralogical collection. He worked here from 1872 to 1878. In parallel, Dokuchaev explores northern and central Russia, the southern part of Finland in order to study the geological activity of rivers and the formation of river valleys.

In 1875 he was invited to draw up a soil map of European Russia. In 1879, Vasily Vasilievich came up with the idea of ​​creating a soil museum with a laboratory.

In 1883 he was elected professor and associate professor of mineralogy.

In the period 1888-1894, the provincial zemstvo invited Dokuchaev to explore the Poltava province. The results were published in 16 volumes. He created natural history museums in Poltava and Nizhny Novgorod.

In 1888, thanks to Dokuchaev, the Soil Commission of the Free Economic Society was founded - the first organization of soil scientists. In it, he was the chairman. In 1889, also under his chairmanship, a commission was created with the aim of exploring St. Petersburg and the surrounding area. Vasily Vasilievich in 1895 organizes the Bureau of Soil Science under the Scientific Committee of the Ministry of State Property and Agriculture. Also this year, he received consent to create a new soil map.

In the period 1892-1896, Dokuchaev held the position of director of the New Alexandrian Institute of Agriculture and Forestry and supervised its transformation into a higher forestry and agricultural educational institution. In 1894, he organized the first department of soil science at the institute.

In 1895, the scientist fell ill with a nervous breakdown. The aggravated disease was accompanied by delirium, headaches, weakening of memory and feelings. Only in 1897 he returned to work. In 1899, his last publications were published - “On the doctrine of the zones of nature”, “On zonality in the mineral kingdom”. Dokuchaev also conceived the book "On the relationship between living and dead nature," but only one chapter managed to write.

In 1900, the disease again made itself felt. The scientist practically renounces the outside world and dies on November 8, 1903.

Vasily Dokuchaev interesting facts

  • He was married to Sinclair Anna Egorovna. Dokuchaev was very fond of his wife, and when she died of cancer, the scientist lost the meaning of life.
  • Since Vasily Vasilievich was born in the family of a priest, the family was large. He had four sisters and two brothers.
  • Dokuchaev was the teacher of another famous scientist Vernadsky .
  • At school, he was the first in knowledge, but the last in behavior, for which he received the nickname Baska.
  • For scientific activity he was awarded 8 medals and orders.
  • In honor of Dokuchaev, stamps were issued and streets were named.

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