Helmersen Grigory Petrovich
An outstanding Russian geologist,
academician, compiler of the first geological map of the European
part of Russia, the first director of the Geological Committee.
Born in Dukershof, Estonia.
In 1825 he graduated from the
University of Derpt with a degree of candidate of science, which in
those years was awarded to graduates with honors.
The first geological study of
Helmersen took place in 1826, when he on the expedition of the
University of Dorpat, under the guidance of Professor Engelhardt,
studied the gold-bearing Urals.
From 1830 to 1832, Helmersen was on
a business trip in Germany, where he got acquainted with the
formulation of the geological case at the universities of Berlin,
Since 1833, he traveled many times
around Russia, exploring its geology and minerals.
In 1837, Helmersen was elected a
member of the Scientific Council of the Mining Engineers Corps
(Mining Institute), in whose work he will take part for many
In the same year, he was appointed
keeper of the Mineralogical Museum of the Academy of Sciences, in
1844 he was elected adjunct for geognosy (geology) and paleontology,
in 1847 - extraordinary, and in 1850 - ordinary academician.
Helmersen was among the eight
largest researchers - the founders of the IRGO.
Later he was a member of 30
scientific societies and institutions, including 10 foreign ones.
In 1865, for the preparation of an
updated, complete geological map of the European part of the Russian
Empire, Helmersen was awarded the
Gold Konstantinovsky Medal.
In 1838, he began his teaching
Since this year, he has lectured at
the St. Petersburg Mining Institute for 25 years as a professor,
since 1849 he headed the Mining Museum.
Two years after the end of his
professorship, which, according to the situation, could not last
more than 25 years, Helmersen was appointed director of the Mining
Having held this post for seven
years, he did a lot to transform the institute into a civil
Helmersen published about 200
scientific papers in Russian and German.
The largest of them are the first
geological map of European Russia with an explanatory note,
work on the stone and brown coal,
essays on the geology of the Urals.
In 1863, Gelmersen published an
article in the Mining Journal, “On the Current State of Geology in
Russia,” in which he formulated geological problems, the need to
solve which, in his opinion, has matured.
He proposed to organize the state
geological service of Russia, similar to those that already existed
in many European countries.
Almost twenty years passed before
these plans were realized.
In 1882, Helmersen became the first
director of the Geological Committee, which is located in three
rooms allotted to the Mining Institute.
He achieved the fulfillment of his
cherished desire, but it was already difficult for him to work.
At 80, Helmersen asked to be
relieved of his duties as director of the committee, but remained a
member of his Presence until the end.
Died in Petersburg, buried in Derpt
at St. John's
An island in Rogachev Bay off the
west coast of the southern island of Novaya Zemlya.
Named by geologists in the 1930s.
Island in the Taimyr Lake.