Richthofen Ferdinand Paul Wilhelm

German baron, an outstanding geologist and geographer.
Born in Karlsruhe, came from a famous noble family. He received his primary education at the Catholic gymnasium in Breslau, then studied at Breslavl and then Berlin universities, where he attended lectures on mathematics and natural sciences at the Faculty of Philosophy. Among his teachers were geologists G. Beirich and K. Weiss, as well as the famous geographer Karl Richter. After receiving his doctorate in geology, Richthofen was improved in Vienna and in 1853 entered the Vienna Geological Institute. As part of the expeditions of this institute, he conducted geological studies in the Alps and the Carpathians.
In 1860, as a member of the Prussian embassy, Richthofen embarked on a large-scale journey that enriched both his knowledge and geological science. He visited Ceylon, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia. After working in South and Southeast Asia for about two years, Richthofen devoted several years to the geological studies of California and the Sierra Nevada mountains.
In 1868  he returned to East Asia and until 1872 worked in China, having traveled 13 of 18 ancient Chinese provinces. Thanks to him, this part of China was open to science. At this stage  Richthofen’s circle of interests extended far beyond geological studies: he turned from a geologist into a geographer.
In 1873  Richthofen returned to Germany and began to compose his classic work on China. In 1877 the first volume was published, in 1882 - the second one. He combined his scientific work with teaching, being first a full professor in Bonn, in 1883 in Leipzig, and in 1885 in Berlin. In 1887  E.V. Toll, who returned from the expedition to the New Siberian Islands and was engaged in processing the materials received.
In the last years of his life  Richthofen again turned to the study of East Asia, writing a number of valuable essays on the geology of Indochina, the Philippines, Japan, and East China. He showed great interest in the study of the South Polar countries.
In addition to his outstanding abilities as a researcher, Richthofen also had organizational talent: he founded the Institute of Oceanology in Berlin, as president of the Berlin Geographical Society, radically transformed his work, and contributed to the organization of the German Antarctic expedition under the supervision of his student E. Drigalsky.
Richthofen created a large scientific school, but he himself did not experience any external influence. He had the highest scientific authority, not only colleagues, but also the German government listened to his advice.
He died in Berlin during the preparation of the report "On the Significance of South Polar Expeditions and, in particular, the German Expedition". The report was almost ready, as followed by a fatal blow. Richthofen was found unconscious and died two days later without regaining consciousness.

He was buried in the southern cemetery in Standorf, Brandenburg Land, Germany.
Cape in the south of the island of Luigi archipelago Franz Josef Land. Named by the expedition of F. Jackson in 1896.
Mountain on the island of Alger archipelago Franz Josef Land. Named in 1874 by Yu. Payer.

Pass on  West Svalbard Island.

Mountain in the Land of Wedel Yarlsberg, Western Spitsbergen Islands. The coordinates are 77° 21.6'N   15° 42.0'E.


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