Sir James Hector

Sir James Hector, geologist, naturalist (b at Edinburgh, Scot 16 Mar 1834; d at Wellington, NZ 5 Nov 1907). As surgeon and geologist to the PALLISER EXPEDITION (1857-60), Hector explored the country from the Red River settlement


Hector, Sir James

 Sir James Hector, geologist, naturalist (b at Edinburgh, Scot 16 Mar 1834; d at Wellington, NZ 5 Nov 1907). As surgeon and geologist to the PALLISER EXPEDITION (1857-60), Hector explored the country from the Red River settlement (Winnipeg) to Vancouver Island. In the plains he recognized 3 topographic levels; in 1857 he measured the first stratigraphic section including coal layers; attempted to subdivide Cretaceous and Tertiary strata on a geological map published in 1861; and recognized erratics as evidence of extensive former glaciation. He described and sketched the general structure of the Rocky Mountains. KICKING HORSE PASS and River were named to commemorate an accident Hector had with his horse. On Vancouver Island he studied coal deposits at Nanaimo. In 1861 Hector settled in New Zealand, where he became director of the geological survey. He travelled in BC for a few months after his retirement in 1903, his second and only other visit to Canada.