George Reber Wieland
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George Reber Wieland

George Reber Wieland (b. 1865, d. 1953) was born in Pennsylvania and received his undergraduate education at the Pennsylvania State College. He continued his studies at the University of Göttingen and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1898 he moved to New Haven, Connecticut, to attend Yale University, where 2 years later he received his Ph.D.

Wieland came to Yale intending to study vertebrate paleontology, but while collecting fossils for O.C. Marsh in South Dakota during the summer of 1898 he met the paleobotanist Lester Ward. Ward had made a collection of cycadeoid trunks in the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1893, and it was through Ward’s encouragement and Marsh’s collecting that Wieland’s scientific interest in these fossil trunks flourished. It is principally through Wieland’s efforts that Yale accumulated a collection of 1,000 specimens, considered to be the world’s largest collection of cycadeoids.

Wieland remained at Yale as a research associate until his retirement in the 1940s. During his academic stay, he wrote his important 2 volumes on American Fossil Cycads (1906, 1916). Wieland died in 1953.