Public Release: 

Tracks, trails, and thieves

New Geological Society of America special paper

Geological Society of America

Boulder, Colo., USA: Ride the trails and rails across the Wild West with Ferdinand Hayden through this detailed recounting of the first government-sponsored geological survey of the Wyoming and adjacent territories in 1868. The discovery of new archival material has helped bring the day-to-day adventures of this unique survey to life.

Events of the survey are intertwined with one of the most noteworthy events in U.S. history -- the building of the transcontinental railroad. Activities of the railroad led Hayden to have serendipitous and influential encounters with famous Civil War generals, railroad executives, politicians, photographers, prominent geologists, and thieves.

The results of Hayden's survey provided the earliest descriptive stratigraphic-structural profile across the Rocky Mountains and the initial discovery of dinosaur tracks in western North America. Featuring more than 50 vintage photographs, this volume will appeal to a general audience as well as those interested in the history of geology.

Individual copies of the volume may be purchased through The Geological Society of America online store,, or by contacting GSA Sales and Service,

Book editors of earth science journals/publications may request a review copy by contacting April Leo,

Tracks, Trails, and Thieves: The Adventures, Discoveries, and Historical Significance of Ferdinand V. Hayden's 1868 Geological Survey of Wyoming and Adjacent Territories

By Jack E. Deibert and Brent H. Breithaupt

Geological Society of America Special Paper 521

SPE521, 86 p. + index, ISBN 9780813725215

$40; GSA member price $28

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Kea Giles

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