John van Nostrand Dorr II, by Jacob E. Gair

Biografia transcrita por Rubem Queiroz Cobra do site
The Geological Society of America – Memorials
Visitado em 31-01-2011

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analyst with the Petroleum Administration for War in Washington in 1943–1944, but had moved from government work to the Great Lakes Carbon Corporation in Wichita, Kansas, at the time of their marriage. Jack and Ann were to have two sons and a daughter, John, Charles, and Katherine, all born in Brazil and raised to ages 15, 13, and 11 there. Late in 1946, Jack was put in charge of a new joint U.S.–Brazilian program to map the socalled “iron quadrangle” (Quadrilátero Ferrífero) in the state of Minas Gerais. This area, some 7000 square kilometers of Precambrian rocks, was known to contain large deposits of iron and manganese, a few of which were already being mined, as well as gold, which had been a major resource of the area since colonial days. William D. Johnston, who was in charge of strategic mineral studies in Brazil for the USGS during the war, had, with several leading Brazilian geologists, conceived the program to undergird continued development of the mineral industry in the country. For some 16 years this work was to be a mainstay of the U.S. Foreign Aid program in Brazil, and it became the centerpiece of Jack’s career.

There was much to be done. Field work would require adequate aerial photographs or topographic
base maps on which to enter data. These did not exist at the time, nor was there an organization in Brazil to fill these needs. Everything had to be done from scratch—planning, organizing, letting contracts, checking suitability of resulting products. In the meantime, while helping initiate these procedures, Jack “set up shop” in Belo Horizonte, the capital city of Minas Gerais, and began field work at the existing Itabira iron mine near the northeast corner of the Quadrilátero. Concurrently, Philip Guild began mapping in the Congonhas mining district near the southwest corner. Eventually, under Jack’s direction, some 14 North American and six Brazilian geologists took part, mapping 7.5-minute quadrangles at a scale of 1:25,000 and many individual deposits at larger scales, making preliminary ore-reserve estimates, doing geochronologic studies, and carrying through to the publication of some 38 journal papers and a series of USGS Professional Papers and accompanying quadrangle maps for the entire Quadrilátero Ferrífero.

To facilitate publication of the maps, Jack induced the Brazilian authorities to set up a map-processing facility and brought in technical help from the USGS for training and guidance — a five-year successful effort.

Anticipating the future growth in demand for professional geologists in Brazil, Jack foresaw the need for a strong Brazilian education establishment. Early on, in 1948, he helped found the Geological Society of Brazil. Throughout the mapping program he arranged for Brazilian geology students, perhaps 150 in all, to visit field work in progress. Finally, Jack had a major role in establishing new geology teaching programs in several Brazilian universities. To supplement the programs, the Agency for International Development brought individual geology teachers to Brazil from the USGS and sent young Brazilian professors and graduate students for foreign study. This effort was well under way by about 1960; its results are now evidenced throughout the country by the work of hundreds of Brazilian geologists, whereas before there were only a few.

Inevitably, in the absence of private consulting firms with knowledge of the Quadrilátero, Jack’s office in Belo Horizonte became a focus of many informal inquiries by representatives of the mining industry. One well-known American mining geologist who was shown around the area by Jack was so taken by the program and the friendly reception he met everywhere that he wrote a letter to then-Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, expressing his pride in the work being done by his fellow Americans, and noting Jack’s easy and non-pompous manner with Brazilian executives and laborers alike.

During the first few years in Brazil, Jack also carried out short assignments outside the Quadrilátero Ferrífero, particularly early studies preliminary to development of the great manganese deposit at Serra do Navio, Territory of Amapa, near the mouth of the Amazon River, and a stint in India evaluating a proposed iron project there.

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