Humboldt’s voyage

1799 Humboldt’s voyage

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Alexander von Humboldt philosophy of science zoology

Humboldt’s voyage

Plants and animals

Humboldt County

As a young boy, Alexander collected and labeled plants, shells, and insects. His desire to become a scientific explorer was cemented by his friendship in college with Georg Forster, who had accompanied his father on Captain James Cook’s voyage to the Pacific. Humboldt eventually became known as an naturalist, ethnologist, and travel writer.

The breadth of Alexander Humboldt's interests was huge; not all of them, and not all of his accomplishments, are described here. In his work Cosmos, he attempted to unify the whole of natural science and geography.

While I worked on my Ph.D. dissertation, I lived at my parent’s home at 100 North Main Street in Fortuna, California. Across the fence was Highway 101, the railroad track, and the broad, graveled expanse of the Eel River.

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