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Alfred Wegener (1880-1930)
Alfred Wegener, the German scientist who proposed the idea of continental drift, had always been interested in geophysics and also became fascinated with the developing fields of meteorology and climatology. During his life, Wegener made several key contributions to meteorology: he pioneered the use of balloons to track air circulation and wrote a textbook that became standard throughout Germany. But, as this site explains, it was his belief in the interdisciplinary nature of science that lead him to his greatest discovery. It goes on to explain the thought process and evidence that precipitated his book The Origin of Continents and Oceans in which he outlined his theory of continental drift.
Intended for grade levels:
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
Type of resource:
  • Text:
    • Ref. material
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geology
    • Geophysics
  • History and philosophy of science
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright 1996-2000 by The Museum of Paleontology of The University of California, Berkeley; the Regents of the University of California; and The Paleontological Society. No part of the referring document residing on the server may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system without prior written permission of the publisher, except for educational purposes, and in no case for profit.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-005-210
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
        • Systems, order, and organization
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
        • Understandings about scientific inquiry
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Origin and evolution of the earth system
      • G - History and nature of science:
        • Historical perspectives
        • Nature of scientific knowledge
        • Science as a human endeavor
Related resources:
This resource is referenced by 'Geology: Plate Tectonics'
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: University of California Museum of Paleontology