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Robert Chalmers

Natural History Society of New Brunswick

The Natural History Society of New Brunswick delved into all aspects of the province’s natural history. Its members were pioneers in the study of geology in Canada and many Society members went on to work in other well-respected institutions. One such pioneer was Robert Chalmers, born in Belledune in northern New Brunswick in 1833. Chalmers became a member of the Natural History Society, also acting as the Society librarian in 1881. He became interested in surficial geology: the landforms and unconsolidated sediments that lie on the surface of the bedrock. In Canada that almost always means landforms created and modified by glaciers during recent ice ages. The idea that ice sheets had once covered most of the northern hemisphere was a relatively new idea proposed by Louis Agassiz in 1837. Chalmers was working at the cutting edge of this new discipline of geology.