John Oliver Wheeler
Wheeler came from a family of geologists. His father, Edward Oliver Wheeler, participated in the first topographical survey of Mount Everest in 1921, and his grandfather, Arthur Oliver Wheeler, mapped British Columbia’s Selkirk Mountains and the British Columbia-Alberta border.
In 1952, Wheeler joined the Geological Survey of Canada. He worked for them for 39 years. He spent the first 20 years mapping the geology of 100,000 square kilometers. The greatest part of this achievement was the Cordillera from northern Washington to eastern Alaska. He also mapped several regions of the Yukon, including the St. Elias Mountains, and parts of British Columbia, including the Selkirk Mountains. His work has become the foundation of all subsequent Cordilleran mapping studies and set the standard for geological mapping in Canada. In 1968, Wheeler was appointed head of the Survey’s Cordilleran Section.
In the 1970s, Wheeler moved to Ottawa to become a manager. He was promoted to Chief Geologist, with responsibility for the scientific program. In the 1980s he returned to Vancouver to be the General Editor of the new 8-volume edition of the Geology of Canada. He prepared many of the large regional and national maps.
In the early 1980s, he lobbied for establishment of the Lithoprobe project. This 20-year project performed geoscientific studies on and mapped the deep seismic transects of Canada’s crust. He served as chairman of Lithoprobe’s steering committee for two years.
Wheeler retired in 1990. He works as an emeritus research scientist at the Geological Survey of Canada and on the Geological Map of North America.
Geological Association of Canada
Wheeler became a member of the Geological Association of Canada in 1957. He was a Councillor from 1968-1972. He served as President from 1970-1971.
- 2002 awarded the Massey Medal by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society
- 2003, awarded the Logan Medal by the Geological Association of Canada
- awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science (honoris causa) at the University of British Columbia.