Israel Russell circa 1900
Israel Cook Russell, LL.D. (1852-1906) was an American geologist who explored Alaska in the early 20th century. He was born at Garrattsville, New York, on the 10th of December 1852. He received B.S. and C.E. degrees in 1872 from the University of the City of New York (now New York University), and later studied at the School of Mines, Columbia College, where he was assistant professor of geology from 1875-77.
In 1874 he accompanied one of the parties sent out by the United States government to observe the transit of Venus, and was stationed at Queenstown, New Zealand. On his return in 1875 he was appointed assistant in geology at the School of mines, and in 1878 he became assistant geologist on the United States geological and geographical survey west of the 100th meridian.
In 1880, he became a member of the United States Geological Survey. He represented the USGS in 1889 in an expedition sent to Alaska by the USG&GS to establish a portion of Alaska's eastern boundary. During the next two years, he explored, under the joint auspices of the USGS and the National Geographic Society, the slopes of Mount Saint Elias and the Yakutat Bay area.
In 1892 he became professor of geology at the University of Michigan. At the time of his death, he was President of the Geological Society of America. In 1906, Marcus Baker of the USGS named Russell Fiord in Russell's honor.
Besides large contributions on geological subjects to various scientific periodicals, he published scientific memoirs, which have been issued by the government in the annual reports of the survey, or as separate monographs.
- Sketch of the Geological History of Lake Lahontan (1883)
- A Geological Reconnaissance in Southern Oregon (1884)
- Existing Glaciers of the United States (1885)
- Geological History of Lake Lahontan(1885)
- Geological History of Mono Valley (1888)
- Sub-Aerial Decay of Rocks (1888)
- Lakes of North America (1895)
- Glaciers of North America (1897)
- Volcanoes of North America (1897)
- Rivers of North America (1898)
- North America (1904)