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Isabel Bassett Wasson
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Birth: Jan. 11, 1897
Kings County (Brooklyn)
New York, USA
Death: Feb. 21, 1994
La Grange Park
Cook County
Illinois, USA

was one of the first female petroleum geologists in the United States, the first female ranger at Yellowstone National Park, and also one of the first interpretive rangers (male or female) hired by the National Park Service.
[, includes photo]

dau of Edward M Bassett &
Annie (Preston) Bassett

m. Theron Wasson 11 June 1920
he was also a petroleum geologist

Isabel Bassett Wasson, 97, Geology Pioneer, Teacher
Isabel Bassett Wasson, a River Forest educator and historian who was a pioneer in the field of petroleum geology, died Monday in Plymouth Place, a La Grange retirement community. She was 97.
In 1918, she received a degree in history from Wellesley College, with Phi Beta Kappa honors. She taught at her alma mater for the next year while doing post-graduate work in geology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Chicago.
In 1920, the Brooklyn native was one of a handful of women to receive a master's degree in geology, with a specialty in the petroleum field, from Columbia University in New York. Mrs. Wasson spent that summer working as the first naturalist-ranger at Yellowstone National Park. While there, she developed procedures used to train future rangers.
For the next several years, she was employed by Pure Oil Co. and participated in explorations in remote areas of South America. A 1923 edition of the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper did a story about her work, headlined: "Brooklyn Woman Braves Jungle to Explore Vast Venezuelan Oil Fields."
Mrs. Wasson settled in River Forest in 1926 with her late husband, Theron, also a petroleum geologist. In the 1950s, after raising a family, she began teaching geology, botany and ornithology in River Forest schools, including Lincoln, Roosevelt and Willard.
Her son Edward said she was a "hands-on experiential-type teacher." Creating her own curriculum, Mrs. Wasson often took along samples of leaves, fossils and parts of birds for children to see and touch. In 1982, Roosevelt School honored her by establishing a history room in her name after the geologist donated several artifacts and publications from her collection to the school.
Mrs. Wasson left teaching in the late 1960s but continued to lecture before many groups until about 10 years ago. Her subject matter also included River Forest folklore and history. She was active with Morton Arboretum, the Field Museum and the Chicago Academy of Sciences.
Other than her son, she leaves two daughters, Elizabeth Bergstrom and Anne Gallagher; a sister, Helen Hauser, 13 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
Memorial services to be held later this year are being planned. Burial was private.
[published in The Chicago Sun-Times (IL), Thursday, February 24, 1994]

Family links: 
  Edward Murray Bassett (1863 - 1948)
  Annie Rebecca Preston Bassett (1865 - 1942)
  Theron Wasson (1887 - 1970)
  Preston Rogers Bassett (1892 - 1992)*
  Isabel Bassett Wasson (1897 - 1994)
  Howard Murray Bassett (1898 - 1965)*
*Calculated relationship
Isabel B Wasson
daughter of
Edward M and Annie P Bassett
Jan 11 1897 Feb 21 1994
Plain Cemetery
Franklin County
Massachusetts, USA
Plot: F/05
Created by: Anonymous
Record added: Jan 02, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 103004652
Isabel <i>Bassett</i> Wasson
Added by: Anonymous
Isabel <i>Bassett</i> Wasson
Added by: Anonymous
Isabel <i>Bassett</i> Wasson
Cemetery Photo
Added by: DeeB
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

With respect and admiration, Ruth Wasson Egan
- ruth brown egan
 Added: May. 19, 2015
for all your work in the natural world
- Anonymous
 Added: Jul. 12, 2013

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