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Graduation Prize Alejandro Humboldt

Alejandro Humboldt biography: 

Alexander von Humboldt (1769 - 1895). German naturalist and explorer. He received and excellent education at the Tegel Palace, and he educated himself at Berlin, Frankfurt del Oder, and at the University of Göttingen. Being passionate about botany, geology, and mineralogy, after having studied at the Freiberg School of Mines and working in a miner department of the prusian goverment, he was given permission in 1799 to set out to the Spanish colonies of South America and Central America.  

Accompanied by the French botanic Aimé Bonpland, with whom he had already made a trip to Spain, he traveled almost ten thousand kilometres in three big continental phases. The first two were in South America, from Caracas to the Orinoco Rover, and from Bogotá to Quito through the Andean region, and the third through the Spanish colonies in Mexico.

As a result of his effort, he managed to gather vast quantities of data about the climate, the flora and fauna in the area, just like determining lenghts and latitudes, measurements of the Earth's magnetic field, and creating statistics of the economic and social conditions that took place in the mexican colonies of Spain. Between 1804 and 1827, he establishedhimself in Paris, where he focused on the collection, order and publication of the material gathered in the expedition, which was put together in thirty volumen by the name of Personal Narrative Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent during the years 1799-1804.

Among the scientific findings  derived from his expeditions, it is worth pointing out the study of the ocean current of the west coast of South America that for a long time carried his name, a new system of climatological representation in the form of isobars and isotherms, the comparative studies between climate and ecologic conditions, and above all, his conclusions about volcanism and its relation with the evolution of the Earth's crust.

In 1827 he came back to Berlin, where he carried out a prominent role in the recovery of the german academic and scientific community, abused after deacades of military conflict. He was appointed chamberlain of the king, and he became one of his main counselors, which is why he made several diplomatic missions. In 1829, at the request of the tzar, he made a trip to Far East Russia, where he visitied Hungary and the Altai Mountains.  

During the last twenty-five years of his life, he focused mainly on writing about the Cosmos, a monumental global vision of the structure of the universe, of which he wrote four volumes while he was alive. Humboldt is considered to be one of the last great erudites, with a vast encyclopaedic culture, and with a work that covered disparate fields such as natural sciences, geography, geology and physics.

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