TAYLOR, Norman Hargrave, O.B.E.
A new biography of Taylor, Norman Hargrave appears in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography on this site.
Norman Hargrave Taylor was born at Auckland, New Zealand, on 9 June 1900 and educated at Richmond Road School and Auckland Teachers' Training College. From 1917 to 1927 he taught primary schools in the Auckland district, attended lectures in geology at Auckland University, and did field work for the Geological Survey during his holidays. In 1928 he joined Geological Survey as an assistant geologist, but transferred to Soil Survey two years later. He was pedologist at Soil Bureau from 1931 to 1941, Assistant Director (1942–51), and Director from 1952 until his retirement in 1963. In his earlier years with Soil Bureau, Taylor played an important part in developing a new type of classification for New Zealand soils based on genetic principles. He attended the Pacific Science Congress held in New Zealand in 1948–49, where his system of classification attracted the interest of visiting scientists. In 1950 he visited America where he was made a consultant to the United States Department of Agriculture World Soils Project. In the same year he attended the Fourth Congress of the International Society of Soil Science, and was on its Council from 1950 to 1960. He attended a further congress in 1956, and was elected President of Commission V (Soil Classification, Genetics and Cartography) – a position he retained until 1960. After the 1956 Conference he visited the Soviet Union. In addition he acted as a consultant on soil classification to the Government of Eire and has served on an FAO mission to Egypt. His publications include: Water Supplies of Farms and Dairy Factories in Hamilton Basin and Hauraki Lowland (1935); Land Deterioration in the Heavier Rainfall Districts of New Zealand (1938); The Soil Pattern of New Zealand (1956) (with J. E. Cox); Soil Survey Method – a Handbook for the Field Study of Soils (1962) (with I. J. Pohlen) and Soils and Mankind – the Cawthron Lecture for 1962. Shortly before his retirement Taylor presided at the International Soil Conference held in New Zealand in November 1962.