1941 — Nome, Alaska
Otto William Geist (b: Dec 1888 - d: Aug 1963) was an archaeologist, explorer, and naturalist who worked in the circumpolar north and for the University of Alaska for much of his adult life.
Geist was born on 27 December 1888 in Kircheiselfing, Bavaria, to Franz Antone Geist and his wife. He had 14 brothers and sisters.
Geist came to Alaska in the early 1920s with his brother Josef, and worked for the Alaska Railroad, as an engineer on board the sternwheeler Teddy R., and as a miner in Bettles, Alaska. In 1925 he began collecting Native artifacts and in 1926 began collecting for the university, with support from university president Charles E. Bunnell.
During World War II, Geist helped to organize the Alaska Territorial Guard and served as an ATG Major and Quartermaster.
The building on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus currently known as Signer's Hall was named the Otto William Geist Building and housed the University's museum. The museum moved to a new building on the campus's West Ridge during the 1980s, which was also named for Geist.
Geist Road, a section line road marking the southern boundary of the UAF campus, as well as a major arterial road on the west side of Fairbanks and the road connecting the Johansen Expressway to the Parks Highway, was also named for him.