Grove K. Gilbert is one of the most famous U.S. geologists. He noticed that it was difficult to study geology, because most rocks are covered by soil, plants water, ice or snow. One great place to study rocks without all that pesky nature covering it up, he realized, is in the Colorado Plateau. The Colorado Plateau has exposed bedrock, which allows geologists to study natural history without any special tools.
Gilbert did more than explore the Earth's geology. He took his interests to space. He is one of the first scientists to claim that the craters on the moon were caused by rogue meteors or other impact events, rather than by volcanoes. In fact, two craters on the Moon and Mars are named after him. Would you like a couple of holes named after you?
The problem with trying to make a name for yourself in geology is that your findings will almost always become more famous than you will be. For example, few have heard of geologist Barnum Brown, yet many have seen his discovery. Brown discovered the first documented remains of Tyrannosaurus Rex. As one of the most famous "dinosaur hunters" in the Victorian era, Brown was a celebrity, and his findings became legendary.