John Palliser (1817 - 87) was born in Dublin and raised in Waterford. His family was descended from William Palliser, a late 17th-century bishop of Cashel. Despite being multilingual, a product of his family's continental European travels, Palliser did not succeed in academia, leaving Trinity College without a degree and opting instead for a military career as a lieutenant with the Waterford Artillery Militia.
In 1847, Palliser, visited America on a hunting and traveling expedition. That journey became the subject of a book published in 1853 which in turn formed the basis of an appointment as expedition leader to the 1857-1859 RGS exploration of the Canadian Southern Prairies and Rocky Mountains. The subsequent expedition reports would be used to establish the border between the United States and Canada.
You can read more of Palliser’s life at his entry on the Dictionary of Irish Biography