Biographical Sketch


Born, 24 December 1889, Warrenton, Missouri. Deceased, Berkeley, Calif. 18 July 1975. Married, Lorena Schowengert (dec.), 1913. Children: Elizabeth, Jonathan.

A.B. Central Wesleyan College, 1908.

Northwestern University, 1909.

Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1915.

Assistant Geologist, Illinois Geological Survey, 1910-1912.

Map Editor, Rand McNally Co., 1912-1913.

Massachusetts State Normal School, Salem, Instructor, 1913-1914.

University of Michigan, Geography Department, Instructor, 1915-1918; Assistant Professor, 1918-1920; Associate Professor and Director of Field Courses, 1920-1922; Professor 1922-1923.

Agent, Office of Farm Management, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1919-1920.

Senior Consultant, U.S. Soil Conservation Service.

Founder, Michigan Land Economy Survey.

University of California, Berkeley, Professor of Geography and Chairman of Department of Geography, 1923-1954; Professor of Geography, 1954-1956; Professor of Geography and Acting Chairman, 1956-1957; Emeritus 1957.

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow, 1931.

Member, Selection Board of the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 1936-1965.

Member, Board of Visitors, U.S.A.F. Air University, 1949-1952.

Co-Chairman, Wenner-Gren Foundation International Symposium, "Man's Role in Changing the Face of the Earth," Princeton, New Jersey, June 1955.

Charles P. Daly Medal, American Geographical Society, 1940.

Isaiah Bowman Memorial Lectures, 1952.

Association of American Geographers, President 1940; Honorary President, 1955.

Corresponding member and contributing editor, American Geographical Society.

Honorary Member: Royal Scottish Geographical Society; Royal Dutch Geographical Society, Finnish Geographical Society; Academie Nacional de Ciencias Antonio Alzate, Mexico.

Corresponding Member, Gesellschaft für Erdkunde, Berlin; Geographische Gesellschaft, Vienna.

Member, American Philosophical Society.

Founder and former editor, Ibero-Americana; University of California Publications in Geography.

Phil. D., University of Heidelberg, 1956.

Vega Medal, Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography, April 1957.

LL.D., Syracuse University, June 1958.

Alexander von Humboldt Medal, May 1959, Berlin Geographical Society.

LL.D., University of California, Berkeley, awarded at Charter Day, March 21, 1960.

LL.D., University of Glasgow, June 1965.

Victoria Medal, Royal Geographical Society, London 1975.


Books and Monographs:

"Geography of the Upper Illinois Valley and History of Development." Illinois Geological Survey Bulletin, 27, 148 pp., 1916.

"Starved Rock State Park and its Environs." (with G.H. Cady and H.C. Cowles) The Geographic Society of Chicago, Bulletin No. 6, 148 pp., 1918.

"The Geography of the Ozark Highland of Missouri." The Geographic Society of Chicago, Bulletin No. 7, 245 pp., 1920.

"The Morphology of Landscape." Univ. Calif. Publ. Geogr., 2(2):19-53, 1925.

"Geography of the Pennyroyal." Kentucky Geological Survey, Ser. 6, vol. 25, 303 pp., 1927.

"Land Forms in the Peninsular Range of California as Developed about Warner's Hot Springs and Mesa Grande." Univ. Calif. Publ. Geogr., 3(4):199-290, 1929.

An Introduction to Geography. (with John Leighly) Edwards Brothers, 1929.

"Basin and Range Forms in the Chiricahua Area." Univ. Calif. Publ. Geogr., 3(6):339-414, 1930.

"Pueblo Sites in Southeastern Arizona." (with Donald Brand) Univ. Calif. Publ. Geogr., 3(7):415-459, 1930.

"Prehistoric Settlements of Sonora, With Special Reference to Cerros de Trincheras." (with Donald Brand) Univ. Calif. Publ. Geogr., 5(3):67-148, 1931.

"Aztatlan: Prehistoric Mexican Frontier on the Pacific Coast." (with Donald Brand) Univ. Calif. Publ.: Ibero-Americana, 1, 92 pp., 1932.

"The Road to Cibola." Ibero-Americana, 3, 58 pp., 1934.

"The Distribution of Aboriginal Tribes and Languages in Northwestern Mexico." Ibero-Americana, 5, 94 pp., 1934.

"Aboriginal Population of Northwestern Mexico." Ibero-Americana, 10, 33 pp., 1935.

Man in Nature: America Before the Days of the White Men. A First Book in Geography. New York: Scribners, 273 pp., 1939. (Reprinted, Turtle Island Press, Berkeley, 1975.)

"Colima of New Spain in the 16th Century." Ibero-Americana, 29, 104 pp., 1948.

Agricultural Origins and Dispersals. Bowman Memorial Lectures, Series 2. New York, American Geographical Society, 110 pp., 1952. MIT paperback with supplement, 1969. 3rd edition retitled Seeds, Spades, Hearths and Herds, 1972.

Land and Life: A Selection from the Writings of Carl Ortwin Sauer. (John Leighly, ed). Univ. Calif. Press, l963. (Paperback edition, 1967.)

The Early Spanish Main. Univ. Calif. Press, 306 pp., 1966.

Northern Mists. Univ. Calif. Press, 306 pp., 1966.

Sixteenth Century North America: The Land and People as Seen by Europeans. Univ. Calif. Press, 320 pp., 1971.

Seventeenth Century North America. Turtle Island Press, Berkeley, 295 pp., 1980.

Selected Essays 1763-1975. (Intro. by Bob Callahan) Turtle Island Press, Berkerey, 391 pp., 1981.


"Educational opportunities in Chicago." Council of Educational Advancement, Univ. of Chicago, 1911-1912.

"Exploration of the Kaiserin Augusta river in New Guinea." Bulletin of the American Geographical Society, 47:342-345, 1915.

"Outline for Field Work in Geography." (with W.D. Jones) Bulletin of the American Geographical Society, 520-526, 1915.

"The condition of geography in the high school and its opportunity." Journal of the Michigan Schooomasters' Club, 51st Annual Meeting, pp. 125-129, 1916. (Reprinted, Journal of Geography, 16:143-148, 1917.

"Proposal of an agricultural survey on a geographic basis." Michigan Acad. Sci., l9th Annual Report, pp. 79-86, 1917.

"Geography and the gerrymander." Amer. Pol. Sci. Rev., 12:403-426, 1918.

"A soil classification for Michigan." Mich. Acad. Sci., 20th Annual Report, pp. 83-91, 1918.

"Mapping the utilization of the land." Geographical Review, 8:47-54, 1919.

"The role of Niagara Falls in history." The Historical Outlook, 10:57-65, 1919.

"The economic problem of the Ozark Highland." Scientific Monthly, 11:215-227, 1920.

"The problem of land classification." Annals, Assoc. Amer. Geogr., 11:3-16, 1921.

"Notes on the geographic significance of soils - I." Journal of Geography, 21:187-190, 1922.

"The survey method in geography and its objectives." Annals, Assoc. Amer. Geogr., 14:17-33, 1924.

"Recent developments in cultural geography." In Recent Developments in the Social Sciences. New York: Lippincott, pp. 154-212; 1927.

"Lower California studies. I, site and culture at San Fernando de Velicata." (with Peveril Meigs) Univ. Calif. Publ. Geogr. 2(9):271-302, 1927.

"Vereinigte Staaten." In Stielers Handatlas, 10th ed. Gotha: Justus Perthes. Sheets 95-100, 1927.

"Memorial of R.S. Holway." Annals, Assoc. Amer. Geogr., 19:64-65, 1929.

"Historical geography and the western frontier." In James F. Willard and Colin B. Goodykoontz (eds.), The Trans-Mississippi West: Papers Read at a Conference Held at the Univ. of Colorado June l8-June 21, 1929. Univ. of Colorado, pp. 267-289, 1930.

"Aztatlán: prehistoric Mexican frontier on the Pacific Coast." Science, n.s. 72, p. 403, 1930.

"Thirty new Pueblo sites." Science, n.s. 72, No. 1869, Supplement p. XIV, 1930.

"Thirty-two ancient sites on Mexican west coast." El Palacio, 9:335-336, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1930.

"Cultural geography." Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 6:621-624, 1931.

"Review of: H.E. Bolton, Anza's California expeditions." Geographical Reivew, 21:503-504, 1931.

"Correspondence." (on physical geography in regional works) Geographical Review, 22:527-528, 1932.

"Land forms in the peninsular range." Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, 7: 246-248, 1932.

"Oskar Peschel." Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 13:92, 1934.

"Friedrich Ratzel." Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, pp. 120-121, 1934.

"Karl Ritter." Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, p. 395, 1934.

"Ellen Churchill Semple." Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, pp. 661-662, 1934.

"Preliminary recommendations of the land-use committee." (with C.K. Leith and others) Report of the Science Advisory Board, 1933-1934, pp. 137-161, 1934.

"Preliminary report to the Land-Use Committee on land resource and land use in relation to public policy." Report of the Science Advisory Board, 1933-1934, pp. 165-260, 1934.

"Spanish expeditions into the Arizona Apachería.'' Arizona Historical Review, 6:3-13, 1935.

"The problem of life in the tropics: review of G.C. Shattuck and others, The Peninsula of Yucatán." Geographical Review, 25:346-347, 1935.

"Communication." (in reply to one by Ronald L. Ives regarding Melchio Díaz) The Hispanic American Historical Review, 16:146-149, 1937.

"American agricultural origins: a consideration of nature and culture." In Essays in Anthropology Presented to A.L. Kroeber in Celebration of His Sixtieth Birthday, June 11, 1936. Univ. Calif. Press, pp. 279-297, 1936.

"The discovery of New Mexico reconsidered." New Mexico Historical Review, 12:270-287, 1937.

"Discussion of: Isaiah Bowman, Influence of vegetation on land-water relationships." In Headwaters Control and Use: Papers Presented at the Upstream Engineering Conference Held in Washington, D.C., September 22 and 23, 1936, pp. 104-105, 1937.

"The prospect for redistribution of population." In Limits of Land Settlement: a Preliminary Report to the Tenth International Studies Conference. Paris, June 28-July 3. 1937, pp. 7-24, 1937.

"Destructive exploitation in modern colonial expansion." Comptes rendus du congrès international de geographie, Amsterdam, 1938. Vol. 2, Sect. 3c, pp. 494-499, 1938.

"Themes of plant and animal destruction in economic history." Journal of Farm Economics, 20:765-775, 1938. (Reprinted, Co-Evolution Quarterly, Summer 1976.)

"Foreword to historical geography." Annals, Assoc. Amer. Geogr., 31:1-24, 1941.

"The personality of Mexico." Geographical Review, 31:353-364, 1941.

"The credibility of the Fray Marcos account." New Mexico Historical Review, 16:233-243, 1941.

"The march of agriculture across the western world." Proc. Eighth American Sci. Congress held in Washington May 10-18, 1940, 5:63-65, 1942.

"The settlement of the humid east." Climate and Man, Yearbook of Agriculture, 1941. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, pp. 157-166, 1942.

"A geographic sketch of early man in America." Geographical Review, 34:529-573, 1944.

"Review of: Paul Rivet, Les origines de l'homme Americain." Geographical Review, pp. 680-681, 1944.

"The relation of man to nature in the southwest." The Huntington Library Quarterly, 8:116-125; discussion, pp. 125-130, 132-149, l945. (Reprinled, The New World Journal (Berkeley), 1(1), 1975.

"Early relations of man to plants." Geographical Review, 37:1-25, 1947.

"Environment and culture during the last deglaciation." Proc. of the American Philosophical Society, 92:65-77, 1948.

"Cultivated plants of South and Central America." In Handbook of South American Indians. (Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 143), 6:487-543, 1950.

"Geography of South America." In Handbook of South American Indians. (Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 143), 6:319-344, 1950.

"Grassland climax, fire, and man." Journal of Range Management, 3:16-21, 1950.

"Folkways of social science." In The Social Sciences at Mid-century: Papers Delivered at the Dedication of Ford Hall, April 19-21, 1951. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, pp. 100-109, 1952.

"Comments on: Paul Kirchhoff, Gatherers and farmers in the greater Southwest." American Anthropologist, 56:553-556, 1954.

"Economic prospects of the Caribbean." In A. Curtis Wilgus (ed.), The Caribbean: Its Economy. Gainesville: Univ. of Florida Press, pp. 15-27, l954.

"Herbert Eugene Bolton (1870-1953)." The American Philosophical Society, Yearbook 1953, pp. 319-323, 1954.

"The agency of man on the earth." In William L. Thomas, Jr. (ed.), Man's Role in Changing the Face of the Earth. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, pp. 45-69, 1956. Also "Summary remarks: retrospect." pp., 1131-1135.

"The education of a geographer." Annals, Assoc. Amer. Geogr., 46:287-299, 1956.

"Time and place in ancient America." Landscape, 6(2):8-13, 1956.

"The end of the ice age and its witnesses." Geographical Review, 47:29-43, 1957.

"Man in the ecology of tropical America." Proc. Ninth Pac. Science Congress, Bangkok 1957, 20:104-110, 1958.

"A note on Jericho and composite sickles." Antiquity, 32:187-189, 1958.

"Review of: Harold Gladwin, History of the ancient Southwest." Landscape, 8(2):31, 1958.

"Middle America as a culture historical location." Proc. 33rd Int'l Congr. of Americanists, 1958, San Jose, Costa Rica, 1:115-122, 1959.

"Age and area of American cultivated plants." Proc. 33rd Int'l Congr. of Americanists, 1958, San Jose, Costa Rica, 1:213-229, 1959.

"Memorial of Homer LeRoy Shantz." Geographical Review, 49:278-280, 1959.

"Maize into Europe." Proc. 34 Int'l Congr. of Americanists, 1960, Vienna pp. 777-788, 1960.

"Letter." Landscape, 10(1):6, Fall 1960.

"Sedentary and mobile bent in early societies." In Sherwood L. Washburn (ed.), Social Life of Early Man, Viking Fund Publ. in Anthro., No. 31, pp. 256-266, 1961.

"Fire and early man." Paideuma, 7:399-407, 1962.

"Homestead and community on the middle border." Landscape, 12(1):3-7, 1962. (Also in Howard W. Ottoson (ed.), Land Use Policy in the United States, Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1963.)

"Obituary: Erhard Rostlund." Geoqraphical Review, 52(1):133-135, 1962.

"Seashore—primitive home of man?" Proc. American Philosophical Society, 106:41-47, 1962.

"Terra firma: orbis novus." In Hermann von Wissmann-Festschrift, (Tübingen) pp. 258-270, 1962.

"Concerning primeval habitat and habit." In Festschrift für Ad. E. Jensen (Munich), pp. 513-524, 1964.

"Cultural factors in plant domestication in the New World." Euphytica (Wageningen), 14:301-306, 1965.

"On the background of geography in the United States." Heidelberger Geog. Arbeiten, 15:59-71 (Festschrift für Gottfried Pfeifer), 1967.

"David I. Blumenstock, 1913-1963." Eclectic Climatology, Yearbook, Assoc. Pac. Coast Geogr., 30:9-12, 1968.

"Plants, animals, and man." In R.H. Buchanan, Emrys Jones, and Desmond McCourt (eds.), Man and His Habitat. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, pp. 34-61, 1970.

"On the quality of geography." California Geographer, 11:5-10, 1970.

"The formative years of Ratzel in the United States." Annals, Assoc. Amer. Geogr., 61:245-254, June 1971.

"The fourth dimension in Geography." Annals, Assoc. Amer. Geogr., 64:189-95, 1974.

"Man's dominance by use of fire." Geoscience and Man, 10:1-13, 1975.

"The seminar as exploration." Historical Geography Newsletter, Spring 1976. (Also in Journal of Geography, Feb. 1916.)

"Indian food production in the Caribbean." Geogr. Review, 71:272-280, 1981.