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Sauer, Carl (1889–1975)

  • By: Michael Williams
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Carl Sauer was a towering figure in geography and in the intellectual life of America during the middle of the 20th century. The term polymath has often been applied to him because of his wide knowledge in the humanities and natural sciences, especially where these impinged on his research interests in Ibero-America, plant domestication, early humans during the Pleistocene, and the destructive exploitation of Earth. He displayed an ability to link diverse evidence together and then take bold, intuitive leaps and speculative sweeps. The historical past, ecological thinking, and methodological diversity were all central to his understanding of the contemporary cultural landscape. Cultural geography became associated with his name, and his many students spread the word about the Berkeley School of cultural geography. He held ...

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