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Zelinsky, Wilbur (1921–)

  • By: Joseph S. Wood
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Wilbur Zelinsky is an iconic cultural and population geographer who focuses on finding big-picture geographical manifestations of human meaning in every detail and facet of American life. He is an expert in field-based exploration, archival research, quantitative and qualitative analyses, cartographic representation, and clear and direct writing. His work reflects an unusual originality and continues to inform scholars in many disciplines.

Zelinsky was born in Chicago and began his academic career at Wright Junior College. He completed his baccalaureate at the University of California at Berkeley in 1944, earned a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1946, and returned to Berkeley for his PhD, which he completed in 1953. His early work experiences trained him for observation and analysis. He was a map draftsman ...

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