Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Thornthwaite, C(harles) Warren (United
Thornthwaite did relatively little work concerning living things per
se, but his studies on climate classification and evapotranspiration
were among the most important of the twentieth century. His early publications
on climate classification were empiricism-based and featured a systems
approach dwelling on the synergistic effects of rainfall and evapotranspiration
in microclimatologically constraining soil and vegetation development.
In his famous 1948 and 1955 publications he provided a theoretical framework
for these relations which, despite objections from some quarters, has
proved highly influential. He also did important work on the measurement
of vertical wind profiles, and the development of related instrumentation.
--born in Bay City, Michigan, on 7 March 1899.
--1922: A.B., Central Michigan Normal School
--1922-1924: teaches high school in Owosso, Michigan
--1926-1930: works as a geographer for the Kentucky Geological Survey
--1927: hired as assistant professor in geography, University of Oklahoma
--1930: Ph.D., geography, University of California, Berkeley (student
of Carl Sauer)
--1931: publishes "The
Climates of North America According to a New Classification" in Geographical
--1934: leaves University of Oklahoma and works on internal migration
patterns within the U. S. at the University of Pennsylvania
--1935: made chief of the climatic and physiographic research division
of the Soil Conservation Service; division folds in 1942, but he remains
--1946: works as a consultant with Seabrook Farms, New Jersey, and establishes
the Laboratory of Climatology
--1947-1955: professor of climatology at Johns Hopkins University
--1948: publishes "An
Approach Toward a Rational Classification of Climate" in Geographical
--1950, 1953: president of the Commission for Climatology, World Meteorological
--1952: establishes C. W. Thornthwaite Associates to mind consulting work
--1953: awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award of the Association of
--1954: changes the affiliation of the Laboratory of Climatology to Drexel
Institute of Technology (adjunct professor at Drexel 1954-1959)
--1955: publishes his The Water Balance, with John R. Mather
--1958: receives the Cullum medal of the American Geographical Society
--1961: honorary president, Association of American Geographers
--dies on 11 June 1963.
of the Association of American Geographers,
Vol. 54(4) (1964): 615-621.
Vol. 53(4) (1963): 595-597.
--The Genius of C. Warren Thornthwaite, Climatologist-Geographer
Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights
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