Andrei Grigorev

Grigor’ev, Andrei Aleksandrovich


Born Oct. 20 (Nov. 1), 1883, in St. Petersburg; died Sept. 2, 1968, in Moscow. Soviet physical geographer. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1939). Member of the CPSU from 1946.

Upon graduating from the University of St. Petersburg (1907). Grigor’ev furthered his studies in geography at the universities of Berlin and Heidelberg. From 1909 to 1916 he worked in the geography division of the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Brockhaus and Efron. Beginning in 1918 he collaborated in the organization of the first geographical higher educational institution—the Institute of Geography in Leningrad—where he was a professor and dean. From 1925 to 1936 he was a professor at Leningrad University. Grigor’ev led field investigations in the Bol’shezemel’skaia tundra (1904 and 1921), in the Southern Urals (1920 and 1923), in Yakutia (1925–26), and on the Kola Peninsula (1928–31). He was a member of the chief editorial board of the second edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia and editor in chief of the Short Geographical Encyclopedia (1960–66).

On Grigor’ev’s initiative, the department of the industrial geographical study of Russia was organized in 1918 under the auspices of the Commission for the Study of Productive Forces of the Academy of Sciences. This department was later transformed into the Institute of Geography. (Grigor’ev was its director until 1951 and later headed its department of the history of geography.)

Grigor’ev’s principal works were devoted to the general theory of physical geography, the principles and methods of physicogeographical districting, characterizing the types of geographical environments, and the history of the development of geographical thought in Russia and abroad. Grigor’ev worked out a theory of the geographical envelope of the earth and showed that it has specific laws of structure and development and is an object of study for physical geography. In the series of essays entitled The Characteristics of the Primary Types of Physicogeographical Environments (1938–42), he analyzed the natural conditions of the earth’s geographical belts. The monograph Subarctic earned the State Prize of the USSR in 1947. Together with M. I. Budyko, Grigor’ev in 1956 formulated the periodic law of geographical zonality, establishing the repetition in various latitudes of geographical zones having some common properties.

Grigor’ev also wrote The Development of Physicogeographical Thought in Russia (1961), The Development of the Theoretical Problems of Soviet Physical Geography (1917–1934) (1965). and Regularities of the Composition and Development of the Geographical Environment (1966). He was awarded the Order of Lenin, two other orders, and various medals.