Bowman, Isaiah

Bowman, Isaiah

(bō`mən), 1878–1950, American geographer, b. Waterloo, Ont., B.S. Harvard, 1905, Ph.D. Yale, 1909. He taught geography at Yale (1905–15) and was director (1915–35) of the American Geographical Society. He led the first Yale South American expedition (1907), served as geographer-geologist on the Yale Peruvian expedition (1911), and led the American Geographical Society Expedition to the Central Andes (1913). He was chief territorial adviser to President Wilson at the Versailles conference and served the Dept. of State as territorial adviser in World War II. Bowman was a member of the executive committee of the National Research Council from 1919 to 1929 and was its chairman from 1933 to 1935. He was president of Johns Hopkins Univ. from 1935 until his retirement in 1948. His work on many commissions and boards includes contributions as an active officer of the Explorers Club, the Association of American Geographers, and the Council of Foreign Relations and as president (1931–34) of the International Geographical Union, and as vice president (1940–45) of the National Academy of Sciences. Bowman's books include Forest Physiography (1911); The Andes of Southern Peru (1916); Desert Trails of the Atacama (1924); The New World (1922); The Pioneer Fringe (1931); and Design for Scholarship (1936).
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Bowman, Isaiah

(1878–1950) geographer; born in Berlin (renamed Kitchener), Ontario, Canada. He studied at Ferris Institute, Big Rapids, Mich., and then at Ypsilanti's Normal College under the tutelage of Mark Jefferson. The latter sent him to Harvard to study for a doctorate with W. M. Davis. Bowman assumed an academic post at Yale University in 1905; in 1915 he accepted the Directorate of the American Geographical Society; and in 1935 he assumed the presidency of Johns Hopkins University. In 1918–19 he had directed the "Inquiry" and then was chief of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace at the Paris Peace Conference; during World War II he was influential with the State Department. His most significant works include Forest Physiography (1911), The Andes of Southern Peru (1916), The New World (1921), and Geography in Relation to the Social Sciences (1934).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.