Davis, William

Davis, William (Morris)

(1850–1934) geologist, geographer; born in Philadelphia. He studied at Harvard College, then spent three years (1870–73) as assistant at the National Observatory, Cordoba, Argentina. After working for his father, assisting Harvard's Nathaniel Shaler, and touring the world, he accepted an appointment in 1878 as Harvard instructor in physical geography and meteorology. He was extremely prolific throughout his lifetime, and bequeathed a still-relevant literature to his field, including Elementary Physical Geography (1902), Geographical Essays (1909), The Lesser Antilles (1926), and The Coral Reef Problem (1928). Creating a disciplined framework for a mass of data is regarded as his most enduring contribution.