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White, Gilbert,1720–93, English naturalist. He served as curate at Selborne and nearby parishes from 1751. He recorded his detailed observations of nature in letters to other naturalists, and on these he based The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne (1789), a classic in scientific writing noted for its highly literary style.
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White, Gilbert (Fowler)(1911– ) geographer, educator; born in Chicago. A graduate of the University of Chicago, he researched flood problems for President Franklin Roosevelt's administration (1934–42). As a conscientious objector, he served during World War II with the Friends Service Society. He was president of Haverford College (1946–55) and then went on to teach geography at the University of Chicago (1955–69). He left there (1970) to direct the Institute of Behavioral Science (Boulder, Colo.), where he concentrated on exploring behavioral responses to potential natural hazards like floods and fires. Among his numerous published works are Human Adjustment to Floods (1942), Science and the Future of Arid Lands (1960), and Strategies of American Water Management (1969).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.