Nevin Fenneman

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Nevin M. Fenneman was an American geologist, geographer, and teacher, born in Lima, Ohio in 1865.


Mr. Fenneman founded and was chairman of the department of geology and geography at the Univ. of Cincinnati from 1907 to 1937. Mr. Fenneman was associated with the U.S. Geological Survey and also with three state geological surveys. He is fondly remembered for his work on the physiography of the United States; for creating a physiographic map of the United States (1915–16) that was adopted by the U.S. Geological Survey.

He is the author of Physiography of Western United States (1931) and Physiography of Eastern United States (1938), both of which remain as standard reference geologic works. Nevin served as president of the Association of American Geographers in 1918, and of the Geological Society of America in 1935. Mr. Fenneman died in 1945.[1]

Mr. Fenneman's most enduring contribution to geography is perhaps his book "Physiographic Subdivision of the United States".[2]

Mr. Fenneman received his B.A.(1883) and M.A.(1900) at Heidelberg College, Tiffin, Ohio, and his Ph.D. at the Univ. of Chicago (1901).[3]

“The purpose of primary education is the development of your weak characteristics; the purpose of university education, the development of your strong” - Nevin Fenneman


  1. The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2007, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
  2. Fenneman, Nevin M. (1916). "Physiographic Subdivision of the United States". Annals of the Association of American Geographers
  3. Heritage Memorial Pillars, Illinois State Geological Survey