Walter Elmer Ekblaw
20th century American Scientist
(Illinois, 3/10/1882 - 6/7/49, Worcester, MA)
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W.E. Ekblaw was born in Illinois in 1882. His parents had immigrated from Sweden. He graduated from the University of Illinois, where he is remembered as one of the organizers of the first homecoming celebration, in 1910. He was teaching at the University of Illinois when he was selected as one of the scientists for the Crocker Land Expedition, to focus on geology and botany. He published a number of important articles on the research he conducted on the expedition.
On his return from the Arctic, Ekblaw worked as a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History, and then as a professor at Clark University, where he recieved his PhD in 1926. At Clark he focused on Geography and was a founding editor of the journal Economic Geography. His research took him to Europe and the Soviet Union. In 1947 he recieved the Order of the North Star from King Gustav V of Sweden in recognition of his work "promoting good relations between Sweden and the United States." He died in 1949, aged sixty-seven.
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