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Semple, Ellen Churchill (1863 - 1932)

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Ellen Churchill Semple (January 8, 1863 – May 8, 1932) was an American geographer. Ellen was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the youngest of five children by Alexander Bonner Semple and Emerine Price. She is most closely associated with work in anthropogeography and environmentalism. In a series of books and papers she communicated certain aspects of the work of German geographer Friedrich Ratzel to the Anglophone community. Standard disciplinary accounts often attribute to Semple a prevailing interest in environmental determinism, a theory that the physical environment, rather than social conditions, determines culture however she is also associated with environmental influences as opposed to determinism. Semple studied at Vassar College and the University of Leipzig. She taught at the University of Chicago and Clark University. She died at West Palm Beach, Florida. Ellen C. Semple Elementary School in Louisville is named after Semple. She is buried in the Cave Hill National Cemetery in Louisville....

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