ON September 25, Albrecht Penck, world-famed as geologist and geographer, will celebrate his eightieth birthday. Born at Renditz, near Leipzig, in 1858, Penck was educated at Leipzig and Munich, taking his Ph.D. in 1878. In 1885, two years after he had published his “Die Vergletscherung der Deutschen Alpen”, he was appointed to the chair of geography in the University of Vienna, where he remained for twenty years, until in 1906 he was appointed to take charge of the Museum of Marine Studies in the University of Berlin. Under his direction, the Museum was much enlarged, and he himself made important contributions to the study of hydrography. In 1922 he was made director of the Institute of Geography of the University, becoming emeritus in 1927. While still at Vienna, Penck had established an international reputation for his illuminating treatment of geology and geography as linked studies. His “Morphology of the Earth's Surface” (1894) was speedily accorded recognition as a standard work. Notwithstanding his numerous contributions to geography, which his widely extended travels kept in close touch with practical realities, Penck's strongest claim to the remembrance of posterity will rest on his epoch-making studies of the Ice Age. Since the publication of “Die Alpen im Eiszeitalter” (1909), written in conjunction with his old pupil and friend, Ed. Brückner, his classification of the four phases of maximum glaciation has been fundamental in all studies of quaternary geology and the history and chronology of early man. In tendering our congratulations on this occasion to Prof. Penck, we hope that he may live to enjoy the homage due to his labours for some time to come.
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Albrecht Penck. Nature 142, 563 (1938). https://doi.org/10.1038/142563a0