Huber Self

1914 - 2011

Huber Self, emeritus professor at Kansas State University, died at the age of 97 on February 7, 2011.

Professor Self was appointed to a position in the Geology Department at Kansas State University in 1947. At the time of his appointment, he had recently been released from the U.S. Navy, where he received a citation for laboratory research in bacteriological warfare. With a master’s degree from Oklahoma State University, he began developing the teaching and research interests that would carry through his professional career: the geography of Kansas, cartography, geography of the Soviet Union, and physical geography. He pursued additional graduate studies at the University of Nebraska and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Self retired in 1980 after 33 years of service to the university.

Self was a diligent promoter of geography at this university, and he repeatedly identified promising students and encouraged them to develop majors in the field. His ongoing interest in students helps to explain the many hours he invested, especially after retirement, in mapping their after-graduation locations. Self played a role in establishing a local geography club and in achieving its recognition as a member of the newly organized national honorary fraternity, Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU).

In 1983, Self published A History of Geography at Kansas State University, which he later revised. Hejoined with colleagues to produce “KansasForests” in the Encyclopedia of American Forest History. Self’s textbook, Environment and Man in Kansas: A Geographical Analysis was publishedby the Regents’ Press of Kansas in1978. With the late Dr. Homer Socolofskyhe produced A Historical Atlas of Kansas, publishedby the University of Oklahoma Pressin 1972 and revised in 1987. His “MinorityPopulation Groups in Kansas” appeared in Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science (1978). The same journal alsocarried his “Irrigation Farmingin Kansas” in 1972, and “TheMagnesium Industry,” one ofhis earliest significant publications,appeared in Economic Geography in 1949.

Professor Self traveled widely. He visited the Soviet Union for a month in 1964, during the height of the Cold War, the same year that Justus Liebig University in Germany extended to him an invitation to lecture. Self traveled throughout Western Europe, China, Japan, and South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, as well as North America, often in the company of his late wife, Audine. His intrepid VW “bug” was known to play a major role in many of their travels.

Huber Self (Necrology). 2011. AAG Newsletter 46(3): 37.