Geographers have played an important role in the great debate over the size of Indian populations in the Americas at the time of European arrival. Carl Sauer was a major influence on his graduate students, on historical demographers at the University of California, Berkeley, and on a younger generation of historical geographers. Even in the face of more conservative estimates by other scholars, Sauer and his students and other associates have consistently argued for large numbers of Indians. This reflects, in part, Sauer's emphasis on examining evidence for numbers in geographical context: environment, food production, and settlement number, size, and location.
Keywords: geographical context, historical demography, Native Americans, Carl Sauer.
Dr. Denevan is a professor emeritus of geography at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 537061491.
To contact the author:
Prof. William M. Denevan
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Gualala, CA 95445