Inside Maass-White Reference Room


Living with Nature's Extremes

Professor Gilbert White is the subject of a wonderfully illustrated biography, Living with Nature's Extremes, by Robert E. Hinshaw.

The book covers many of the highlights of White’s life and career. Hinshaw has been friends with White for decades and had access to great deal of material. He illustrated the book with many remarkable photos from White’s career and personal life. The book is also filled with a description of the many facets of White’s legacy and the implications of that legacy to our future.

  • Living with Nature's Extremes is available from Johnson Books division of Big Earth Publishing.
  • $26.50 plus $4.50 for shipping and handling.
  • Orders can be made by calling 800/258-5830.

Highlights from the life of Gilbert White

Gilbert White's influence on floodplain management in the United States dates back to when he served as an advisor in Franklin Roosevelt's first term as president. After more than 70 years, Professor White lives in Boulder, Colorado where he founded the University of Colorado's Natural Hazards Research and Applications Center. Since the 1930's White has earned the reputation as the "father of floodplain management." One accomplishment was as chairman of President Johnson's Task Force on Flood Control Policy producing, A Unified National Program for Management of Flood Losses (1966), which lead to the creation of the National Flood Insurance Program. Another was his doctorial dissertation, Human Adjustment to Floods: A Geographical Approach to the Flood Problem in the United States (1945). He also taught and mentored many students as president of Haverford College and as a professor at the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado. The Corps is fortunate to have his collected papers housed and cataloged at the Institute for Water Resources Maas-White Library.

This, and other information about the biography and related topics can be found in the Planning Ahead Newsletter from July 2006.