Carl O. Sauer was a Professor of Geography at the University of California from 1923 to 1957 and a Professor Emeritus from 1957 until his death at the age of 85. He served for 31 years as chairman of the department. Under his leadership, the scholarly stature of the geography faculty grew immensely. As a student of the interrelatedness of land and life and of people and places throughout the full course of human history, he especially urged a responsible, conservative stewardship of the earth. Both through his teaching and his published works, he left an indelible mark not only on geography but on several of the social, historical, and biological sciences. In 1976, a group of faculty colleagues, students, and friends of Professor Sauer established a fund in his memory to support the Carl O. Sauer Memorial Lectures.
--As of 2019, the Sauer Lectures are managed and sponsored by the UC Berkeley Department of Geography.