A collection of personal papers, some published here for the first time, this study shows the life of George Jobberns, a founding figure in university geography in New Zealand. After a period of secondary school teaching, Jobberns studied geology at what is w the University of Canterbury and lectured there throughout the 1930s in the first independent geography department in New Zealand. At a time when the emphasis for academics was on teaching rather than research, Jobberns was a pioneer in combining his life in the classroom with publishing, traveling, and attending international conferences, particularly in the United States.
Michael Roche is a professor of geography at Massey University. He is the author of Past Matters: Heritage and Planning History Perspectives from the Pacific Rim and has been published widely on the interrelations of society, economy, and environment in 19th- and 20th-century New Zealand, including contributions to the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, the New Zealand Historical Atlas, and Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand.