Biography of Dr. Eugene M. Wilson

Dr. Eugene M. Wilson standing in front of a tree

Dr. Eugene M. Wilson



Dr. Eugene M. Wilson was born in 1931 in Augusta, Georgia. He attended grade schools in Augusta and Athens then moved to Montgomery, Alabama after World War II where he graduated from Sidney Lanier High School in 1949. After enrolling at Auburn University for one year, he entered the U.S. Army and served from 1951-1957 spending 2½ years in Germany. Upon returning to Alabama, he entered the University of Alabama and earned a B.S. in geography in 1960. From 1960-1963 he was in graduate school at Louisiana State University where he received an M.S. in geography and completed his Ph.D. coursework. During the period 1963-1969 he returned to the University of Alabama as a full-time instructor while working on his dissertation. Following the completion of his doctorate in 1969, Dr. Wilson joined the faculty of the University of South Alabama where he taught several geography courses and conducted research until his retirement in 1996. Following his retirement from USA, Dr. Wilson was named an Emeritus Professor.

Dr. Wilson’s research interests included Gulf Coast maritime history and geography, Mobile River delta and coastal morphology, American folk houses and the geography of the Yucatan Peninsula. During his years at USA, Dr. Wilson received research grants from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Alabama Historical Commission, the National Park Service and the University of South Alabama Research Committee. While at USA he traveled extensively on research projects in Europe, South America, the islands of the Caribbean and Central America. Although he had many research interests, he had a passion for the physical and cultural landscape of Yucatan. Since the 1960’s he has walked, driven over, flown over and even climbed under the limestone surface of the Yucatan Peninsula. His research in Yucatan and other areas led to numerous publications and papers. Dr. Wilson has also served as a consultant on many occasions particularly when surveying and mapping were required. In fact, he continued his consulting practice well into his retirement with an emphasis on environmental impact studies.

In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Wilson has been a participant and office holder in several organizations such as the Mobile-Puerto Barrios Partner Cities and the Alabama-Guatemala Partners of the Americas. He has also been an active member in the Association of American Geographers at both the national and regional levels. In 1975, Dr. Wilson was honored with an “Award of Merit” from the Alabama Historical Commission for his “Guide to Rural Folk Houses in Alabama” and “Alabama Folk Houses.”

Dr. Wilson passed away on May 5, 2020 at his home in Fairhope, Alabama. He is survived by his wife Kathe, three children, five grandchildren and one great grandchild.


Dr. Aaron Williams
University of South Alabama