H. Gardiner Barnum received a B.A. from Middlebury College in Biology, an M.S. (1961) and Ph.D. (1965) in Geography from the University of Chicago. He was a member of the faculty in the Department of Geography at the University of Vermont from 1965 to 2002, helping establish the discipline as both a program and department at UVM. He was a member of the Association of American Geographers, the American Geographical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Name Society, the Canadian Society for the Study of Names, and Sigma Xi. Dr. Gardiner's teaching interests included World Geography, Place Names, Europe, and Historical Geography of Europe. His research interests focused on the interpretation of place names.
H. Gardiner Barnum passed away on June 11, 2014 at the age of 80.