Dr. Kenneth J. Bertrand, 68, a professor-emeritus of Catholic University and the chairman of its geography department from 1947 until his retirement in 1975, died of cancer Sunday at the Washington Hospital Center.

Dr. Bertrand was born in Green Bay, Wis. He attended Syracuse University and earned his doctorate in geography from the University of Wisconsin in 1937. He taught at Oklahoma State University until 1943, when he moved to the Washington area. He joined the Interior Department as a member of the U.S. Board on Geographical Names and remained there until he began his career at Catholic University.

Among his published works was "Americans in Antarctica-1775-1948."

Dr. Bertrand's honors included an Outstanding Service Award from the Board on Geographical Names, a Public Service Award from the Interior Department, a Citation for Meritorious Contributions from the Association of American Geographers, and a Distinguished Service Award from Catholic University.

He had served as chairman of a special advisory committee on Anarctic names from 1962 to 1973 and had been president of the Antarctican Society in 1975 and 1976.

Survivors include his wife, Leone, of the home in University Park, and a brother, Bernard, of Green Bay, Wis.