In Memoriam: Prof. James C. Knox (1941-2012)

James c. KnoxDr. Jim Knox, geomorphologist and professor emeritus at the Department of Geography, died suddenly at his Madison home on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. He retired from teaching in 2011, but continued his research in Science Hall. Students, faculty, staff and alumni were shocked and saddened by the news of this unexpected loss of our colleague, mentor, and friend.

During his 43 years as a faculty member at UW-Madison, Jim Knox’s research transformed the field of fluvial geomorphology (studying streams and the landforms they produce), opening new avenues that linked his field to broader contemporary environmental issues. To tens of thousands of students, he was a much-loved teacher, explaining not only how streams and soils work, but why we should care about them.

A memorial service took place on Friday, Oct. 12 at Cress Funeral Home in Madison. In leiu of flower, the family asked that friends send a donation to the Geography Department and we have named a fund in his honor: The James C. Knox Geography Community Building Fund. In the words of collegue, Jim Burt, "Perhaps my strongest impression of Jim is as a builder. He’s been called a force of nature, and he surely was. However, a hurricane is not the right comparison: the Mississippi is much better. Steadfast and consistent, and a depositional section, not erosional, perhaps the delta…always positive, always building." Jim most certainly was a builder of the Department and we hope our small tribute will help continue Jim's work as a builder within the walls of Science Hall and beyond.

This page is dedicated to sharing tributes to Jim's life and work.

See the adjacent page links for more...