Prof. Jim Knox Retires

Retirement announcement from June 1, 2011

Jim KnoxAfter 43 years of continuous and distinguished service to the Department of Geography, the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and the discipline of Geography overall, Jim Knox announced his retirement to become effective at the end of the Spring 2011 semester.

Jim began his career at UW-Madison in the Fall of 1968, a very momentous semester filled with protests, demonstrations, and student and faculty activism. He leaves at the end of a semester that was similarly filled with protests, demonstrations, and activism. The cycle is completed!

During his long tenure in Science Hall, Jim has been a stellar member of the program. Jim has authored or co-authored approximately 90 research publications that have appeared in a variety of outlets ranging from mainline journals such as Science and Nature to book chapters and reports. His 2006 paper on rates of natural versus anthropogenic rates of floodplain sedimentation was honored at the 2011 European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna as one of the top-50 most cited articles published in Geomorphology during the past 5 years. He is internationally recognized for his pioneering research assessing responses of river systems to human impacts and for his research linking floods and climate change across time scales from modern to geologic. He also is widely recognized for his research on the Quaternary history of the unglaciated Driftless Area of the Upper Mississippi Valley.

He has supervised 55 MS theses and 30 PhD dissertations, and Jim's former graduate students hold many of the most prominent positions in the field of physical geography. At the same time, Jim carried a full teaching load, and regularly taught our introductory physical geography courses throughout his 43 years of service. He also served the department and the campus in a wide variety of administrative positions.

Jim has held an Evjue-Bascom Professor-at-Large appointment at UW-Madison since July 1997. Professional Honors given to Jim Knox include election to Fellowship in the Geological Society of America, 1988 and election to Fellowship in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1988. He received a research Honors Award from the Association of American Geographers, 1990; and from the association's geomorphology section he received the G. K. Gilbert Award for Excellence in Geomorphological Research, 1996; and the M. G. Marcus Distinguished Career Award, 2001. The Association of American Geographers in 2007 awarded him their Presidential Achievement Award for Long-Standing and Distinguished Contributions to the Discipline. The Geological Society of America's Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division presented Jim in 2006 with their D. J. Easterbrook Distinguished Scientist Award for Unusual Excellence in Published Research.

Jim's service to professional societies and Federal agencies has been extensive. At the National Science Foundation he was Geography and Regional Science panel member 1988-90; Continental Hydrologic Processes and Hydrologic Science panel member, 1991-1993; Advisory Committee for Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Geologic Sciences, 1996-98; and Earth System History Steering Committee 1998-2000. His editorial board service includes: Association of American Geographers Annals, Associate Editor, 1978-81 and 1993-96, and editorial board, 1982-84 and 1996-1999; Geological Society of America Bulletin, Associate Editor 1991-99; Quaternary Research, Associate Editor, 2006-present; Quaternary Science Reviews, editorial board, 2001-present; Geographical Analysis, editorial board, 1990-95; The Holocene, editorial board, 1996-2005; Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences, consulting editor, 2004-present.

Jim Knox also has an extensive record of administrative service for professional societies. His service to the Association of American Geographers includes: National Councilor, 1984-86; Long-Range Planning Committee, 1984-85; Honors Committee, 1990-92; and Nominating Committee, Chair, 1992. He served the Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division of the Geological Society of America, first as Vice-Chair, 1986-87, and then Chair, 1988. He was a member, 1982-91, then Secretary, 1988-91, of the U.S. National Committee of the International Union for Quaternary Research. He was National Councilor of the American Quaternary Association, 1976-80. At the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Jim served Section E (Geology and Geography), on the Nominating Committee, 1994-96, and committee Chair, 2008; Member Officer-at-Large, 1998-2000; and Chair Elect, Chair, and Retiring Chair of the Section, 2006-09.

Jim's accomplishments are by no means at an end. He plans to continue a productive research life as an emeritus member of the department.