B. Randall Tufts (1948–2002)



Randy Tufts, an explorer who made major discoveries on Earth and beyond, died on 1 April. The date surprised no one who knew him. Nationally known for his model of environmental stewardship, which stemmed from his co-discovery of Kartchner Caverns in Arizona, Tufts more recently had turned to planetary exploration and conducted path-breaking research into the geology and geophysics of Jupiter's moon Europa.

Tufts began spelunking as a high school student, and he vowed to friends that one day he would discover a cave. As with everything he did, he committed himself completely to reaching that goal. He majored in geology at the University of Arizona and combed the region for undiscovered caves through maps, fieldwork, analysis, and of course schmoozing old-time desert rats.