Professor Karl Butzer passed away on 4 May at the age of 81. He was a profoundly influential and visionary geographer – a scholar who not only shaped his own discipline but who was also a globally-recognised authority in geo-archaeology, cultural ecology and environmental history. He made pivotal contributions to our understanding of the complex interactions between humans and their environment. He was also an advocate of fieldwork and together with his wife of 56 years, Elisabeth, he worked in Mexico, Egypt, Nubia, Ethiopia, South Africa and Namibia, Spain and Australia. He was an inspirational teacher, supervisor and colleague and was generous with his time, knowledge and support. He received the Society’s Busk Medal in 1979 and he was also recipient of many other honours. For example, he was awarded the Medal of the Society for American Archaeology (1981), was elected to both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1984) and the National Academy of Sciences (1996).