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Russell (Russ) B. Adams

Russell B. Adams, retired associate professor of geography, University of Minnesota, died on June 20, 2012, in Minneapolis, Minn., at the age of 86 following a long illness. In his final years he kept his mind busy by reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica from start to finish, and regularly reading Science magazine cover to cover.

Adams was born on January 1, 1926, in Enderlin, N.D. Following U.S. Army service (1945-47), he entered the University of Minnesota where he earned his B.B.A (1949), B.S. (1952), M.A. (1955), and Ph.D. (1969). He interspersed his academic pursuits with applied geography activity off campus that drew on and enhanced his precocious mathematical and statistical skills: high school teacher (1952-3); programmer-analyst with Remington-Rand Univac (1957-8); assistant director of the Twin Cities Area Transportation Study (TCATS) with the Minnesota Department of Highways (1958-61); working with John R. Borchert on the Urban Research Program of the Upper Midwest Economic Study (1961-63); and wide-ranging consulting activity on rural transportation, urban development, and computer security problems. Besides his professional work, Adams was a nationally ranked chess and cribbage expert.

He joined the faculty of the Department of Geography at the University of Minnesota in 1964, and in 1968 traveled extensively in the Soviet Union. Upon returning he assumed responsibility for the department’s courses on the USSR in addition to his regular courses in economic geography, advanced quantitative methods and transportation geography. He is survived by his three sons, Alexander, Byron, and Andrew, and their families.