2015 Luminary Series – Donald Davis

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Donald G. Davis is a well-known authority on speleogenesis even though he has no fancy advanced degrees in the field. Instead, Donald developed his insights by reading, by careful observations while exploring, and by independent thinking while comparing what was similar and different about a wide variety of caves. Early in his caving career, Davis felt that the various theories of speleogenesis coming out of researchers working in eastern United States caves did not seem to explain all of the things that Donald was seeing out in the western United States. And, the formation mechanisms germane to some special western caves turned out to be fascinating indeed. A self-described eccentric, Donald Davis has led an interesting and somewhat nomadic life. He has worked as a beekeeper, a library aid, an importer for the British Premier carbide lamp, and as a seasonal naturalist in Badlands, in Big Bend, and in Carlsbad National Parks. Along the way, Donald made sustained, original, and lasting contributions to caving, to cave science, to spelean history, and to the NSS. He has been a leading caver in important discoveries in Groaning and associated Colorado caves, in Cave of the Winds and nearby caves, in Lilburn Cave, in the Grand Canyon backcountry, and in the Scapegoat Wilderness in Montana. Donald has racked up tens of miles of virgin passage, some in places where long caves are not the norm. Throughout Donald DavisÂ’ caving career, a dominant thread has been experiencing and promoting the unity of exploration and science. He views speleology as among the few remaining disciplines where individuals not funded by institutions can still make actual geographic discoveries.

2015 Luminary Series – Donald Davis

June 1, 2015

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