Geological Society of America Awards Top Honors for 2016

Boulder, CO, USA - The Geological Society of America (GSA) will recognize outstanding scientific achievements and distinguished service to the profession at its 2016 Annual Meeting & Exposition in September, in Denver, Colorado, USA. GSA's highest honors, the Penrose Medal, the Arthur L. Day Medal, and the Young Scientist Award (Donath Medal) will be received by John T. Andrews of the University of Colorado, Donald B. Dingwell of the University of Munich, and Whitney M. Behr of the University of Texas at Austin, respectively.

GSA cordially invites members of the media to attend the awards ceremony and other Annual Meeting events, and meet these luminaries in the geosciences.
• Award Presentations: Sunday, 25 Sept., noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Colorado Convention Center.
GSA's Day, Donath, and President's medalists will present Reflective Lectures during complementary topical sessions during the meeting, 25-28 September.

John T. Andrews of the University of Colorado, GSA's Penrose Medalist, receives this honor in recognition of outstanding original contributions that mark a major advance in the science of geology. In his nomination, Peter Clark (Oregon State University) cited Andrews for "revolutionizing our understanding of the history and dynamics of the Pleistocene North American ice sheets." Andrews' investigations of the marine record have led to "new understanding of the contribution of ice sheets to abrupt climate changes on millennial timescales," said Clark, "and that Heinrich events reflect partial collapses of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, a startling discovery that remains a primary focus of research and also informs us about potential future ice-sheet behavior."

Donald B. Dingwell, of the University of Munich, is named the Arthur L. Day Medalist in recognition of contributions to geology through physics and chemistry. Nominator Yan Lavallée (University of Liverpool) referenced Dingwell's "far-reaching impact on several central geological processes." Says Lavallée, "Dingwell's prolific career has provided an extraordinarily complete description of the physio-chemical properties of silicate liquids, glasses, and magmas. His efforts have illuminated a myriad of magmatic and volcanic phenomena, forming a basis for the new field of experimental volcanology -- a legacy in Earth sciences."

Whitney M. Behr, of the University of Texas at Austin, earned the Young Scientist Award (Donath Medal) and cash prize of US$10,000 for outstanding achievement. Behr is a leader of a new generation of structural geology/geodynamics/tectonics specialists, who have made major advances in quantitative measurement of geologic slip rates on active faults in southern California, as well as observations from rocks to constrain stress magnitudes in the crust, and linking surface deformation with deep shear zones. Nominator Mark Cloos writes, "Her advances in understanding the linkages of slow ductile flow with rapid brittle seismogenic movements … improves understanding of seismic hazard potential."

President's Medal of The Geological Society of America
Sarah Andrews, geologist and author, is honored with the 2016 President's Medal, awarded by recent Past President Jonathan Price. Andrews is an award-winning author and professional geologist who brings the excitement of geology to the public through her mystery stories. Protagonist Em Hansen demonstrates that geological principles can be used not only to solve murders and scientific problems, but also to address social concerns. In naming Andrews, Price praised her for "painting positive pictures of petroleum, mining, environmental, engineering, and research geologists in industry, the USGS, state geological surveys, and academia."

Doris M. Curtis Outstanding Woman in Science Award
Christine A. Regalla, Boston University, is recognized for the impact of her Ph.D. research in the geosciences. Regalla's innovative and comprehensive analysis of upper plate deformation, forearc subsidence, and plate kinematics in northeastern Japan challenges the current paradigm for "tectonic erosion" along convergent margins. She was nominated by Eric Kirby, Oregon State University.
GSA Public Service Award
Rex C. Buchanan, Kansas Geological Survey, was named in recognition of his long record of national leadership at the interface between science and public policy. Nominator Greg Ludvigson (Kansas Geological Survey) writes that Buchanan's "national and statewide leadership on addressing the issue of induced seismicity is a model for all scientists as engaged citizens."
GSA Distinguished Service Awards
J. Christopher Hepburn, Boston College, will be recognized for exemplary service to the Geological Society of America. Hepburn has served on numerous GSA boards and committees, has played major roles in leading two national GSA meetings in Boston, and has been an active member and leader of the GSA Northeastern Section. He is a passionate and selfless advocate for GSA in formal and informal settings.
Lori L. Summa, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company, will be recognized for exemplary service to the Geological Society of America. Summa has volunteered countless hours of her time to GSA mentor programs, educational short courses, the Bighorn Basin Field Award, and Field Camp Scholars Awards — working tirelessly to mentor and inspire GSA's students.

Randolph W. "Bill" and Cecile T. Bromery Award for the Minorities
Kathleen R. Johnson, University of California Irvine, receives recognition for tireless devotion toward opening the geoscience field to Native Americans, for bringing her love of science and field work to undergraduate and graduate students, and for profoundly influencing the future of many young people. Johnson is a paleoclimatologist and founder of the American Indian Summer Institute in Earth System Science (AISIESS), a two-week residential program for students grades 9-12. She was nominated by Ellen Druffel of UC-Irvine.

Geologic Mapping Award in Honor of Florence Bascom
Marc Robert St-Onge, Geological Survey of Canada, is the second annual recipient of this new GSA award. St­Onge has authored or co­authored over 100 maps covering thousands of square kilometers of virtually unknown Archean and Paleoproterozoic bedrock in Canada's rugged, remote north. His maps and associated papers form the foundation of our current understanding of the geological evolution and resource potential of these vast Arctic regions. He was nominated by David Pattison of the University of Calgary.

Photos of the GSA award recipients are online at Citations and responses from the 2016 GSA medal and award winners will be posted on this site after the 2016 GSA Annual Meeting & Exposition.

See for GSA Division awardees and for GSA's newly elected Fellows.

Read more about GSA's medals and awards at

The Geological Society of America, founded in 1888, serves more than 27,000 members from academia, government, and industry in more than 100 countries. Through its meetings, publications, and programs, GSA enhances the professional growth of its members and promotes the geosciences in the service of humankind. GSA encourages cooperative research among earth, life, planetary, and social scientists, fosters public dialogue on geoscience issues, and supports all levels of earth science education.


6 July 2016
GSA Release No. 16-40

Christa Stratton
Director - GSA Communications & Marketing

No content found

GSA medals