Help support student travel and awards by donating to the Planetary Geology Division of GSA!
By clicking the above link, you will be directed to a secure GSA webpage where you may select from a dropdown list the fund of your choice:
Dwornik, Gilbert, Shoemaker, or PGD Student Travel

Application/Nomination Deadlines: Current Awardees:

Dwornik Award
Jan 8, 2014

Pellas-Ryder Award
Jan 31, 2014

Ron Greeley Award for Distinguished Service
June 30, 2014

Shoemaker Award
Sept 11, 2013

Student Travel Grants
Sept 20, 2013

G.K. Gilbert Award
Dec 1, 2013

G.K. Gilbert Award (2013) Alan D. Howard (University of Virginia)
Dwornik Awards (2013)
      Best Graduate Oral Presentation Elena S. Amador (University of Washington)
      Honorable Mention (Grad Oral) Matthew Chojnacki (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)
      Best Graduate Poster Rita Parai (Harvard University)
      Honorable Mention (Grad Poster) Tabb C. Prissel (Brown University)
      Best Undergraduate Oral Presentation Katelyn M. Lehman (Texas Christian University)
      Honorable Mention (Undergrad Oral) Amanda L. Wagner (University of Arkansas)
      Best Undergraduate Poster Nancy H. Thomas (University of Washington)
Shoemaker Award (2012)
Cameron M. Mercer (Arizona State University)
Pellas-Ryder Award (2013)
Christoph Burkhardt (ETH Zurich)
Ronald Greeley Award for
Distinguished Service
James R. Zimbelman (Smithsonian Institution)
Travel Grant Award (2013)
Peter Malinski (Ohio University)
Jessica A. McBeck (Univ Mass, Amherst)

Gilbert Award

G.K. Gilbert Award

The G. K. Gilbert Award will be considered annually in accordance with the bylaws of the Society. The award will be made for outstanding contributions to the solution of a fundamental problem(s) of planetary geology in its broadest sense, including planetary geology, geochemistry, mineralogy, petrology, andtectonics, geophysics, and the field of meteoritics. Such contributions may consist either of a single outstanding publication, or a series of publications that have had great influence on the field. The award is named for G. K. Gilbert, who over one hundred years ago clearly recognized the importance of a planetary perspective in solving terrestrial geological problems.

The award consists of an engraved plaque and an appropriate certificate, which is recommended by the management board of the Division, and approved by the GSA Council. A person selected by and familiar with the Recipient's work presents a citation reviewing the contributions of the Recipient.

The current nomination deadline for the G. K. Gilbert Award is December 1, 2013 Nominations should be sent directly to the award committee chair, and past chair of the Planetary Geology Division, Robert Anderson ( Electronic submissions are preferred.

Expand Past G.K. Gilbert Awardees

2013Alan D. Howard
2012Peter H. Schultz
2011Steve Squyres
2010Carle Pieters
2009Robert Strom
2008Philip Christensen
2007Maria Zuber
2006Michael J. Gaffey
2005Lionel Wilson
2004William K. Hartmann
2003Roger Phillips
2002James Head
2001H. Jay Melosh
2000Larry Soderblom
1999Sean Solomon
1998John B. Adams
1997Ronald Greeley
1996Robert P. Sharp
1995Baerbel Lucchitta
1994S. Ross Taylor
1993Michael Carr
1992John A. Wood
1991John Guest
1990Harold Masursky
1989Harrison Schmitt
1988Donald Wilhelms
1987Donald Gault
1986Ralph B. Baldwin
1985Walter Alvarez
1984George Wetherill
1983Eugene M. Shoemaker

Dwornik Award

Stephen E. Dwornik Student Awards

The Dwornik Award was started in 1991 with a generous endowment by Dr. Stephen E. Dwornik, who wished to encourage U.S. students to become involved with NASA and planetary science. The Award consists of a plaque and a monetary award given for outstanding student presentations (in both poster and oral categories) or a plaque for honorable mentions (poster and oral) at the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) hosted by the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI). The awards are managed and judged by the Planetary Geology Division of the Geological Society of America.

Graduate and Undergraduate students may submit abstracts for consideration of the award to the annual LPSC. The student must be first author on the abstract and must be enrolled in a U.S. institution. In order to apply, the student must complete the application form found here on the Planetary Geology Division website (see below), and the form must be signed by the research advisor and emailed or faxed to LPI. Instructions and links to the form may be found on the LPSC registration website and on the Planetary Geology Division website.

D. Hemingway (UC Santa Cruz)
2012–Best Graduate Oral Presentation

Sonia Tikoo (Brown University)
2012–Graduate Oral Pres (Hon. Mention)

Isaac Smith (Univ Texas)
2012–Best Graduate Poster

Andrew Ryan (Arizona State Univ)
2012–Graduate Poster (Hon. Mention)

Terik Daly (Brigham Young Univ)
2012–Best Undergraduate Poster

Heather Meyer (College of Charleston)
2012–Undergrad Poster (Hon. Mention)


The current application deadline for the Dwornik Award is January 8, 2014. If you have any questions, please contact the PGD 2nd Vice-Chair, Danielle Wyrick (

Expand Eligibility

The awards are open to all students who are currently enrolled in a U.S. institution, at any degree level in the field of planetary geosciences. Recent graduates, pre-college students, and postdoctoral fellows are not eligible. Students who have previously won a "best presentation" award as a graduate student are not eligible to compete again in either category. Students who have won a "best presentation" award as an undergraduate are not eligible to compete again in either category as an undergraduate but are eligible to compete in either category as a graduate student. Students who have won honorable mention award(s) as either a graduate or undergraduate student in either category are eligible to compete again.

Expand Criteria

Only one abstract per student will be considered for a "best presentation" award in each year. The student must be the senior author of the abstract, and a minimum of 50% of the material in the abstract must not have been previously presented at another meeting. Judging will be based on both the written abstract and the presentation.

Expand Application

To apply for the award, students MUST complete the Dwornik application form. Applicants should fill in the form electronically, print it out, get their advisor's signature, then do one of the following:

  1. FAX the print out containing the advisor's signature to Ingrid Dudley at LPI at 281-486-2125.
  2. Scan the print out containing the advisor signature and save it as a new PDF. Then email the file to Ingrid Dudley at

For LPSC 2014, the form is due on January 8, 2014, one day after the LPSC 2014 abstract deadline which is January 7, 2014. The form must include the LPI abstract number of the submitted abstract for which the student will be judged for the award. If the student's advisor is unable to sign the student application, the advisor should send an email to Ingrid Dudley at to confirm student eligibility.

Expand Awards

Winners will be notified approximately one month after LPSC. They will be announced at the annual Planetary Geology Division business meeting at that year's Geological Society of America; and they will be introduced and awarded their prizes at the following years' LPSC. A cash award of $500 and a plaque will be presented to the graduate student best oral presentation and the graduate student best poster presentation. A cash award of $250 and a plaque will be presented to the undergraduate student best oral presentation and the undergraduate student best poster presentation. Plaques will be presented to honorable mention winner(s) in each category. If the judges conclude that there is not a deserving presentation in a given category, there will not be an award given in that category.

The winners of the previous year's Dwornik competition will be honored in the current year's LPSC Monday afternoon plenary session.

Expand Stephen E. Dwornik, Biography

Stephen E. Dwornik
Photo courtesy of Jim Zimbelman, 2010

Stephen E. Dwornik worked for NASA's Lunar and Planetary Programs Division of the Office of Space Science and Applications from 1965 to 1967. In 1968, he became Chief of Planetology in the Planetary Programs Division of the Office of Space Science, a position he held until 1976, when he served as Chief of Planetary Geology in the same division and office until 1979. At NASA, he was one of the first to recognize that the precision engineered spacecraft that were being launched to the planets were nothing more than engineering experiements without scientific analysis of the returned data. That became his job—to find the best scientists to interpret the data returned from these missions and ultimately to understand the geologic development of the planets.

As Chief of Planetology and then Chief of Planetary Geology, he organized and managed a research program that lasted more than a dozen years, ensuring that NASA grants would be given to investigators who were doing interesting planetary research. The annual PGPI (Planetary Geology Principal Investigators) meeting that he organized became an early proving and training ground for planetary geology researchers and their students. His career spanned the time period from Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo to Mariner, Viking, and Voyager. Those who started with his monetary support are now the leading figures and founding members of the field of planetary geoscience, and graduate students whose work was funded by these grants became the second generation of planetary geoscientists.

After retiring from NASA, he worked for Ball Aerospace for a number of years, and then spent a decade organizing an annual space exploration-related elderhostel in association with William and Mary College. Dwornik was a son of Polish and Ukrainian immigrants, served during World War II, and felt a great debt of gratitude to the U.S. As such, he was interested in encouraging more U.S. students to enter the field of planetary science. In the 1970s very few U.S. students were studying planetary science, and Dwornik was concerned. In 1991, he made an endowment to the Geological Society of America specifically to award U.S. students in planetary geoscience. The awards are managed by the Planetary Geology Division of the Geological Society of America; and have been broadened by the PGD to include all aspects of planetary science submitted to the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

Steve Dwornik and his wife currently live in the Washington D.C. area.

Note: This short biography was compiled by Jayne Aubele from informal notes supplied by Ted Maxwell, Smithsonian Institution, Joseph Boyce, University of Hawaii, and NASA’s Historical Archives.

Expand History of the Awards

Initially, in 1991, the Planetary Geology Division presented awards for best oral presentation at both the LPSC and GSA annual meetings. Beginning in 1992 awards were given only for best oral presentation at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference and honorable mention citations were first awarded. Awards for poster presentations at LPSC were initiated by the Planetary Geology Division in 1993. After realizing that an increasing number of undergraduate students were applying for the award, the Planetary Geology Division began separate award categories for Best Graduate and Best Undergraduate oral and poster presentations in 2009. The Dwornik Awards have become the preeminent award for U.S. graduate and undergraduate students in planetary science.

Expand Past Dwornik Awardees

2013 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Graduate Oral Elena S. Amador (University of Washington) The Lost City Hydrothermal Field: A spectroscopic and astrobiological martian analog
Hon. Mention – Grad Oral Matthew Chojnacki (University of Tennessee Knoxville) Local sourcing and aeolian fractionation as factors for compositional heterogeneity of martian aeolian bedform sand
Graduate Poster Rita Parai (Harvard University) Strontium isotopic constraints on early solar system chronology
Hon. Mention – Grad Poster Tabb C. Prissel (Brown University) Mg-suite plutons: implications for mantle-derived primitive magma source depths on the moon
Undergraduate Oral Katelyn M. Lehman (Texas Christian University) Composition analysis of the Marius Hills Volcanic Complex using Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment and Moon Mineralogy Mapper
Hon. Mention – Undergrad Oral Amanda L. Wagner (University of Arkansas) Evaporation of ethane-methane liquid mixtures under simulated Titan conditions
Undergrad Poster Nancy H. Thomas (University of Washington) Identification of spectral endmembers in CRISM data using factor analysis and target transformation
2012 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Graduate Oral Doug Hemingway (UC Santa Cruz) Insights into lunar swirl morphology and magnetic source geometry: models for the Reiner Gamma and Airy anomalies
Hon. Mention - Grad Oral Sonia Tikoo (Brown University) Decline of the ancient lunar core dynamo
Graduate Poster Isaac Smith (Univ Texas) The northern spiral troughs of Mars as cyclic steps: a theoretical framework for calculating average migration and accumulation rates
Hon. Mention - Grad Poster Andrew Ryan (Arizona State Univ) Lava coils and drifting patterned ground in Cerberus Palus, Mars
Undergrad Poster Terik Daly (Brigham Young Univ) Steps toward an innovative electrospray-based particle source for dust accelerators
Hon. Mention - Undergrad Poster Kelsey Crane (Univ Tennessee) Shape and thermal modeling of a selection of M-type asteroids
Hon. Mention - Undergrad Poster Heather Meyer (College of Charleston) Using a new crustal thickness model to test previous candidate lunar basins and to search for new candidates
2011 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Graduate Oral K. J. Zabrusky (Colorado School of Mines) The Distribution and Depositional History of Sedimentary Deposits in Arabia Terra
Hon. Mention – Grad Oral D. M Hurwitz (Brown University) Modeling affects of Lunar Surface Slope, Temperature, and Material Properties on the Efficiency of Erosion during the Formation of Rima Prinz
Graduate Poster C. E. Viviano (Univ Tennessee) Using THEMIS to Address Discrepancies between OMEGA/CRISM and TES Detections of Phyllosilicates
Undergrad Poster S. Christian (Bryn Mawr College) Frequency Analysis of SHARAD Reflectors within the North Polar Layered Deposits, Mars and Implications For the Link between Radar and Optical Data
Hon. Mention – Undergrad Poster N. Jamsja (Portland State Univ) Presence of Hydrous Phases in two R Chondrites, Northwest Africa 6491 and 6492
2010 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Graduate Oral Erin Shea (MIT) Evidence for a Lunar Core Dynamo at 3.7 Ga from Mare Basalt 10020?
Graduate Poster Kelsi Singer (Washington Univ) Pits, Spots, Uplifts, and Small Chaos Regions on Europa: Evidence for Diapiric Upwelling from Morphology and Morphometry
Hon. Mention – Grad Oral David Blair (Purdue Univ) Testing Mechanisms for the Formation of a Ring of Graben in Central Raditladi Basin Mercury
Hon. Mention – Grad Poster Charles Barnhart (UC Santa Cruz) The Role of Impact Excavation in Distributing Clays Over Noachian Surfaces
Undergrad Oral Jacob Richardson (E. Michigan Univ) Identification of Volcanic Ridge in Northern Syria Planum, Mars: Constraint on Geologic History of Syria
Undergrad Poster Cameron Mercer (Middlebury College) Principal Components Analysis of Reflectance Spectra Returned by the Mars Exploration Rover
Hon. Mention – Undergrad Oral Christina King (Univ Hawaii) Martian Slope Streaks Form Sporadically Throughout the Year
2009 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Graduate Oral Brendan Hermalyn (Brown Univ) Early-Stage Ejecta Velocity Distribution
Graduate Poster Michael Krawczynski (MIT) Titanium Oxidation State and Coordination in the Lunar High Titanium Glass Source Mantle
Hon. Mention – Graduate Mark Salvatore (Brown Univ) Assessing the Mineralogy of Acidalia Planitia, Mars, Using Near-Infrared Orbital Spectroscopy
Undergrad Oral Paul Richardson (Univ Washington) The Relationship Between Lava Fans and Tubes on Olympus Mons in the Tharsis Region, Mars
Undergrad Poster Mairi Litherland (Rice Univ) Effects of Planetary Radius on Lithospheric Stresses and Magma Ascent on the Terrestrial Planets
Hon. Mention - Undergrad Kaylan Burleigh (Univ Arizona) Small Impacts Trigger Dust Landslides on Mars
2008 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Oral Presentation Leah H. Roach (Brown Univ) Constraints on the rate of sulfate phase changes in Valles Marineris interior layered deposits
Poster Presentation Brian C. Hahn (SUNY-Stony Brook) Martian Surface Heat Production and Crustal Heat Flow from Mars Odyssey Gamma-Ray Spectrometry
Hon. Mention - Oral Joshua T.S. Cahill (Univ Hawaii) Radiative transfer modeling of geophysically targeted lunar impact crater central peaks
Hon. Mention - Poster Melissa K. Bunte (AZ State Univ) Geologic Mapping of the Zal Region of Io
Hon. Mention - Poster Stephanie Brown (MIT) Predicting Mercury's Ancient Crustal Composition
2007 Award Recipient Presentation Title
Oral Presentation Sarah Stewart Johnson Sulfur Volatiles in the Early Martian Atmosphere
Poster Presentation Julie Chittenden Effect of Wind on the Stability of Water Ice Under Martian Conditions
Hon. Mention - Oral Nick Tosca Fe-Oxidation Processes at Meridiani Planum and Implications for Secondary Fe-Mineralogy
Hon. Mention - Poster Caleb Fasset Age Constraints on Martian Valley Networks from Buffered Crater Counting
2006 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Oral Presentation Christine McCarthy (Brown Univ) Ice/hydrate eutectics: The implications of microstructure and rheology on a multiphase Europan crust
Oral Presentation Michael Ranen (Harvard Univ) Barium isotope heterogeneities in early solar system materials
Poster Presentation Justin Filiberto (Stony Brook Univ) Are terrestrial ferropicrites analogues of martian rocks?
2005 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Oral Presentation Jeffrey C. Hanna (Washington Univ) Tectonic pressurization of aquifers in the formation of Mangala and Athabasca Valles on Mars
Poster Presentation Sarah M. Milkovich (Brown Univ) Stratigraphic analysis of the north polar cap of Mars
Hon. Mention - Oral Oleg Abramov (Univ Arizona) Impact-induced hydrothermal activity on early Mars
2004 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Oral Presentation Nicholas J. Tosca (Stony Brook Univ)  
Poster Presentation Keith A. Milam (Univ Tennessee)  
Hon. Mention - Oral Sarah K. Noble (Brown Univ)  
Hon. Mention - Oral Chris Okubo (Univ Nevada, Reno)  
Hon. Mention - Poster Joel A. Hurowitz (Stony Brook Univ)  
2003 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Oral Presentation Brad Thomson (Brown Univ)  
Poster Presentation Erin Kraal (Univ CA, Santa Cruz)  
Hon. Mention - Poster John Chappelow (Univ Alaska)  
Hon. Mention - Poster Catherine Corrigan (Case Western Reserve Univ)  
2002 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Oral Presentation Kelly Wilbur (Brown Univ)  
Poster Presentation Nicholas Warner (Stony Brook Univ)  
Hon. Mention - Oral Molly McCanta (Brown Univ)  
Hon. Mention - Oral Chris Okubo (Univ Nevada, Reno)  
2001 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Oral Presentation Sarah T. Stewart (CalTech)  
Poster Presentation Jennifer Anderson (Brown Univ)  
Hon. Mention - Poster Matthew Silver (Whitman College)  
Hon. Mention - Poster Kevin K. Williams (Arizona State Univ)  
2000 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Oral Presentation Christopher Cooper (Brown Univ)  
Poster Presentation Carolyn van der Bogert (Brown Univ)  
Hon. Mention - Oral Jennifer Anderson (Brown Univ)  
Hon. Mention - Oral Joshua Bandfield (Arizona State Univ)  
Hon. Mention - Poster Natasha Johnson (Washington Univ)  
1999 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Oral Presentation William A. Pike (Carleton College) Melting temperatures in the Fe-Ni-S system at high pressures: Implications for the state of the martian core
Poster Presentation Geoffrey Collins (Brown Univ) Surface stresses resulting from internal differentiation: Application to Ganymede tectonics
Hon. Mention - Oral Carolyn van der Bogert (Brown Univ) Experimental frictional heating of dolomitic marble: New insights for martian meteortite Allan Hills 84001
Hon. Mention - Poster Elizabeth Addington (Univ Mass) Clusters of Small volcanoes on Venus
Hon. Mention - Poster Brian Banks (Southern Methodist Univ) Intratessera flood-lava basins (ITB’s) constrain timing of crustal plateau structures
1998 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Oral Presentation Nancy Chabot (Univ Arizona) The effect of S on the solubility of K in m
Poster Presentation Michelle E. Minitti (Brown Univ) Assessment of shock effects on hornblende water contents and isotopic composition
1997 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Oral Presentation Dante Lauretta (Washington Univ) The Origin of Ni-bearing Sulfides in CI Carbonaceous Chondrites
Poster Presentation Jannette Akridge (Univ Arkansas) Fusion Crust and the Measurement of Surface Ages of Antarctic Ordinary Chondrites
Hon. Mention Kevin Williams (Arizona State Univ)
Hon. Mention Steven Hauck (Washington Univ)
Hon. Mention Michelle E. Minitti (Brown Univ)
Hon. Mention Nancy Chabot (Univ Arizona)
Hon. Mention Rachel Mastrapa (Univ S. California)
Hon. Mention Scott Mest (Univ Pittsburgh)
1996 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Oral Presentation Catherine Weitz (Brown Univ) Eruption and emplacement of lunar pyroclastic glasses as inferred from the 74001/2 section
Poster Presentation Darren Williams (Penn State Univ) Habitable planets with high obliquities
Hon. Mention - Oral Glenn A. Gaetani (MIT) The effect of variable fO2/fS2 conditions on wetting angles in olivine/sulfide melt aggregates: mobility of sulfide
melt in the Earth's upper mantle
Hon. Mention - Oral Victoria Hamilton (Arizona State Univ) Determining the composition of Mars: vibrational spectroscopy of the Zagami meteorite
Hon. Mention - Poster Matthew Staid (Brown Univ) Craters as indicators of compositional stratigraphy in Mare Tranquillitatis and Serenitatis
1995 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Oral Presentation Laura Griffith (Washington Univ)
Poster Presentation Erich Fischer (Brown Univ)
Hon. Mention - Oral Rachel Friedman (Univ Hawaii)
Hon. Mention - Oral Olivier Barnouin (Brown Univ)
Hon. Mention - Poster Eric Grosfils (Brown Univ)
Hon. Mention - Poster Thomas Burbine (MIT)
Hon. Mention - Poster Jason Dahl (Bemidji State Univ)
1994 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Oral Presentation Lauren Browning (Univ Tennessee)
Poster Presentation Tracy K. P. Gregg (Arizona State Univ)
Hon. Mention - Oral Maribeth Price (Princeton Univ)
Hon. Mention - Oral Robert Pappalardo (Arizona State Univ)
Hon. Mention - Poster Melissa Wenrich (Arizona State Univ)
1993 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Oral Presentation Laura Watson (CalTech)
Poster Presentation Patrick McGovern (MIT)
Hon. Mention - Oral Lauren Browning (Univ Tennessee)
Hon. Mention - Oral Jessica Sunshine (Brown Univ)
Hon. Mention - Poster Erich Fischer (Brown Univ)
Hon. Mention - Poster Edward S. Michlovich (Purdue Univ)
Hon. Mention - Poster Brian Tonks (Univ Arizona)
1992 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Oral Presentation Nathan T. Bridges (Arizona State Univ)
Hon. Mention - Oral Kenneth S. Edgett (Arizona State Univ)
Hon. Mention - Oral Tracy K. P. Gregg (Arizona State Univ)
Hon. Mention - Oral Bradley G. Henderson (Univ Colorado)
Hon. Mention - Oral Timothy J. McCoy (Univ Hawaii)
Hon. Mention - Oral Elizabeth McFarlane (Arizona State Univ)
1991 Award Recipient (Institution) Presentation Title
Oral Presentation LPSC Laurinda Chamberlin (CalTech)
Oral Presentation GSA Robert Sullivan (Arizona State Univ)

Shoemaker Award

Shoemaker Award

The Eugene M. Shoemaker Impact Cratering Award is for undergraduate or graduate students, of any nationality, working in any country, in the disciplines of geology, geophysics, geochemistry, astronomy, or biology. The award, which will include $2500, is to be applied for the study of impact craters, either on Earth or on the other solid bodies in the solar system. Areas of study may include but shall not necessarily be limited to impact cratering processes; the bodies (asteroidal or cometary) that make the impacts; or the geological, chemical, or biological results of impact cratering.

» Details about the award and application materials

Expand Past Shoemaker Awardees

2012 Cameron M. Mercer  Arizona State University
2011 Olivia Thomson  University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
2010 Timmons Erickson  University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
2009 Matthew Wielicki  University of California, Los Angeles
2008 James Darling  University of Bristol, United Kingdom
2007 Jillian A. Hudgins  University of New Brunswick
2006 Vishnu Reddy  University of North Dakota
2005 Johanna Kieniewicz  Washington University
2004 No awardee 
2003 Charlotte Pearce  Open University, United Kingdom
2002 Ann Bäckström  Kungl Tekniska Högskolan, Stockholm, Sweden
  (trans. Royal Institute of Technology)
2001 Francis D. Winslow III  State University of New York, Stony Brook
2000 Gordon R. Osinski  University of New Brunswick
1999 Susanna L. Widicus  Illinois Wesleyan University

Pellas-Ryder Award

Pellas-Ryder Award for Best Student Paper in Planetary Sciences

This award, which is jointly sponsored by the Meteoritical Society and the Planetary Geology Division of the Geological Society of America, is awarded to an undergraduate or graduate student who is first author of the best planetary science paper published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal during the year prior to the award. Any first author of a paper published on a topic listed on the cover of Meteoritics & Planetary Science who was a student when the paper was submitted is eligible for consideration for this award. The award has been given since 2001, and honors the memories of meteoriticist Paul Pellas and lunar scientist Graham Ryder.

Expand Eligibility:

The Award is limited to undergraduate and graduate students who are first authors of a papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals during a specific calendar year. The first author must have been a registered student at a degree awarding institution at the time the paper was submitted to the publishing journal. Two letters of certification are required: (1) From the student's department head attesting that the individual was a student at the time of paper submission to the publishing journal; (2) From the student's advisor detailing the portion of the work done by the student and contributed by others including the advisor. Planetary science papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals published in English only will be considered for this award. Students of Selection Committee members are not eligible for the Award.

Expand Nomination Process:

Papers will be considered for the Award by nomination to the Selection Committee. Committee members, full members of the Geological Society of America, full members of the Meteoritical Society, or full members of any of their associated societies may make nominations. The nomination may be addressed to the Secretaries of either the Planetary Geology Division of the GSA or the Meteoritical Society, who will forward the nominations to the Chair of the Selection Committee. (Members of the Selection Committee may make nominations directly to the Chair of the Committee.)

Alternatively, nominations can be made directly to the Chair of the Selection Committee. Submissions for consideration should be sent (as PDF documents) by email to: Dr. Debra Buczkowski, Submissions also may be sent by regular mail to:

Dr. Debra Buczkowski
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
11100 Johns Hopkins Rd.
Mailstop 200-W230
Laurel, MD 20723-6099

Questions or inquiries may be directed to Dr. Debra Buczkowski at:

Expand Time Frame and Schedule:

The deadline for nominations is January 31 each year. The Selection Committee will review nominated papers published during the previous calendar year, and create a short list by the end of February. Committee members will read the short list and make their rankings in time for the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) in mid-March. The Committee will meet at LPSC and settle on their final recommendations. At least one month before the Meteoritical Council gathers at the annual meeting of the Meteoritical Society, the Committee Chair will send a report of the recommendation to the two Societies. Included in the report will be the abstract of the paper and an explanation of why the paper is being recommended for the Award.

Expand Presentation of the Award:

The Meteoritical Society provides a check for $500.00 U.S., and sends it directly to the recipient after notifying the recipient that they have been selected to receive the Award. GSA provides the recipient with a framed certificate. If the recipient attends either the GSA Annual Meeting or the Meteoritical Society Annual Meeting in the year of the award, the certificate is presented there. Otherwise, the certificate is presented at the annual LPSC meeting the year following the award. If the recipient attends none of these conferences, GSA ships the certificate to the recipient. A brief citation, written by the Committee Chair and the lead nominator, is published in Meteoritics and Planetary Science and included in the GSA Planetary Geology Division newsletter.

Expand Past Pellas-Ryder Awardees:

Award Year Winner Institution Journal Year, Vol, Pages Title
2013Christoph Burkhardt(ETH Zurich)Earth Planetary Science Letters2012, 357-358, 298-307Origin of isotopic heterogeneity in the solar nebula by thermal processing and mixing of nebular dust
2012Patthoff, AlexUniv. IdahoGeophysical Research Letters2011, 38, L18201A fracture history on Enceladus provides evidence for a global ocean.
2011Beck, Andrew W.Univ. TennesseeMeteoritics and Planetary Science2010, 45, 850-872Diogenites as polymict breccias composed of orthopyroxenite and harzburgite
2010Reddy, VishnuUniv. North DakotaMAPS2009, 44, 1917-1927Composition of 298 Baptistina: Implications for the K/T impactor link
2009Ehlmann, BethanyBrown UniversityScience2008, 322, 1828-1832Orbital identification of carbonate-bearing rocks on Mars
2008Touboul, MatthieuETHNature2007, 450, 1206-1209Late formation and prolonged differentiation of the Moon inferred from W isotopes in lunar metals
2007Richardson, James  E. Jr.Univ. ArizonaIcarus2005, 179, 325-349The global effects of impact-induced seismic activity on fractured asteroid surface morphology
2007*Toppani, AliceCRPG-CNRSGCA2006, 70, 5035-5060Laboratory condensation of refractory dust in protosolar and circumstellar conditions
2006Wyrick, DanielleUniv. Texas, San AntonioJGR-Planets2004, 109, E06005Distribution, Morphology and Origins of Martian Pit Crater Chains
2005Itoh, SoichiTokyo Inst. Tech.Nature2003, 423, 728-731Contemporaneous formation of chondrules and refractory inclusions in the early Solar System
2004Dauphas, NocolasCRPG-CNRSAstrophys. J.2002, 565, 640-644Molybdenum evidence for inherited planetary scale isotope heterogeneity in the protosolar nebula
2003Davidsson, BjörnUppsala UniversityIcarus2001, 149, 375-383Tidal splitting and rotational breakup of solid biaxial ellipsoids
2002Johnson, NatashaWashington Univ.Icarus2000, 146, 301-306Water on Venus: New Insights from Tremolite Decomposition

* Timing of award adjusted by presenting two in same year

Distinguished Service Award

Ronald Greeley Award for Distinguished Service

In 2011, the PGD established the Ronald Greeley Award for Distinguished Service. This award may be given to those members of the PGD, and those outside of the Division and GSA, who have rendered exceptional service to the PGD for a multi-year period. The award is not open to currently serving members of the Management Board, but may be awarded to past members of the Management Board who have provided exceptional service to the PGD after their term on the Management Board has ended. Nominations for the award may be made by any PGD member to the Management Board prior to June 30 of each year, and approval of the award must be by majority vote of the Management Board. The names of awardees must be supplied to GSA Headquarters by August 1 of each year. The award consists of a certificate signed by the Chair, and will be presented each year at the Division's Business Meeting/Awards Reception at the Annual Meeting.

Expand Past Awardees:

Award Year Winner Institution
2013James R. Zimbelman Smithsonian Institution
2012David Kring Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI)
2011Eric Twelker
Timothy McCoy
The Meteorite Market
Smithsonian Institution

Student Travel Grants

Student Travel Grants for GSA Meeting

The Planetary Geology Division (PGD) of the Geological Society of America is offering two travel grants of $500 each to help defray costs for PGD student members who are traveling to the GSA Annual Meeting to present first-authored papers.

Applicants for student travel awards must:

  1. Be first author and presenter of a paper (or poster) that has been specifically submitted to (and accepted for presentation at) the GSA annual meeting.
  2. Be a Student Member of both GSA and the Planetary Geology Division. Click here to join or to renew your membership.
  3. Be registered for the meeting before applying for a travel grant. Click here to register.
  4. Submit a completed Travel Grant Application, current CV, and a short justification (~300-500 words) for why travel funding is needed. If you are a co-convener of a session, also give that session's title.

A student can only receive one GSA travel grant per meeting. You will be notified of your application status in September. Checks will be presented at the meeting, following your talk or poster.

Application deadline is September 20th. Download and complete the Travel Grant Application Form. Completed application materials need to be submitted as a single PDF file to the PGD 2nd Vice-Chair, Danielle Wyrick (

Expand Past Travel Grant Winners:

Award Year Winner Institution
2013Peter Malinski
Jessica A. McBeck
Ohio University
Univ Mass, Amherst
2011Robert JacobsenUniv Tennessee, Knoxville
2010Joe Ruffini
Michael Lucas
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee  
University of South Florida
2009Steven Jaret
Sarah Beth Cadieux
Harvard University
University of Tennessee
2008Jane Barnes
Karla Kuebler
Hamilton College
Washington University, St. Louis