News Release

2014 medals and awards of the Geological Society of America

Grant and Award Announcement

Geological Society of America

Boulder, CO, USA – The Geological Society of America will recognize outstanding scientific achievements and distinguished service to the profession at its 2014 Annual Meeting & Exposition in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. GSA's highest honors, the Penrose Medal, the Arthur L. Day Medal, and the Young Scientist Award (Donath Medal) will be received by Susan W. Kieffer of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Lisa Tauxe of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography–UC San Diego, and Francis A Macdonald of Harvard University, respectively.

These awards and other honors will be celebrated at the GSA Annual Meeting; members of the media are cordially invited to attend:

  • Awards Presentations: Sunday, 19 Oct., 3-4:30 p.m.
  • Reflective Lectures by GSA's Penrose, Day, and Donath medalists: Monday, 20 Oct., 2-3:30 p.m.


Susan W. Kieffer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been named GSA's Penrose Medalist in recognition of her many seminal research contributions to a broad cross section of geosciences. Kieffer's interests in geological physics include planetary sciences, geological fluid dynamics–including geothermal, epithermal, and volcanic environments, solid-state geophysics and mineral thermodynamics, shock wave physics, and river hydraulics and river environments. Nominator Stephen Marshak noted that her work continues to influence research directions, and "in keeping with her long standing priority that science be made accessible to the public," she is reaching out to broader audiences through her work on the National Research Council and her writing for non-expert audiences. Kieffer was elected a Fellow of The Geological Society of America in 1982. She was awarded GSA's prestigious Day Medal in 1992.

Lisa Tauxe, Scripps Institution of Oceanography–University of California, San Diego, has been awarded the Arthur L. Day Medal for outstanding distinction in contributing to geologic knowledge through the application of physics and chemistry to the solution of geologic problems. Nominator Neil Opdyke credits Tauxe as having "established at Scripps one of the premier paleomagnetics research facilities in the world." Supporter Kenneth Kodama adds that, "she has worked to provide a better understanding of the history and behavior of the Earth's magnetic field through geologic time." Tauxe was elected a Fellow of The Geological Society of America in 2003.

Francis A. Macdonald, Harvard University has earned the Young Scientist Award (Donath Medal) and a cash prize of US$10,000 for outstanding achievement in contributing to geologic knowledge through original research that marks a major advance in the earth sciences. Francis' Ph.D. research entailed mapping, stratigraphic synthesis, and chemostratigraphy in three disparate, structurally complex or poorly understood late Proterozoic sedimentary successions. Nominator Galen Halverson writes that in that and subsequent research, Macdonald "has demonstrated an uncanny ability to identify previously poorly mapped regions that are critical for developing and testing lofty tectonic and paleoclimatic models." At a young age, Macdonald has already made several fundamental contributions across multiple fields, including solid earth geophysics to climatology and glaciology to geochemistry and paleobiology.


  • Subaru Outstanding Woman in Science: Ami L. Riscassi, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Awarded for her impactful Ph.D. research in the geosciences titled, "Controls on Streamwater Dissolved and Particulate Mercury within Three Mid-Appalachian Forested Headwater Catchments."

  • GSA Public Service Award: Mark C. Quigley, University of Canterbury. Honored for his response in the wake of the 4 September 2010 Magnitude 7.1 Darfield Earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, and for providing understanding, context and vision for the local community and national and international audiences.

  • GSA Distinguished Service Award: P. Geoffrey Feiss, GSA Foundation. Recognized for long-standing exemplary service to the Society and the Foundation.

  • Randolph W. "Bill" and Cecile T. Bromery Award for the Minorities: Isaac J. Crumbly, Fort Valley State University. Crumbly developed a dual degree academic program at his small, historically black college and university, and turned it into the nationally recognized program it is today.

  • The President's Medal of The Geological Society of America has been awarded by Suzanne Mahlburg Kay to Thomas H. Jordan of the Southern California Earthquake Center. In naming Jordan, Kay praised him as "an outstanding member of the geosciences community who has made exceptional intellectual contributions to the field of geological sciences, and who has played a particularly prominent role in promoting geosciences in the service of humanity."

Photos of the GSA award recipients are online at Citations and responses from the 2014 GSA medal and award winners will be posted on this site after the 2014 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, is a scientific society with more than 25,000 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. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, USA, 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.

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