The William B. Heroy Jr. Award is given in recognition of exceptional and beneficial long-term service to AGI. This year's recipient is Russell G. Slayback, president and chairman of the Board of Directors of Leggette, Brashears & Graham, Inc. Slayback has served three terms on AGI's Executive Committee as member-at-large, president elect and president in 1999. Currently, he serves as chair to the AGI Foundation. His involvement with AGI's publication Geotimes led to its new look, and as well he chaired AGI's strategic plan committee.
Slayback graduated with a geology degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. He became a consulting hydrologist with Leggette, Brashears & Graham, Inc. in 1960, and by 1984, became president. He has been a past president of the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) and also currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the AIPG Foundation. The American Geological Institute greatly appreciates Slayback's contributions to AGI and its mission. Recent previous winners of the Distinguished Service Award include Edward C. Roy (2003) and Robert W. Ridky (2002).
The AGI Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Understanding of Geoscience is given in recognition for contributions that lead to greater public appreciation and understanding of the role geosciences play in society. This year, Warren D. Allmon, director of the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) and the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, N.Y. has been awarded for his ambitious renovation and expansion of PRI that has led to a five-fold increase in the staff and operating budget. Additionally, his work has created important links with Cornell University and the community of Ithaca, NY. Allmon initiated the quarterly magazine American Paleontologist, and he is the author of almost 100 popular articles and reviews.
Allmon was an assistant professor of geology at the University of South Florida in Tampa for four years before joining PRI in 1992. Beyond his achievements in public understanding, his research interests include systematics, ecology, and evolution of Cenozoic mollusks. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society and the American Philosophical Society. Recent recipients of the Public Understanding Award include Ron Redfern (2003) and Richard S. Fiske (2002).
The American Geological Institute is a nonprofit federation of 43 member societies that represents more than 120,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources and interaction with the environment.