Dr. Hatcher is a UT Distinguished Scientist and Professor, Tectonics and Structural Geology. He holds B.A. and M.S. degrees in geology and chemistry from Vanderbilt University and a Ph.D. in structural geology from the University of Tennessee. Before joining the UT faculty in 1986, he taught and conducted research at Clemson University, Florida State University, and the University of South Carolina.
The Geological Society of America Penrose Medal, established in 1927 by R.A.F. Penrose, Jr., recognizes outstanding original contributions or achievements that mark major advances in the science of geology.
Dr. Hatcher was first to apply concepts of plate tectonics to the southern Appalachians; his tectonic map of the Appalachians has been used in subsequent international research. He also served as a geologist advisor for the Consortium for Continental Reflection Profiling (COCORP) seismic project, which pioneered new techniques for exploring the continental lithosphere.
"Bob is one of those rare geologists who integrates field geology, geophysics, geochemistry, geochronology, and structural geology to decipher complex mountain systems," said Dr. Michael W. Higgins, Geologic Mapping Institute, Clayton, GA, who nominated Hatcher for the Penrose Medal. "In addition to his achievements in scientific research, Bob has a long and distinguished record of service to the profession as an author, editor, and educator."
The Geological Society of America, founded in 1888, is a scientific society with 20,000 members from academia, government, and industry in more than 85 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, 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.