Public Release: 

Kevin C.A. Burke to receive GSA 2007 Penrose Medal

Geological Society of America

Boulder, CO - Dr. Kevin Charles Antony Burke, University of Houston, Department of Geosciences, is recipient of the 2007 Geological Society of America Penrose Medal. The award will be given at the GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, CO, at the Presidential Address and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, 27 October 2007.

Dr. Burke is Professor of Geology at the University of Houston. He holds a B.Sc. Special degree in Geology from University College (London) and a Ph.D. from the University of London.

Before joining the University of Houston faculty in 1983, Dr. Burke taught and conducted research at the State University of New York at Albany, University of Toronto, University of Ibadan (Nigeria), University of West Indies, and University of Gold Coast. He was also Senior Geologist with the Geological Survey of Great Britain (now the British Geological Survey). In addition Burke has served as a scientific advisor to the Republic of Korea, participated in numerous U.S. and international science-related commissions, and consulted in private industry.

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. Burke was an early leader in the application of plate tectonic concepts to large-scale geological features. He is recognized as an unparalleled synthesizer of global geology and global geological processes. Specific areas in which he has made important contributions include global rifting, the nature of hot spots, continental collision and basement reactivation, escape tectonics, and syntheses of Precambrian, Caribbean, and African geology.

"Kevin Burke has combined his vast knowledge of geology with his exceptionally creative mind to make seminal contributions, in particular to our understanding of the deep history of Africa and in general to our understanding of the manifestations of plate tectonics on a global scale," said Steven M. Stanley, Research Professor at the University of Hawaii, who nominated Burke for the award.


The Geological Society of America, founded in 1888, is a scientific society with 20,700 members from academia, government, and industry in more than 90 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.

Contact Information for Interviews:

Kevin Burke
University of Houston

A photo of Dr. Burke may be downloaded from the GSA Web site at

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