Alexandria, VA- Under the guidance and leadership of Gail M. Ashley, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) has become much of what it is today. Her stalwart dedication during unexpected internal changes at the institute and continued wise counsel through ongoing service on a number of AGI committees, she has demonstrated her dedication to AGI, and for this she has been recognized with the William B. Heroy Award for Distinguished Service to the American Geosciences Institute.
Ashley, a Past-President of AGI, has generously given her time to the Institute. When AGI's prior Executive Director, Marcus E. Milling, suddenly became ill and passed, she navigated the organization through the uncertainty during a time of expansive activity at the Institute and led the selection process of his successor; a task that required a significant time commitment on top of her already dedicated teaching and research schedule. In addition, she served as the Chair of the Nominating Committee during her official Past-President year. She has also helped shape the geoscience community; it was during her tenure that a major geoscience society joined as an official Member Society of the AGI Federation.
Her guidance has also shaped the products of AGI. When the Center for Geoscience and Society launched she served on the design team and is an active member of the Critical Issues Advisory Committee. For the past two editions of the Glossary of Geology, Ashley provided extensive editing expertise and was also on the steering committee for the fifth edition, and provided valuable guidance during the production of the Faces of Earth television series.
Ashley's career started with B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Massachusetts and a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia. Teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, she is recognized by her peers as being a leader in her field. Her current research is focused on the Quaternary epoch, a time of rapid climate change, and she also is an active leader within other AGI Member Organizations.
The award is named after William B. Heroy Jr.'s exemplary service to the American Geosciences Institute. His professional accomplishments were exceeded only by his love of geology and his commendable modesty in the face of such achievements.
The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 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, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.