At the 2015 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting the American Geosciences Institute recognized Rodney C. Ewing with the Medal in Memory of Ian Campbell for Superlative Service in the Geosciences. Over his career, Ewing has bridged disciplines to develop new applications of geologic and materials sciences and advanced science itself in the publications of interest. It is especially noteworthy that he has served and continues to serve, on many advisory committees and policy boards focused on nuclear energy and the environment. He continues to provide timely, thoughtful, scientific leadership in the policy arena related to the disposal of the nation's high-level radioactive waste.
Graduating with a Bachelor's degree from Texas Christian University, a Master's and Doctorate from Stanford University and serving time in the U.S. Army, Ewing is credited with defining a new research field involving radiation-induced damage in solids. His work with metamict minerals and ceramics has ranged from geochronology to new, critical applications in the storage of high-level nuclear waste. Ewing has also served the geosciences at internal and external interfaces demonstrating the applications of mineral science to scientific and public policies.
Ewing is noted for his unselfish nature, vision, creativity and service to the profession and has held leadership positions at societies in mineralogy, geochemistry, and materials science including: President of the Mineralogical Society of America, President of the International Union of Materials Research Societies, Councilor and Secretary of the Materials Research Society, and Board of Directors of the Geochemical Society. He is also credited with being the driving force behind the creation of the Elements magazine.
One of his most distinguished accomplishments has been his chairmanship of the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board (NWTRB) and he has given freely and generously of his time in advising foreign governments and scientific bodies on issues related to nuclear energy and nuclear waste management. Ewing has devoted much time to teaching and mentoring students at all levels and he was recognized with the "Best Professor" award while at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He recently initiated a series of workshops in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University that are focused on resetting the U.S. policy on radioactive waste management - bringing together very diverse groups of people who provided unique and thoughtful perspectives to the discussion. Moreover, Ewing is recognized by his peers for his tireless national service in addition to his excellence in scientific research.
The Ian Campbell Medal is given in recognition of singular performance in, and contribution to, the profession of geology. Candidates are measured against the distinguished career of Ian Campbell, whose service to the profession touched virtually every facet of the geosciences. Campbell was a most uncommon man of remarkable accomplishment and widespread influence. In his career as a geologist, educator, administrator, and public servant, he was noted for his candor and integrity. The title of the award was changed for the 2009 award to add "for Superlative Service to the Geosciences" in order to emphasize the importance of service shown by the recipient.
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.