|21 July 2010
GSA Release No. 10-38
Director of Education, Communication, & Outreach
Geological Society of America Honors Diversity
2010 Subaru Outstanding Woman in Science Award and Bromery Award for Minorities
Boulder, CO, USA – The Geological Society of America announces its Subaru Outstanding Woman in Science Award and Bromery Award for the Minorities recipients, two individuals who exemplify GSA’s commitment to excellence and opportunity through diversity in the geosciences.
These honorees have made high-impact contributions to the geosciences and serve as role models for women and minorities in the profession.
The awards will be bestowed at the GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, on 30 October 2010.
Subaru Outstanding Woman in Science Award
Kateryna Klochko, postdoctoral associate at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, will receive the Subaru Outstanding Woman in Science Award for her ambitious doctoral research in paleoceanography at the University of Maryland. In partnership with Subaru and in memory of Doris M. Curtis, the Woman in Science Award is judged on outstanding Ph.D. research, and women are eligible for the first three years following their degree.
Aiding efforts to construct viable records of CO2 variations in the atmosphere and world oceans through ancient time, Klochko’s PhD. research focused on boron isotopic composition measured in marine carbonates, considered to be a tracer of seawater pH. Accurate application of this proxy has been hampered, however, by limited understanding of chemical kinetics and thermodynamic isotope exchange between dominant boron-bearing species in seawater.
Klochko undertook a systematic empirical reevaluation of the fundamental parameters and assumptions on which the boron isotope paleo-pH proxy was based. Her experiments yielded startling results, and Klocko’s research has had “an immediate and profound impact on carbonate-based pH reconstructions of past oceans,” said Alan J. Kaufman, geochemistry professor at the University of Maryland, in nominating Klochko for the award.
“Klochko’s dissertation is causing leading scientists to rethink their assumptions about this important proxy, and its implications for charting the pH of ancient oceans and pCO2 of ancient atmospheres… [is] a testament to the significance of her small but growing body of work,” said Kaufman. “Kateryna Klochko has a bright future ahead of her.”
Bromery Award for the Minorities
Marilyn Suiter, program director for the National Science Foundation (NSF), will receive the 2010 Bromery Award for Minorities. Randolph W. "Bill" and Cecile T. Bromery established the Bromery Fund for Minorities with the GSA Foundation in 1999. Suiter will be recognized for her contributions toward opening the field of geosciences to minorities.
In her role as NSF program director, Suiter has been involved with K-12 through undergraduate geoscience education and diversity issues since 1998. She was director of human resources at the American Geological Institute (AGI) from 1987 to 1998, where she worked with underrepresented populations in geoscience and directed the AGI Minority Participation Scholarships.
“One huge obstacle that the geosciences face is getting minorities interested in the sciences from an early age,” said Richard C. Berg, Illinois State Geological Survey, University of Illinois, in support of Suiter’s nomination. “Marilyn has been instrumental, perhaps based on her early days of teaching science in the Philadelphia school system, in maintaining that critical link from K-12 education to university education to eventual career paths.”
Suiter served on the GSA Committee on Women and Minorities in the Geosciences from 1993 to 1996, served as the Geology & Society Division Chair in 2007-2008, and was member-at-large on the Committee on Geology and Public Policy in 2006-2007. She belongs to several professional organizations, including the Association for Women Geoscientists and the National Association for Black Geologists and Geophysicists.
“I can’t think of anyone who would be more deserving or who has a longer career in promoting—both vocally and by example—minority contributions to the geosciences,” Berg said.
See photos of GSA award recipients at http://www.geosociety.org/awards/index.htm. Citations and responses from the 2010 GSA medal and award winners will be posted on this site in early November, after the GSA Annual Meeting.
Read more about GSA Awards at http://www.geosociety.org/awards/aboutAwards.htm.