Application DEADLINE: 3 February

The J. Hoover Mackin Research Award was established by the Division in 1974 to support graduate research on Quaternary geology or geomorphology. Mackin Awards were originally funded by individual donations from the Division membership supplemented by half the remaining funds in the Division account at the end of each year.

The Arthur D. Howard Fund was established in 1992 as the result of a bequest to GSA from the estate of Arthur D. Howard. The bequest stipulates that $25,000 shall be payable to the "Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division" of The Geological Society of America upon the condition that said Society establish with said gift the "Arthur D. Howard Fund." Interest from this fund is to be used for research grants and other purposes, as determined by the Management Board and Panel, to assist in research within the Division.

The Marie Morisawa Award for $1000 was established in 2006 to honor Dr. Marie Morisawa, one of the first women to maintain a high profile in Quaternary geology and geomorphology throughout her career. The purpose of the award is to support promising female M.S. and Ph.D. graduate students pursuing a career in geomorphology. Female scientists in geomorphology currently enrolled in a Masters or Ph.D. program are encouraged to apply. The Division granted the first annual Marie Morisawa Award in 2009.

Dr. Morisawa entered the discipline in 1960, a period when relatively few women engaged in research and university-level science teaching. She went on to help establish the annual Binghamton Geomorphology Symposia and the journal Geomorphology, both of which are thriving today. She was the first female chair of the QG&G Division, and was well known for mentoring younger scientists throughout her career.

The Management Board considers the payments to support student research from interest earned by these research funds to be awards rather than grants and refers to them as the Mackin Award, the Howard Award, and the Morisawa Award. Although the term "Grant" has been used in the past with the Mackin and Howard awards, the payments are awarded to only 2-4 students from among at least 20 applicants. The winners are selected based on the quality of the proposed research and submitted proposal and so are properly awards rather than grants. These merit-based division awards are entirely separate from grants from the GSA Committee on Research Grants to support student research.

How to compete for the
Mackin, Howard, or Morisawa awards

Past Recipients of these Awards

You can contribute to the funds when you renew your GSA membership or by designating the Mackin Award, Howard Award, or Morisawa Award when you contribute to the GSA Foundation through the Century Challenge or Geostar. The hope is to enlarge the funds' principal so that the amount awarded annually can be increased. Please give generously so that the Division will be able to better support deserving graduate students.

The Second Vice-Chair chairs the Mackin-Howard Award Committee, which also includes the Division Chair, First Vice Chair, and four at-large members of the Division. Committee members whose students submit applications do not evaluate those applications.

YEAR 2014


The Mackin-Howard-Morisawa Awards support outstanding graduate student research in Quaternary geology and geomorphology. Each year one or two Ph.D. students receive a Mackin Award and one or two M.S. students receive a Howard Award.


The application form for QG&G’s student awards and the student research grants is now online.  Any research grant application that has “Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology” selected as the General Field of Research Project will be automatically eligible for consideration for our three awards (the Howard Award for MS students; Mackin Award for PhD students, and the Morisawa Award for female MS or PhD students).  PLEASE NOTE that a single application can be considered for both the Morisawa and either the Howard or Mackin Award at the same time.

THE APPLICATION PROCEDURES ARE AVAILABLE AT:  http://www.geosociety.org/grants/index.htm

*Please also note that the Division requires that awardees be members of the division.

Questions may also be directed to:

Jamie Recio
Manager of Membership Recruitment and Programs
Geological Society of America


Note that the amount of funding that a student may already have for a research project is not a consideration in the selection of the Mackin-Howard-Morisawa Award winners.

All applications must be postmarked on or before 3 February.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applicants will be notified by email of the winners of the Awards in May. Direct questions to the QG&G Division Secretary.


Recipients of the Mackin and Howard Awards

1974 Louis D. Carter, University of Southern California, Quaternary geology in Baja, California.

1975 P. Thompson Davis, University of Colorado, Cirque glacier fluctuations and lacustrine chronologies

1976 Award date changed

1977 Daniel R. Muhs University of Colorado, Marine terraces-soil development, San Clemente Island, California

1978 Lisa Osterman, University of Colorado, Quaternary geology of Frobisher Bay, Baffin Island.

1979 Donna Marron, University of California, Berkeley, Slope processes in Redwood National Park.

1980 Susan L. Gawarecki, Lehigh Univ, Origin of the Railroad Ridge diamicton.

1981 Mary L. Gillam, University of Colorado, Age and climate effects on soil development, Colorado and New Mexico.

1981 Julie Brigham, University of Colorado, Chronology of Pleistocene marine deposits in coastal Alaska.

1982 Thomas F. Bullard, University of New Mexico, Quaternary geomorphic evolution of a tributary to the Chaco River, northwestern New Mexico

1982 J. Steven Kite, University of Wisconsin, Late-glacial and Holocene alluvial chronology, St. Johns drainage basin, northern Maine and southern New Brunswick and Quebec

1983 Jonathan M. Harbor, University of Colorado, Chronology of Holocene events, geomorphic response, and eolian influx in alpine lakes in the Front Range, Colorado

1983 David S. Shafer, University of Tennessee, Quaternary climatic change, landscape evolution, and paleoecologic history, southern Appalachians, western North Carolina.

1983 Carolyn H. Eyles, University of Toronto, Scarborough Bluffs, Lake Ontario basin, lithofacies codes and the model of diamict deposition below floating ice

1984 Jim E. O'Connor, University of Arizona, Paleohydrology and hydraulics as interpreted from geologic evidence: Boulder Creek, Utah.

1984 Leonard H. Thorleifson, University of Colorado, The Quaternary stratigraphy of the Hudson Bay lowlands

1985 Karin A. Hoover, University of Washington, The relation of fluvial processes to facies--The Holocene stratigraphy and sedimentology of the Wells Reservoir area, eastern Washington

1985 Peter E. Lea, University of Colorado, Late-Quaternary stratigraphy and paleoenvironments of the Nushagak region, southwestern Alaska

1986 Mark A. Gonzales, University of Wisconsin, Fluvial geomorphology, geochronology, and paleoclimatology of Paddock Creek, Little Missouri Badlands, southwestern North Dakota

1986 Christopher M. Menges, University of New Mexico, Systematic and quantitative analyses of the landforms of a mountain front within a basin and range landscape in the northern Rio Grande rift near Taos,north-central New Mexico

1986 Dorothy I. Sack, University of Utah, Geomorphology of alluvial fans in the Bonneville Basin, Utah--Modeling alluvial fan activity

1987 Kevin M. O'Dea, Humboldt State University, Quaternary terrace formation and deformation on Yager Creek, Humboldt County, California

1987 Leal A.K. Mertes, University of Washington, Morphology and construction of the Solimoes-Amazon River flood plain in Brazil.

1987 Jim E. O'Connor, University of Arizona, Hydraulics and sediment transport of Pleistocene Lake Bonneville flooding on the Snake River

1988 Jay S. Noller, University of Colorado, History of El Nino in soil chronosequences of the Peruvian desert

1988 Donald T. Rodbell, University of Colorado, Late Quaternary glacial and climatic history of the northern Peruvian Andes based on glacial geology, glaciolacustrine sedimentology, and soils

1988 Eric A. Oches, University of Massachusetts, Late Quaternary paleotemperature estimates of the northern Mississippi and Illinois River valleys, U.S.A.

1989 Andrew Fox, Cornell University, Glacial history of the central Andes Mountains

1989 Garrett Jackson, University of Arizona, Tectonic geomorphology of the Toroweap Fault, western Grand Canyon, Arizona

1990 Grant A. Meyer, University of New Mexico, Holocene and modern geomorphic response to wildfires and climate change in northeastern Yellowstone National Park

1990 Kelin X. Whipple, University of Washington, The construction of alluvial-fan landforms by debris flows

1990 Robert B. Genau, University of Delaware, A shallow land-based seismic reflection approach to mapping Quaternary paleochannel(s) of the Susquehanna River system at Taylor's Island, Maryland

1990 Martin Thomas Kammerer, Arizona State Unviersity, The use of heavy metal concentrations and concentration-ratios to cross-correlate alluvial deposits

1991 Eric Von McDonald, University of New Mexico, The influence of climate change and dust flux on soils developed on Quaternary deposits in arid and semi-arid environments

1991 Robert S. Young, Duke University, The impact of sea-level rise on the coastal wetlands of Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, North Carolina: A study of wetland dynamics.

1992 Matthew C. Goss, Rutgers University, High resolution seismics and ice-marginal sedimentation in Block Island Sound and adjacent Rhode Island

1992 Judith Kay Haschenburger, University of British Columbia, Scour and fill in gravel bed rivers.

Note: In 1993 and 1994, the Mackin and Howard Awards were presented jointly to two winners.

1993 Joseph M. Licciardi, Oregon State University, Quaternary aminostratigraphy of the Palouse Loess of eastern Washington and Idaho

1993 Joseph A Mason, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Effects of glacial-interglacial climate change on the accumulation and long-term storage of sediment in the Root River basin, southeastern Minnesota.

1994 Amy B. Church, University of Vermont, Geomorphic response to Colonial land-use changes in Vermont

1994 Robert J. Viens, University of Washington, The dynamic response to tidewater and freshwater calving glaciers to millenial-scale climatic change.

Note: In 1995 and later years, the Mackin Award was presented to an outstanding PhD candidate and the Howard Grant, to an outstanding MS student.

1995 Michael Kaplan, University of Colorado, Late Quaternary ice-sheet dynamics, southeast Baffin Island

1995 Joseph M. Licciardi, Oregon State University, Chronology of high-frequency Late-Pleistocene climate change, western North America

1995 Adam Light, University of Colorado, Amino Acid Paleothermometry: A north-south transect of the Lake Bonnevile Basin, Utah, since the last glacial maximum

1996 David Bouchard, Utah State University, Quaternary Bear River - Bonneville Basin paleohydrology reconstructed from the 87Sr/86Sr composition of lacustrine fossils (ADM)

1996 Brenda L. Hall, University of Maine, Geological assessment of abrupt climate change and ice-sheet stability hypothesized from an Antarctic perspective (JHM)

1997 Joel Lawrence Pederson, University of New Mexico, Variable hillslope processes and sediment delivery to tectonically quiescent basins: a Late Miocene to Quaternary record of buried, relict and modern hillslopes and their deposits"

1997 Jason Briner, Utah State University, Pleistocene glacial chronology of the southwestern Ahklun Mountains, Alaska.

1997 Daniel John Koning, University of New Mexico, Fault segmentation and tectonic geomorphology of the central section of the Alamogordo Fault, New Mexico.

1998 Yarrow Axford, Utah State University, Late Quaternary fluctuations and vegetational changes in NW Aklum Mountains, alaska (ADM)

1998 Sarah L. Brown, University of Vermont, Lalcustrine records of Holocene hillslope erosion in New England (ADM)

1998 Noah Snyder, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Channel response to varying upift, King Range, northern California (JHM)

1999 Sarah Konrad, Univ. of Wyoming, Flow dynamics of Galena Creek Rock Glacier, Absaroka Mountains.

1999 Stephen Thompson, Univ. of Washington, Luminescence dating to evaluate hydrologic change, fold growth, and fault slip, Tien Shan, Kirgiz Republic.

2000 Christopher M. Moy, Syracuse University, A reconstruction of Early to Middle Holocene El Nino/Southern Oscillation activity in South America: A paradigm for projected greenhouse warming (ADH)

2000 James, C. Sutherland, University of Nevada-Reno, Eighteenth-century logging and the geomorphic stability of a selected watershed in the Carson Range, Western Nevada: Implications for impact of land-use changes in Lake Tahoe (ADH)

2000 Martha Cary Eppes, University of New Mexico, Soil Development control on geomorphic processes and long-term landscape evolution: A case study along the north flank of the San Bernardino Mountains, Transverse Range, California (JHM)

Tammy M. Rittenour, University of Nebraska, Late-Pleistocene-to-Early Holocene evolution of the Lower Mississippi River Valley: Fluvial Response to external forcing (JHM)

2001 Kyle Nichols, University of Vermont, Quantifying desert piedmont process rates using in situ-produced cosmogenic 10-Be and 26-Al.

2001 Matt Anders, Utah State University, Quaternary stratigraphy and landscape evolution of the eastern Grand Canyon.

2002 Greg Balco, University of Washington, Erosion beneath the Laurentide ice sheet and its role in Pleistocene ice age dynamics.

2002 Nicole Davis, Montana State University, Investigations of Glacial Lake Musselshell, central Montana.

2003 Yarrow Axford, University of Colorado, Toward Understanding Arctic climate change: Investigating a new isotopic method for reconstructing past temperatures.

2003 Timothy Sickbert, Illinois State University, The effect of differential stream flow velocities on hyporrheic interchange.

2004 Anders Carlson, Oregon State University, A Holocene Chronology of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, North America.

2005 Patrick Belmont, Lehigh University, Calibrating model for estimating basin-wide erosion rates from in situ terresstrial cosmogenic nuclides.

2005 Aron Taylor, California State University-Fullerton, Geomorphic evolution of San Juan Creek, California: Implications for base level change and tectonic deformation of the Santa Ana Mountain foothills.

2006 Amanda Henck, University of Washington, Is the Three Rivers Region in Steady State? (JHM)

2006 Beth Caissie, University of Massachusetts, Modern Day Diatom Sediment Assemblages in the Bering Sea and their Relationship with Mean Annual Sea-Ice Duration. (ADH)

2007 Nicholas Balascio, University of Massachusetts, Holocene tsunami deposits in coastal lakes of the Lofoten Islands, Norway. (JHM)

2007 Eli Lazarus, Duke University, A possible explanation for the locations and behavior of erosional hotspots on the northern Outer Banks, North Carolina. (JHM)

2007 Caleb Schiff, Northern Arizona University, Climate reconstruction from diatom oxygen isotopes, Prince William Sound, Alaska. (ADH)

2008 Rebecca Franklin, University of Arizona, Herbology of the alpine eastern Sierra Nevada. (JHM)

2008 Jonathan Harvey, Utah State University, Reconciling Holocene alluvial records on the Colorado Plateau. (ADH)

2009 Isaac Larsen, University of Washington, Quantifying spatial patterns in landslide frequency to assess coupling among erosion, tectonics, and climate. (JHM)

2009 Scott Reynhout, University of Cincinnati, Measuring bedrock weathering and basin erosion in the Ladakh Himalaya: Towards a comprehensive understanding of landscape evolution. (ADH)

2009 Jill Onken, University of Arizona, Late Holocene alluvial cycles, landscape change, and climatic controls in the Carrizo Wash watershed of west-central New Mexico. (MM)

2010 Juan Luis Garcia, University of Maine, Holocene History of the southeastern outlet glaciers, Hielo Patagonico Sur, in Torres del Paine National Park, southern Patagonia, Chile. (JHM)

2010 Ryan W. Wood, San Jose State University, Transient hillslope response to a knickpoint sweeping up a watershed. (ADH)

2010 Britta J.L. Jensen, University of Alberta, A chronostratigraphic framework for the middle Pleistocene in eastern Beringia. (MM)

2011 Philip Prince, Virginia Tech, The Role of stream capture in driving transient landscape evolution in tectonically quiescent settings. (JHM)

2011 Linda Martin, Rutgers University, Paleoenvironment reconstruction of Pleistocene to Holocene beds near Eliya Springs, west Turdana, with correlation to early Homo sapiens sites. (ADH)

2011 Kristen Cooke, University of Victoria, Resolving large-magnitude earthquake events and isolation of a paleo-seismic signature in fjord sediment archives of northern Cascadia. (MM)

2012 Sharon Brywater-Reyes, University of Montana, Ecogeomorphic feedbacks within a riparian ecosystem - insights for management of SW ecosystems. (JHM)

2012 Danika Globokar, University of Washington, Testing thermoviscous remanent magnetization as a tool to date geomorphic events. (ADH)

2012 Elizabeth Thomas, Brown University, Generating a quantitative record of Holocene terrestrial climate on western Greenland to decipher mechanisms controlling ice sheet discharge and sea level rise.(MM)

2013 Rachael Valletta, University of Pennsylvania, When were the hills alive? Constraining upper and lower ages estimates in the Friis Hills, Dry Valleys, Antarctica. (JHM)

2013 Claire Forgacs, University of Kansas, Exploring the chronology of dune activity in the Wood River dune field of central Alaska using a post-IR IRSL method. (ADH)

2013 Christine Brandon, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Reconstructing the flooding history of New york Harbor, including Hurricane Sandy, from event deposits in a backbarrier pond. (MM)

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