Division Honors & Awards

GSA supports a number of awards and medals to recognize excellence. On this page you will find a description of each award in addition to nominating information. For more information contact GSA Awards & Recognition, awards@geosociety.org.


Penrose Medal

Penrose MedalThe Penrose Medal was established in 1927 by R.A.F. Penrose, Jr., to be awarded in recognition of eminent research in pure geology, for outstanding original contributions or achievements that mark a major advance in the science of geology.

The award is made only at the discretion of the Council, which interprets pure geology to apply to all scientific disciplines represented by the Society. Nominees, represented by the Council, may or may not be members of the Society, and may be from any nation. Penrose's sole objective in making the gift was to encourage original work in purely scientific geology. Scientific achievements should be considered rather than contributions in teaching, administration, or service. Mid-career scientists who have already made exceptional contributions should be given full consideration for the award.

Current Medalist | Past Medalists | How to nominate |


Arthur L. Day Medal

Arthur L. Day MedalThe Arthur L. Day Medal was established in 1948 through a donation by Arthur L. Day, Founding Director of the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

It is awarded annually, or less frequently at the discretion of the Council, to recognize outstanding distinction in the application of physics and chemistry to the solution of geologic problems, with no restriction to the particular field of geologic research. It was Dr. Day's wish to provide an award to recognize outstanding achievement in research and to inspire further effort, rather than to reward a distinguished career, and so it has been the longstanding practice of the Society to award this medal to geoscientists actively pursuing a research career.

Current Medalist | Past Medalists | How to nominate |


Young Scientist Award

Donath Medal(Donath Medal)
The Young Scientist Award was established in 1988 to be awarded to a young scientist (35 or younger throughout the year in which the award is to be presented) for outstanding achievement in contributing to geologic knowledge through original research that marks a major advance in the earth sciences.

For 2024, only those candidates born on or after 1 January 1989 are eligible for consideration.

The award, consisting of a gold medal called the Donath Medal and an honorarium, was endowed by Dr. and Mrs. Fred A. Donath.

Current Medalist | Past Medalists | How to nominate |


Randolph W. "Bill" and Cecile T. Bromery Award

Bill & Cecile Bromery

Randolph W. "Bill" and Cecile T. Bromery established the Bromery Fund with the GSA Foundation in 1999 to provide support for the Randolph W. "Bill" and Cecile T. Bromery Award. The award shall be awarded to any minority, preferably African Americans, "who have made significant contributions to research in the geological sciences, or those who have been instrumental in opening the geoscience field to other minorities."

Current Awardee | Past Awardees | How to nominate |


GSA Distinguished Service Award

The GSA Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals for exceptional service to the Society. GSA Members, Fellows, associates, and employees may be nominated for consideration. Any GSA member or employee may make a nomination for the award. Awardees are selected by the Executive Committee, and all selections are ratified by the Council.

Current Awardee | Past Awardees | How to nominate |


Doris M. Curtis Outstanding Woman in Science Award

In memory of Doris M. Curtis, GSA makes an annual Outstanding Woman in Science Award as a means to encourage women in the geosciences.

The Woman in Science Award will be awarded to a woman that has impacted the field of the geosciences in a major way based on her Ph.D. research. Women are eligible for the first five years following their degree.

Doris Curtis was GSA's 103rd President. Her popularity was widespread, and she pioneered many new directions for geology, not the least of which was her tenure as GSA President after an unbroken chain of 102 men. Causes dear to Doris were women, public awareness, minorities, and education.

Current Awardee | Past Awardees | How to nominate |


GSA Public Service Award

The GSA Public Service Award in honor of Eugene and Carolyn Shoemaker was established by Council in 1998 to be awarded for contributions that have materially enhanced the public's understanding of the earth sciences, or significantly served decision makers in the application of scientific and technical information in public affairs and public policy related to the earth sciences. This may be accomplished by individual achievement through:

  • Authorship of education materials of high scientific quality that have enjoyed widespread use and acclaim among educators or the general public;
  • Authorship of technical publications that have significantly advanced scientific concepts or techniques applicable to the resolution of earth-resource or environmental issues of public concern;
  • Other individual accomplishments that have advanced the earth sciences in public interest.

The award will normally go to a GSA member of any nation, with exceptions approved by Council. Groups and organizations are also eligible candidates. It may be presented posthumously to a descendent of the awardee.

Current Awardee | Past Awardees | How to nominate |


GSA President's Medal

GSA President's Medal
The President's Medal of the Geological Society of America, commissioned in 2007, will be conferred only on individuals, groups, or entities whose impact has profoundly enhanced the geoscience profession through (a) supporting and contributing to the Society; (b) advancing geosciences, enhancing professional growth, and/or promoting geosciences in service of humankind; or (c) significantly enlarging the range of scientific achievement for the growth of our profession.

Current Medalist | Past Medalists | How to nominate |


GSA Florence Bascom Geologic Mapping Award

The Bascom Geologic Mapping Award’s concept was approved by GSA Council in October 2013 and first awarded in 2015. This award acknowledges contributions in published high-quality geologic mapping that led the recipient to publish significant new scientific or economic-resource discoveries and to contribute greater understanding of fundamental geologic processes and concepts. The objective is to encourage training and support toward production of excellent, accurate, detailed, purposeful geologic maps and cross sections. With respect to size or scale, there are no restrictions on map products.

GSA’s Bascom Geologic Mapping Award will be made on an annual basis, leaving the option open for multiple awards to be given under unusual circumstances in any given year or to make no award in any given year. The recipient will have authored high-quality geologic maps, cross sections, and summary reports that have received scientific acclaim and are available to both peers and the public, through federal or state agencies or major scientific societies. In evaluating the merits of nominees for this award, scientific achievements should be considered rather than contributions in teaching, administration, or service. The criteria employed by the Geologic Mapping Award Committee include (A) excellence of the nominee’s published geologic maps; (B) record of greater understanding of fundamental geologic processes and concepts, emerging directly from the meritorious quality of the geologic mapping; and (C) peer acclaim of new discoveries that emerged from the mapping and their societal applications. Nominees may or may not be members of the Society, and they may be from any nation.

Current Awardee | Past Awardees | How to nominate |


GSA Honorary Fellow Award

The GSA Honorary Fellow Award is presented to an international geoscientist who has distinguished him- or herself in geoscience investigations, promoting environmental awareness, linking science and society, providing notable service to implementing public policy in natural-resource management, or otherwise making outstanding contributions to science. The program was established by the GSA Council in 1909, and since then, except during a few war years, one or more Honorary Fellows have been elected annually. The Council of the Society encourages the membership to submit names of qualified candidates for this honor. In preparing a nomination, it is imperative that the original research and scientific advances of the candidate be stressed.

Current Awardee | Past Awardees | How to nominate |