2020 Doris M. Curtis Outstanding Woman in Science Award

Presented to Marissa Tremblay

Marissa Tremblay

Marissa Tremblay
Purdue University


Citation by David Shuster, UC Berkeley

I am pleased to honor Marissa Tremblay with the Doris Curtis Outstanding Woman in Science Award, in particular for her 2017 Ph.D. thesis (“Reconstructing past Earth and planetary surface temperatures with cosmogenic noble gases”), in which she developed a new form of geochemical paleothermometry, called Cosmogenic Noble Gas Paleothermometry. Her pioneering work has opened entirely new avenues of inquiry on past temperatures and climate variations in mountainous regions across the globe. Marissa has already made numerous important contributions in climate science, geomorphology and tectonics; this will no doubt continue in coming years. A long list of traits also makes her an effective instructor, including her patience, approachability, sensitivity to gender imbalance and potential biases in the physical science, and a deep understanding of her subject material. Her exceptional talent as a scientist, along with her dedication to “paying it forward,” makes her especially worthy of this honor. Congratulations Marissa!


Response by Marissa Tremblay

I attended my very first GSA meeting in Portland, Oregon, as a second-year undergraduate student. At that GSA, I went the event where the Doris M. Curtis Award was presented to Jaime Barnes, and I remember being awestruck by all that she had accomplished. If you had told 19-year-old-me that, a decade later, I would be receiving the same great honor, I simply could not have imagined it. I thank GSA for their continued support and recognition of early career women like me, and I hope I can contribute to making GSA a welcoming, equitable community for all geoscientists throughout my career.

I have grown quite a bit as a scientist and person since my first GSA, and I have the most exceptional group of mentors to thank for their support, guidance, and camaraderie over the last ten years. First and foremost, I thank my PhD advisor David Shuster, who nominated me for this award. David’s mentorship has given me the courage to pursue risky ideas, the intellectual depth to explore those ideas, and the expertise to see those ideas through to fruition. I also thank Sidney Hemming, Nick Christie-Blick, Kurt Cuffey, Greg Balco, Darren Mark, and Darryl Granger. These individuals became mentors to me at various points in my career, and they all continue be invaluable supporters who I aspire to be like. I have also been surrounded by an amazing cohort of early-career women who inspire and challenge me to be better daily. Some of these women include Emily Cooperdock, Courtney Sprain, Kristen Fauria, and Chelsea Willett. Finally, I thank my parents, Patricia and Richard Tremblay, and my partner, Ryan Ickert, for their unconditional support and love.

Video Response