Announcing New GSA Division Award for Career Achievement in Petroleum
Boulder, Colo., USA: The Curtis-Hedberg Petroleum Career Achievement Award
has been established by the Energy Geology Division of The Geological
Society of America (GSA) and will be awarded in 2020 at the GSA Annual
Meeting in Montréal, Canada.
The award will go to a GSA member who has had a career in petroleum geology
and has made contributions to the discovery of petroleum reserves or the
development of a new idea(s) and/or technology that increased petroleum
resources. Considerations will be given for nominees’ publications as well
as contributions to geoscience societies and institutions.
Nominations are heartily encouraged and solicited from both GSA members and
non-members. They are due by 1 March 2020 and should include the nominee’s
CV and two letters of support. Submit nominations to Laura S. Ruhl, at email@example.com.
Learn more at
https://community.geosociety.org/energydivision/awards/curtishedberg. Contributions to support the award can be made via the GSA Foundation at
The award honors two former GSA presidents with outstanding contributions
to petroleum geoscience, Dr. Doris Malkin Curtis and Dr. Hollis Hedberg.
Doris Malkin Curtis
was a pioneer in the field of petroleum geology and coauthored the book How to Try to Find an Oil Field in 1981. Her career with Shell Oil
Company began in 1941 and after nine years company marriage polices
prevented her from continuing at Shell. She diverted to teaching at the
University of Houston and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and
eventually to the University of Oklahoma. Her classes were always
oversubscribed because of her popularity as a teacher. She returned to
Shell after divorce in 1959 and retired from Shell in 1979. Not finished
with her career, she formed a petroleum consulting partnership, Curtis and
Echols, with long-time friend, Dorothy Echols. She consulted until her
death in 1991. Her publications on petroleum geology included attempts to
marry the Gulf Coast Tertiary geology with geochemistry to produce a
realistic workable model for predicting the distribution of undiscovered
oil and gas and provide an analogue in unexplored offshore basins with
similar histories. She published more than 30 papers.
Curtis' advanced education began with her B.A. from Brooklyn College (1933)
and her master's degree and Ph.D. from Columbia University in New York
(1934, 1949). Curtis was the consummate devotee/contributor to geologic
associations and her hard work resulted in many milestones, including being
the first woman president of GSA (1991). She was also the first woman
president of the American Geological Institute (1980–1981), the first woman
president of the Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists
(1978–1979), and the first woman Distinguished Lecturer for the American
Association of Petroleum Geologists (1983–84) and their second woman
Honorary Member (1983). Curtis took her work international with the
International Union of Geological Sciences and many other international
collaborations and efforts. She received many other awards and recognitions
during her career
was not only an oil-finder, he was a consummate scientist and developed an
international reputation both in the petroleum industry and academia.
Hedberg began his career in 1926 working for Lago Petroleum, a Venezuelan
subsidiary of Standard Oil. In 1929, he moved to the Venezuelan Gulf Oil
Company, where he became head of their geological laboratory. He later
joined Gulf Oil in their New York office where he rose to vice president in
1957. He retired from Gulf in 1968, after which he joined the geology
faculty at Princeton University and taught there from 1959 to 1971.
Hedberg received his B.A. in geology from the University of Kansas (1925),
master's degree from Cornell University (1926), and Ph.D. from Stanford
University (1937). He was president of GSA (1960) and received its oldest
and most prestigious award, the Penrose Medal (1980). He received the
Sidney Powers Award from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists
(1963), both the William Smith Lecture and Wollaston Medal from the
Geological Society of London, the National Academy of Sciences Mary Clark
Thompson Award, the University of Kansas Distinguished Service Award
(1963), the Medalia de Honor de la Instruccion Publica from the Venezuelan
government (1941), and many others. Hedberg published over 70 papers.
Curtis and Hedberg both shared an interest in the oceans. Curtis spent
1977–1978 on the Deep Sea Drilling Project on the Glomar Challenger, one leg in Japanese waters, the other off
Panama. Hedberg was so interested in the oceans he convinced Gulf Oil to
launch an ocean exploration ship (R/V Hollis Hedberg).
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The Geological Society of America, founded in 1888, is a scientific society
with members from academia, government, and industry in more than 100
countries. Through its meetings, publications, and programs, GSA enhances
the professional growth of its members and promotes the geosciences in the
service of humankind. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, USA, GSA
encourages cooperative research among earth, life, planetary, and social
scientists, fosters public dialogue on geoscience issues, and supports all
levels of earth science education.