2023 Geological Society of America Medal & Award Winners

Boulder, Colo., USA: Each year the Geological Society of America (GSA) recognizes outstanding scientific achievement and distinguished service to the geoscience profession. Honorees will be recognized at the Presidential Address & Awards Ceremony on 15 October 2023, during the Society’s Connects 2023 meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

The President’s Medalist, selected by immediate Past-President Mark Little of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, is Jamil Bey of the UrbanKind Institute.


Penrose Medalist Suzanne Mahlburg Kay of Cornell University was nominated by Johan C Varekamp and is arguably the most-renowned Andean geologist, whose extensive publications contain first-order advances in unraveling the tectonic processes controlling the origin of the crust and mantle. She is a champion for cross-cultural geoscience and an inspiration for all geoscientists, particularly women, across the "Backbone of the Americas."

Arthur L. Day Medalist Isabel P. Montañez of the University of California, Davis was nominated by Judith Totman Parrish and is an active geochemist who has contributed substantively to the application of geochemistry to solving geologic problems. She not only meets the requirements of the Day Medal for research into a broad range of geological problems, she is a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Young Scientist Award (Donath Medal)winner Andrew V. Zuza of the University of Nevada-Reno will receive a cash prize of US$10,000 for outstanding achievement as an early-career professional. He was nominated by An Yin, who writes, “Andrew Zuza's astonishingly energetic, creative, and wide-ranged research has fundamentally reshaped our current understanding of continental formation and continental tectonics. His detailed field mapping, imaginative tectonic reconstructions, and rigorous mechanical and kinematic analyses have transformed our knowledge on orogenic development, supercontinents, and mechanics and kinematics of fault systems.”


GSA Public Service Award

Nick Zentner of Central Washington University was nominated by Steven P. Lundblad and Scott F. Burns, who noted, “Nick Zentner loves to teach about geology, but he has expanded his outreach to the general public and is a star! He has worked extensively to make information interesting and accessible to a wide range of people, using the Pacific Northwest as a lens. This is a coordinated and extensive effort that is a model for other forms of scientific communication.”

Randolph W. “Bill” and Cecile T. Bromery Award for Minorities

Karen Chin of the University of Colorado Boulder was nominated by Louis L. Jacobs for making significant contributions to geological sciences, specifically multidisciplinary paleobiology, and as well as opening the geosciences to underrepresented communities through her extensive outreach.

Doris M. Curtis Outstanding Woman in Science Award

This honor goes to a woman within the first three years following her degree, who has impacted the field of geosciences in a major way based on her Ph.D. research. Kelsey Reed Moore of Johns Hopkins University was nominated by Tanja Bosak, who notes that she has made “outstanding contributions to the understanding of cyanobacterial evolution and physiology during the Proterozoic and the preservation of microbial fossils in various lithologies relevant for Earth and Mars.”

GSA Florence Bascom Geologic Mapping Award

Mervin J Bartholomew from the University of Memphis was nominated by William T. Jackson. He has spent the past 50+ years conducting groundbreaking geologic mapping research producing 34 geologic maps and technical reports for state geological surveys, 20 professional and society field trip guidebook contributions, and 94 peer-reviewed publications.

Giorgio V. Dal Piaz from the University of Padova, Italy was nominated by Bernardo Cesare, who notes “Giorgio Dal Piaz is synonymous with the geology of the Alps. In a career spanning almost 60 years he produced a wealth of detailed maps at various scales of this complex and variegated orogen. The maps of Dal Piaz constitute the fundamental backbone on which any modern Alpine study relies.”

W. Storrs Cole Research Award

Simon F. Mitchell of the University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica will be awarded US$8,650, from the W. Storrs Cole fund for the research project, “Revision of the Larger Benthic Foraminifera from the Cenozoic described by Cole.”

Honorary Fellows

Jacques Schott, The French National Centre for Scientific Research-Toulouse
Shucheng Xie, China University of Geosciences-Wuhan

Photos of the GSA award recipients are online at https://www.geosociety.org/GSA/About/awards/GSA_Awards/GSA/Awards/GSA.aspx .

Citations and responses from the 2023 GSA Medal and Award winners will be posted on this site after the GSA Connects 2023 meeting.

GSA’s Division awardees and newly elected Fellows are also online at https://www.geosociety.org/GSA/About/awards/Division_Awards/GSA/Awards/Division.aspx .


Read more about GSA’s medals and awards: https://www.geosociety.org/GSA/About/awards/GSA/Awards/2023/gsa-awards.aspx

Incoming GSA President Christopher “Chuck” Bailey, College of William & Mary, will give his 2023 Presidential Address on Sunday, 9 October, noon–1:30 p.m. EST, speaking on “Geoscience at the Confluence.” https://community.geosociety.org/gsa2023/program/special

The Geological Society of America (GSA) (https://www.geosociety.org) unites a diverse community of geoscientists in a common purpose to study the mysteries of our planet (and beyond) and share scientific findings. Members and friends around the world, from academia, government, and industry, participate in GSA meetings, publications, and programs at all career levels, to foster professional excellence. GSA values and supports inclusion through cooperative research, public dialogue on earth issues, science education, and the application of geoscience in the service of humankind.

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For Immediate Release
18 July 2023
GSA Release No. 23-27

Justin Samuel