GSA Medals & Awards

2007 GSA Distinguished Service Award

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Distinguished Service Awardees

Back to 2007
GSA Award Recipients

Presented to Nancy L. Carlson Wright, Yildirim Dilek, Robert C. Thomas

Nancy L. Carlson Wright Yildirim Dilek Robert C. Thomas

Nancy L. Carlson Wright
GSA Technical Program Manager

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Yildirim Dilek
Miami University

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Robert C. Thomas
University of Montana–Western

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 top 2007 Distinguished Service Award to Nancy L. Carlson Wright

 Citation by Robert S. Young

I have been technical program chair (TPC) for the annual meeting twice and have served for many years on the Annual Program Committee. Nancy Carlson has been the constant guide to all involved in meeting planning and management. During my two years as TPC, I was amazed and gratified by Nancy’s work ethic and dedication to GSA. As we assembled the meeting, I would get e-mails from Nancy at all hours of the night. She was never off the clock during crunch time. We would talk at home and on weekends. I can’t imagine that the GSA leadership has a true appreciation for how many hours Nancy puts in outside of the business day to get the technical program assembled. Replacing her would be impossible. I sure hope that I retire before she does.

Additionally, working with the various members of GSA divisions, the Associated Societies, and the Joint Technical Program Committee (JTPC) is difficult work. Nancy is the consummate diplomat. She is always polite and professional. She is a supremely gracious representative for GSA headquarters and GSA in general.

Finally, she is that rare individual who is able to provide leadership and new ideas where they are needed, but who is also willing to serve and carry out requests when asked (and from the TPC when he is in a bind). My work with her has been truly a pleasure. I cannot think of another individual who is more deserving of this award. Nancy Carlson’s service to GSA has been distinguished and exemplary.

Response by Nancy L. Carlson Wright

Thank you. It’s great working at the Society with all of the volunteers and it’s really an honor to receive this award. Thank you.

 top 2007 Distinguished Service Award to Yildirim Dilek

Citation by Paul T. Robinson

Yildirim Dilek is a highly productive geoscientist, well known for his many outstanding scientific and editorial contributions to the geological community. Scientifically, he is one of the leading experts on ophiolites and oceanic crust, and he has greatly advanced our knowledge of the tectonic evolution of ophiolites and orogenic belts through his original and innovative work. His contributions to the GSA include editorial work, committee assignments, division presidency, and organization of many successful meetings and symposia.

 A Fellow of GSA, Yildirim served as editor of the GSA Bulletin for four years, helping to raise its international profile, scientific rigour, and impact factor. He also served as president of the International Division and on a number of important GSA committees, including the Publications and Penrose Conferences Committees. As many of you know, Yildirim excels at organizing conferences, symposia and technical sessions at national and international meetings that collectively serve as international forums for scientific exchange. Equally important, he successfully edits the volumes resulting from these meetings that disseminate current data and new ideas on hot topics to the scientific community; some of these books are among the GSA’s bestsellers. His ability to focus on important problems and to involve different divisions of the GSA is a great strength and has served the membership of our society well.

Yildirim has devoted immense effort and time to supporting the GSA and advancing its goals internationally, and his accomplishments are widely recognized. In addition to his many contributions to the Society and to the scientific community at large, he has maintained a dynamic and successful research program, has excelled at both graduate and undergraduate teaching, and has served his own university in many capacities. Yildirim richly deserves to be recognized for his con-tributions, and we are pleased to award him the 2007 GSA Distinguished Service Award.

Response by Yildirim Dilek

I am deeply honored to receive the GSA Distinguished Service Award. I thank my nominators, friends and colleagues for their support and the Geological Society for providing me with opportunities to serve the international geoscience community. I have been fortunate to have many role models as my mentors and colleagues, who are leaders in their fields and who have served the Society in many capacities. It has been most inspiring for me to see the great scientific, professional, and public contributions of these people and many others reach every corner of the world through GSA and its multi-faceted activities.

I have this passionate love for our profession, which remains a source of constant and immense joy for me. My involvement with GSA has taught me a lot and has brought wonderful international connections and deep friendships. Throughout my tenure as the Bulletin Editor and as the Divisional officer I have made every effort to ensure that GSA reach out to the international community to promote international science and endeavors, and to become an international leader in our profession well beyond the confines of North America. It is my sincere hope and desire that the GSA shall be there soon, if not already.

I would not have been here today to receive this award had I not had the distinct privilege and fortune of working with many wonderful colleagues, fellow editors, and staff members in the GSA headquarters, who have made my job much easier with their diligent work, profound care, and great sense of humor; I am grateful for all they have done. I thank my colleagues and students at Miami University for providing me with ample time and causes to serve our profession and society. Finally, I would like to thank my family for their unconditional support and encouragement throughout my education and career. I share this award with all of these people around me. Let me thank GSA again for this recognition.

 top 2007 Distinguished Service Award to Robert C. Thomas

Citation by George C. Sharp

It is with great pleasure that I introduce Rob Thomas as recipient of the GSA’s 2007 Distinguished Service Award. Rob is being recognized for initiating a GeoVenture and GeoHostel program in southwest Montana and for organizing and leading 10 trips in Montana and surrounding areas since 1995. His GeoTrips have included overviews of the Pioneer Range and Dillon areas, Glacier Park, the Beartooths, the Yellowstone region, the Grand Tetons, tracing the geology of the Lewis and Clark Expedition through parts of Montana, Idaho and Washington, the Wind River Range, and the Crazy Mountains-Bridger Range.

Rob has a unique ability to communicate his extensive knowledge of geology and field techniques in a manner understandable to both geologists and non-geologists. His style is to teach rather than preach and to make people feel valued for their comments and observations. His technical gifts are matched by his pleasing personality and good humor—even while being tested by all the things that can (and do) go wrong while shepherding 35 people with varying degrees of geologic knowledge in vans on back roads for a week. A testimony of his leadership and teaching skills is that all of his 10 trips have sold out, many within days of their announcement.

Rob was not alone in organizing these 10 GeoVentures; his co-leader, Shelia Roberts, joined Rob in 1997, and Edna Collis, now retired from GSA, provided logistic support.

We hope, Rob, that you continue to expose others to high-quality field geology at a time when such opportunities are becoming rare.

Response by Robert C. Thomas

I am pleased to accept this award on behalf of the GeoVenture team of Sheila Roberts, Edna Collis, Sherrie Landon and myself. Together, we had the pleasure of sharing the geology of the northern Rocky Mountains with people who I now consider to be family. Public outreach is my passion in geology and so I am very pleased that it is rewarded by the Society. Thanks …