2017 Distinguished Service Award

Presented to Jean M. Bahr

Jean M. Bahr

Jean M. Bahr
University of Wisconsin at Madison

Citation by Vicki S. McConnell

Jean Bahr impressed me with her deep involvement in service to geosciences from when I first met her at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1997. She is a renowned hydrogeologist and researcher. What sometimes gets lost in our admirations for her science is the first-class generosity of her time, her thoughtfulness, and her leadership to GSA and the geosciences. I could use the rest of this citation listing all the committees, task forces, working groups, and leadership roles Jean has participated in for GSA. The list of service is diverse in subject, ranging from policy position statements to her leadership on Council and as GSA President to education and students to audits. You have to be really dedicated to GSA to serve on the Audit Committee! Jean embodies all we expect from someone who is awarded the GSA Distinguished Service Award—exceptional generosity, exceptional service, and exceptional results for GSA and geosciences.

Jean’s reach is beyond GSA and we are all the richer for that with her leadership at American Geosciences Institute (president 2016–2017), her work on nuclear waste disposal (Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board 2012–present), and her involvement in the American Geophysical Union, to name but a few.

2017 Distinguished Service Award — Response by Jean M. Bahr

I am honored and humbled by this recognition from the Geological Society of America, the professional society that I have considered one of my major disciplinary “homes” since I joined more than forty years ago upon completion of my undergraduate degree. I am indebted to a large number of mentors and colleagues who were models, themselves, of service to our profession and who recommended or recruited me to committee service with GSA and other organizations early in my career. What I quickly learned was that committee service provided not only an opportunity to pay forward some of the personal and professional support I received as I developed my career, but also the chance to meet and work with really interesting people, many of whom I now consider lifelong friends. I also was able to tackle some challenging societal issues for which geoscience can inform decision making. During my term as a GSA officer, I particularly enjoyed meeting and discussing science with students at poster sessions during GSA Section meetings. Those interactions convinced me that our profession continues to have a bright future. I am also gratified to see so many with GeoBadger connections in service and leadership roles within GSA.