Adapted from material sent by Ursula Marvin (February 2000)

With respect to naming the History of Geology Award, a little history might be of interest. Back in 1980, Ursula Marvin, Ellen Drake, and Hollis Hedberg (Chair) formed the committee that was charged with deciding whether or not the Division should give an award, and if so what it should be. The first duty was to decide whether so small a group could sustain the giving of an award every year without running out of worthy candidates within the first decade. The Committee decided the award could be sustained and that the Division should institute an award. Hollis wanted it to be a medal and said he knew of an anonymous gift that would be forthcoming to support it. Many awards, such as the Penrose, are named for benefactors, but "The Anonymous Medal" would not do, and Hollis wasn't naming the donor (although the other members of the Committee assumed it would be named for Hollis himself or his wife). So the group originally decided to name it the History of Geology Medal. But at that time, GSA management was unwilling to adopt any more medals, fearing, perhaps rightly, that it would debase the currency of their existing medals. Thus, the Committee had to choose another type of award and the anonymous gift vanished into thin air. Thus the Division has the HISTORY OF GEOLOGY AWARD and this has been in search of a name.

HISTORY OF GEOLOGY has the following THREE awards:


The Mary C. Rabbitt History of Geology Award is presented annually by the Geological Society of America's History of Geology Division to an individual for exceptional scholarly contributions of fundamental importance to our understanding of the history of the geological sciences. Neither the nominator nor the nominee has to be a member of the Division or of GSA. Achievements deserving of the award include, but may not be limited to, publication of papers or books that contribute new and profound insights into the history of geology based on original research or a synthesis of existing knowledge. The award was established by the History of Geology Division in 1981 and renamed in memory of Mary C. Rabbitt in 2005. The award consists of an embossed certificate and a pewter Revere bowl. The deadline for receipt of nominations by the selection committee is February 1st each year. Please refer to the Division web site or the June Newsletter for past awardees. Nominations should be sent to Bill Brice, Secretary-Treasurer, address is given below.

Former Awardees

1982 George W. White
1983 Claude C. Albritton, Jr.
1984 Mary C. Rabbitt
1985 Cecil J. Schneer
1986 Ursula B. Marvin
1987 Martin J. S. Rudwick
1988 Stephen Jay Gould
1989 Albert V. Carozzi
1990 Gordon Y. Craig
1991 William Anthony & Swithin Sarjeant
1992 Michele L. Aldrich
1993 Martin Guntau
1994 Fran�ois Ellenberger
1995 Robert H. Dott, Jr.
1996 Gordon L. Herries Davies
1997 Kennard B. Bork
1998 Hatten S. Yoder, Jr.
1999 David R. Oldroyd
2000 Hugh S. Torrens - response
2001 Walter O. Kupsch
2002 Dennis Dean
2003 Ellis L. Yochelson
2004 Stephen G. Brush
2005 Gerald Friedman
2006 Sandra Herbert
2007 Kenneth L. Taylor
2008 Gregory Good - response
2009 Davis Young
2010 Gabriel Gohau
2011 ? ?




This award of the Geological Society of America�s History of Geology Division, created in 2005, may be given from time to time to an individual or individuals, for exceptional service to the advancement of our knowledge of the history of the geological sciences. Neither the nominator nor the nominee has to be a member of the Division or of GSA. The service to the history of geology may include, but not be limited to, the discovery of and making available rare source materials; comprehensive bibliographic surveys; organizing meetings and symposia in the history of geology; exceptional service to the Division; etc. The deadline for receipt of nominations by the selection committee is February 1st each year.

Former Awardees

2006 Robert N. Ginsburg - response
2007 Michele L. Aldrich and Alan E. Leviton
2008 William R. Brice - response
2009 Deborah Day
2010 Daniel F. Merriam

Please send the names and supporting information for your nominees to: Jane P. Davidson, Secretarv-Treasurer and mark the envelope AWARD NOMINATION.
(address can be found below) As the chair of the review committee changes each year, Bill will forward the material to the current committee chair.



History of Geology Student Award: The History of Geology Division is soliciting proposals for a student award for the amount of $500 for a paper to be given at the national GSA meeting. This award, established in 2004, is made possible by a bequest from the estate of Mary C. Rabbitt. Consideration will be given to both undergraduate and graduate students. While both oral and poster presentations are acceptable, oral presentations are preferred. Faculty advisors may be listed as second author, but not as the lead author of the paper. The proposed paper may be: (1) A paper in the history of geology; or (2) A literature review of ideas for a technical work or thesis/dissertation; or (3) Some imaginative aspect of the history of geology we have not thought of before.

The award is open to all students regardless of discipline, provided the proposed paper is related to the history of a geological idea/person/etc. After the applications have been received and reviewed by the Award Committee, the winner will be notified. The winner should then register for the GSA Annual Meeting and present his or her paper at the History of Geology Division disciplinary session. A ticket to the History of Geology luncheon will be provided. The $500 award will be presented at the time the paper is presented, and the student will also be recognized at the annual luncheon. If there are multiple authors, the cash award will be presented to the senior author and further distribution is up to that person.

Guidelines for Award and path for student pdf.  If there are any additional questions about the award, please contact the Division Secretary-Treasurer. All applications and proposed abstracts should be forwarded to the Division Secretary-Treasurer:   Jane P. Davidson (address given below).

Due date for proposals and application is May 1 each year so that the proposal content can be reviewed and the selection made for the award in time to meet the official GSA deadline. Also in this way, the GSA abstract, perhaps, can be refined. The Division award committee will make the selection. 

Dr. Jane P. Davidson
Art Dept 224
Univ Nevada - Reno
NV 89557
775-784-6561; fax 775-784-6655;

Former Awardees

2004 Michael C. Rygel                       
2005 Lee J. Florea
2006 Alistair Sponsel
2007 Eric J. Brown
2008 Beth A. Johnson and Jamie Stephenson
2009 Michael Bramnik
2010 Amanda Finnen Waters