Distinguished Career Award

About the Distinguished Career Award 

The following text establishing the Distinguished Career Award was approved by the membership present at the Annual Luncheon, Wednesday, October 30, 1985:

“The Distinguished Career Award will be open to all Quaternary geologists and geomorphologists who have demonstrated excellence in their contributions to science. The winner need not be a member of The Geological Society of America or the QG&G Division. This award would be given annually when deemed appropriate by the Division Management Board upon recommendation of the members of the Award Committee. The award will consist of a plaque inscribed with the name of the winner, the name of the award, and the name of the Division. The award will be presented at the annual Awards Ceremony of the QG&G Division.”

How to nominate someone for the Distinguished Career Award.

The nominator should assemble the following for the candidate:

  1. a brief biographical sketch,
  2. a statement of no more than 200 words describing the candidate's scientific contributions to Quaternary geology and geomorphology,
  3. selected bibliography of no more than 20 titles.
  4. a nomination letter
  5. Optional additional letters from colleagues supporting the nomination.

 The names of unsuccessful candidates proposed for this award will remain open to consideration without renomination for three years. Further consideration after this period will require renomination. Nominations for the award will be accepted at any time during the year before April 1st.

Please note: Nomination packages (preferably as PDF attached to email) are to be submitted electronically. Paper submissions of nomination packages will be accepted ONLY by permission of the QG&G Division Officer who handles the award. Nomination packages for the DCA should be sent to the Division Secretary.

The Selection Committee for the Distinguished Career Award consists of the Management Board and the Division Panel. The Secretary is the de facto chair of the Selection Committee because he or she handles all correspondence related to of the winner. Each committee member ranks the nominees and the Secretary compiles the rankings and determines the winner of the award. The Secretary asks the nominator to be the at the Awards Ceremony (or to find another ). 

Distinguished Career Award Winners

(nominators are in parentheses)


2023 Gordon Grant (many nominators!) - US Forest Service and Oregon State University

2022 Dorothy Merritts (Ellen Wohl) - Franklin and Marshall College

2021 Alan Gillespie (David Montgomery) - University of Washington

2020 Marith Reheis (Daniel R. Muhs) - Watch the acceptance speech below


2019 Allan Ashworth
(Jane K. Willenbring)

2018 Ellen Wohl
(Karen Gran)

2017 David Dethier (Paul Bierman)

2016 William Ruddiman (Maureen Raymo) 

2015 George Denton (Thomas Lowell)

2014 Tom Dunne (Tom Pierson and Jon Major)

2013 Gail Ashley (Julie Brigham-Grette)

2012 Ken Pierce (Steve Colman)

2011 David Mickelson (Jeff Munroe)

2010 Vic Baker (Robert Webb)


2009 John Costa (Jim O'Connor)

2008 Rich Madole (Janet Slate)

2007 John Andrews (Giff Miller, P. Thompson Davis, Peter Clark)

2006 John W. Hawley (Marith Reheis)

2005 Stephen C. Porter (Alan Gillespie)

2004 Derek C. Ford & William B. White (Russell Harmon)

2003 Nat Rutter (Peter )

2002 William B. Bull (Les McFadden & Peter Knuepfer)

2001 Award not given (no nominations received)

2000 Peter W. Birkeland (Don J. Easterbrook)


1999 Troy Péwé (J. Westgate, R. Updike)

1998 Dale F. Ritter (J. Miller)

1997 Stanley A. Schumm (E. Wohl)

1996 Robert P. Sharp (A. Gillespie, D. Easterbrook)

1995 David M. Hopkins (J. Brigham Grette)

1994 William C. Bradley (J. Andrews, P. Birkeland, N. Caine, J. Pitlick)

1993 Victor K. Prest (D.A. St. Onge)

1992 Herbert E. Wright, Jr. (A.F. Schneider)

1991 Luna Leopold (M.G. Wolman)

1990 John T. Hack (M.G. Wolman)


1989 Clyde Wahrhaftig (R. Janda)

1988 A. Lincoln Washburn (S.C. Porter)

1987 Aleksis Dreimanis (S.R. Hickock, P.F.Karrow)

1986 Richard P. Goldthwait (D.M. Mickelson )