Farouk El-Baz Award

About the Farouk El-Baz Award

The Farouk El-Baz Award for Desert Research was established in 1999 by the GSA Foundation as a Division award administered entirely by Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology. Dr. Farouk El-Baz, Research Professor and Director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University, contributed the initial endowment for the award. 

The award is given annually for an outstanding body of work in the field of desert research. For the purposes of the award, the term "desert" is restricted to warm deserts rather than polar deserts. "The award is intended to encourage young scientists to strive for excellence in desert research," said Dr. El-Baz, "Desert landforms have not received as much attention by geologists as other types of landforms," he added " we need to encourage and reward arid land studies." Any scientist may be nominated for this award, and applicants need not be geologists or U.S. citizens. 

How to nominate someone for the Farouk El-Baz Award  

Nomination packages must include the following materials:

  • 2-page nomination letter outlining the significance and importance of the nominee’s contributions to desert research

  • 2-page CV

  • 2-page bibliography focusing on the most relevant publications

  • Copies of no more than five particularly significant publications

  • Three strong and detailed letters of support   

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. Nominations must be received by the 1st Vice-Chair by April 1. Nomination packages for the Farouk El-Baz Award should be sent directly to the First Vice-Chair.

The Farouk El-Baz Award Selection Committee, chaired by the First Vice-Chair of the Division, selects the award winner from the group of nominations received by the Division. Three at-large in desert research also serve on the Selection Committee. The First Vice Chair arranges for the chief nominator of the award winner, or their substitute(s), to be the for the award at the Awards Ceremony at the Annual Meeting. The Division Chair arranges for the winner of the Farouk El-Baz Award to present the 30-minute Farouk El-Baz Lecture as part of a regularly scheduled technical session (Quaternary) at the Annual Meeting.

Farouk El-Baz Award Winners


2023 Eric McDonald, Desert Research Institute

2022 Ronald Amundson, University of California, Berkeley

2021 Claudio Latorre Hidalgo, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

2020 Ari Matmon,  Hebrew University of Jerusalem


2019 Steven Forman, Baylor University

2018 Paul Hesse,  Macquarie University

2017 Haim Tsoar,  Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

2016 Bernhard Eitel, University of Heidelberg 

2015 Marith Reheis, U.S. Geological Survey

2014 Daniel Muhs, U.S. Geological Survey

2013 Mary Seely, Desert Research Foundation of Namibia

2012 Julio Betancourt, U.S. Geological Survey

2011 David Thomas, Oxford University, UK

2010 Xiaoping Yang, Chinese Academy of Sciences


2009 Rivka Amit, Geological Survey of Israel

2008 Martin Williams, University of Adelaide, Australia

2007 Andrew Goudie, Oxford University, UK

2006 Gerald Nanson, University of Wollongong, Australia

2005 Yehouda Enzel, Hebrew University, Israel

2004 Ashok Singhvi, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, India

2003 Aaron Yair, Hebrew University, Israel

2002 Jay Quade, University of Arizona, USA

2001 Nick Lancaster, Desert Research Institute, USA

2000 Steve Wells, Les McFadden, University of New Mexico, USA


1999 Mohamed Sultan, Argonne National Laboratory, USA