Howard Award

About the Arthur D. Howard Award

The Arthur D. Howard Fund was established in 1992 as the result of a bequest to GSA from the estate of Arthur D. Howard.  The award is given annually to an outstanding M.S. student, on the basis of a research proposal submitted to the GSA student research grant program. Prior to the establishment of the Arthur D. Howard Award, the Mackin Award was given to an outstanding graduate student regardless of whether he or she was or Ph.D. student. Evaluation of the proposals is done by the Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology management board and an ad-hoc review committee of Division members. These merit-based division awards are entirely separate from grants from the GSA Committee on Research Grants to support student research.

How to apply for the Howard Award

Applications are done via the student research grant program run by GSA. Any research grant application that has “Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology” selected as the General Field of Research Project will be automatically eligible for consideration for our awards.  PLEASE NOTE that a single application can be simultaneously considered for multiple awards.


Applications are due February 1 of each year.

Arthur D. Howard Award Winners


2023 Aman KC, Boise State University. Bridging Science to Public: Analyzing freshwater flux (FWF) in Kalallit Nunnaat (Greenland).

2022 Hannah Holtzman, State University of New York at Buffalo. Using leaf wax hydrogen isotopes to reconstruct Holocene hydroclimate on the Kola Peninsula, Russia.

2021 Gailin Pease, Dartmouth University. Using Fallout Radionuclides to Measure Periglacial Process Rates.

2020 Edward Fordham, Western Washington University. Quantifying debris flow contributions to basin-scale sediment supply in the Suiattle River, North Cascades, Washington State


2019 Zena Robert,
University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Climate change and the infrastructure of Denali National Park: Landslide hazard assessment of the Denali Park Road

2018 Nathaniel Norris,
University of Cincinnati, Reconstructing Glacial Lake Agassiz Lowering to the Moorhead Low.

2017  Alexandra Balter, University of Maine, Potential direct geologic constraint of ice sheet thickness in the central Transantartic Mountinas during the Pliocene warm period.

2016 Adam Hawkins, University of Northern British Columbia, Holocene glacier fluctuations in Nahanni Provincial Park, Northwest Territories, Canada. 

2015 Mariah Richards, Colorado State University, Sediment Transfer and Morphologic Change Detection Using a Spatially and Temporally Varied Dataset, Toklat River, AK

2014 April Sawyer, University of Montana, Chute cutoff formation in wandering gravel-bed rivers

2013 Claire Forgacs, University of Kansas, Exploring the chronology of dune activity in the Wood River dune field of central Alaska using a post-IR IRSL method

2012 Danika Globokar, University of Washington, Testing remanent magnetization as a tool to date geomorphic events

2011 Linda Martin, Rutgers University, Paleoenvironment reconstruction of Pleistocene to Holocene beds near Eliya Springs, , with correlation to early Homo sapiens sites

2010 Ryan W. Wood, San Jose State University, Transient hillslope response to a sweeping up a watershed


2009 Scott Reynhout, University of Cincinnati, Measuring bedrock weathering and basin erosion in the Ladakh Himalaya: Towards a comprehensive understanding of landscape evolution

2008 Jonathan Harvey, Utah State University, Reconciling Holocene alluvial records on the Colorado Plateau

2007 Caleb Schiff, Northern Arizona University, Climate reconstruction from diatom oxygen isotopes, Prince William Sound, Alaska

2006 Beth Caissie, University of Massachusetts, Modern Day Diatom Sediment Assemblages in the Bering Sea and their Relationship with Mean Annual Sea-Ice Duration

2005 Aron Taylor, California State University-Fullerton, Geomorphic evolution of San Juan Creek, California: Implications for base level change and tectonic deformation of the Santa Ana Mountain foothills

2004 Nira Salant, Dartmouth College, Sediment storage and sedimentation in flow-regulated streams and the impact on aquatic ecosystems (VT)

2003 Timothy Sickbert, Illinois State University, The effect of differential stream flow velocities on interchange

2002 Nicole Davis, Montana State University, Investigations of Glacial Lake Musselshell, central Montana

2001 Matt Anders, Utah State University, Quaternary stratigraphy and landscape evolution of the eastern Grand Canyon

2000 (two )

Christopher M. Moy, Syracuse University, A reconstruction of Early to Middle Holocene El Nino/Southern Oscillation activity in South America: A paradigm for projected greenhouse warming

James, C. Sutherland, University of Nevada-Reno, Eighteenth-century logging and the geomorphic stability of a selected watershed in the Carson Range, Western Nevada: Implications for impact of land-use changes in Lake Tahoe 


1999 Robert Burrows, Western Washington University, Glacial chronology and paleoclimate significance of Swift Creek and Shuksan Creek cirque moraines, North Cascade Range

1998 (two )

Sarah L. Brown, University of Vermont, records of Holocene hillslope erosion in New England

Yarrow Axford, Utah State University, Late Quaternary fluctuations and vegetational changes in NW Mountains, Alaska

1997 (two )

Jason Briner, Utah State University, Pleistocene glacial chronology of the southwestern Ahklun Mountains, Alaska

Daniel John Koning, University of New Mexico, Fault segmentation and tectonic geomorphology of the central section of the Alamogordo Fault, New Mexico

1996 David Bouchard, Utah State University, Quaternary Bear River - Bonneville Basin paleohydrology reconstructed from the 87Sr/86Sr composition of lacustrine fossils

1995 Adam Light, University of Colorado, Amino Acid Paleothermometry: A north-south transect of the Lake Basin, Utah, since the last glacial maximum

Note: In 1993 and 1994, the Mackin and Howard Awards were presented jointly to two winners.


Amy B. Church, University of Vermont, Geomorphic response to Colonial land-use changes in Vermont

Robert J. Viens, University of Washington, The dynamic response tidewater and freshwater calving glaciers to millenial-scale climatic change.


Joseph M. Licciardi, Oregon State University, Quaternary aminostratigraphy of the Palouse Loess of eastern Washington and Idaho

Joseph A Mason, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Effects of glacial-interglacial climate change on the accumulation and long-term storage of sediment in the Root River basin, southeastern Minnesota.