Mackin Award

J. Hoover Mackin Award (for PhD students)

About the J. Hoover Mackin Award

The J. Hoover Mackin Research Award was established by the Division in 1974 to support graduate research on Quaternary geology or geomorphology. The award is given annually to an outstanding Ph.D. student, on the basis of a research proposal submitted to the GSA student research grant program. Prior to the establishment of the Arthur Howard Award, the Mackin Award was given to an outstanding graduate student regardless of whether he or she was a M.S. 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 Mackin Award

Application is 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.


J. Hoover Mackin Award Winners


2021 Monica Rasmussen, University of North Carolina, Charlotte. A Chronosequence of Mechanical Weathering.

2020 Celeste Wieting,
Colorado State University, Channel Morphologic Changes Associated with Invasive Vegetation Removal


2019 Joel Gombiner,
University of Washington, Tephrochronology of enigmatic Moses Coulee megafloods

2018 Ian Reeves, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Aggregate Impacts of Shrubs on Barrier Island Overwash Deposition.

2017 Sarah Crump, University of Colorado, Boulder, Arctic ecosystems in a warmer world: Reconstructing past vegetation and climate using ancient DNA and paleothermometry on Baffin Island, Arctic Canada.

2016 Helen Beeson, University of Nevada at Reno, Persistent River-Basin Disequilibrium in a Cratonic Setting. 

2015 Marina Foster, Arizona State University, Role of Climate and Tectonics in Colluvial Soil Production: Testing the soil production paradigm using observations in uplifted landscapes California and southeastern Arizona

2014 Ashley (Lee) Corbett, University of Vermont, A Late Pleistocene or Early Holocene Glacial Re-Advance in Northwest Greenland?

2013 Rachael Valletta, University of Pennsylvania, When were the hills alive? Constraining upper and lower ages estimates in the Friis Hills, Dry Valleys, Antarctica

2012 Sharon Brywater-Reyes, University of Montana, Ecogeomorphic feedbacks within a riparian ecosystem - insights for management of SW ecosystems.

2011 Philip Prince, Virginia Tech, The Role of stream capture in driving transient landscape evolution in tectonically quiescent settings

2010 Juan Luis Garcia, University of Maine, Holocene History of the southeastern outlet glaciers, Hielo Patagonico Sur, in Torres del Paine National Park, southern Patagonia, Chile


2009 Isaac Larsen, University of Washington, Quantifying spatial patterns in landslide frequency to assess coupling among erosion, tectonics, and climate

2008 Rebecca Franklin, University of Arizona, Herbology of the alpine eastern Sierra Nevada

2007 (two awards given)

Nicholas Balascio, University of Massachusetts, Holocene tsunami deposits in coastal lakes of the Lofoten Islands, Norway
Eli Lazarus, Duke University, A possible explanation for the locations and behavior of erosional hotspots on the northern Outer Banks, North Carolina

2006 Amanda Henck, University of Washington, Is the Three Rivers Region in Steady State?

2005 Patrick Belmont, Lehigh University, Calibrating model for estimating basin-wide erosion rates from in situ terresstrial cosmogenic nuclides

2004 Anders Carlson, Oregon State University, A Holocene Chronology of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, North America

2003 Yarrow Axford, University of Colorado, Toward Understanding Arctic climate change: Investigating a new isotopic method for reconstructing past temperatures

2002 Greg Balco, University of Washington, Erosion beneath the Laurentide ice sheet and its role in Pleistocene ice age dynamics

2001 Kyle Nichols, University of Vermont, Quantifying desert piedmont process rates using in situ-produced cosmogenic 10-Be and 26-Al

2000 (two awards given)

Martha Cary Eppes, University of New Mexico, Soil Development control on geomorphic processes and long-term landscape evolution: A case study along the north flank of the San Bernardino Mountains, Transverse Range, California
Tammy M. Rittenour, University of Nebraska, Late-Pleistocene-to-Early Holocene evolution of the Lower Mississippi River Valley: Fluvial Response to external forcing 


1999 Sarah Konrad, Univ. of Wyoming, Flow dynamics of Galena Creek Rock Glacier, Absaroka Mountains

1998 Noah Snyder, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Channel response to varying upift, King Range, northern California

1997 Joel Lawrence Pederson, University of New Mexico, Variable hillslope processes and sediment delivery to tectonically quiescent basins: a Late Miocene to Quaternary record of buried, relict and modern hillslopes and their deposits

1996 Brenda L. Hall, University of Maine, Geological assessment of abrupt climate change and ice-sheet stability hypothesized from an Antarctic perspective

1995 (two awards given)  

Michael Kaplan, University of Colorado, Late Quaternary ice-sheet dynamics, southeast Baffin Island
Joseph M. Licciardi, Oregon State University, Chronology of high-frequency Late-Pleistocene climate change, western North America

*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 to 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.

*Note: In 1992 and prior years, there was only one named student award, for which both Ph.D. and M.S. students were eligible. Multiple awards were given in throughout the 1980s and early 1990s.

1992 (two awards given)

Matthew C. Goss, Rutgers University, High resolution seismics and ice-marginal sedimentation in Block Island Sound and adjacent Rhode Island
Judith Kay Haschenburger, University of British Columbia, Scour and fill in gravel bed rivers

1991 (two awards given)

Eric Von McDonald, University of New Mexico, The influence of climate change and dust flux on soils developed on Quaternary deposits in arid and semi-arid environments
Robert S. Young, Duke University, The impact of sea-level rise on the coastal wetlands of Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, North Carolina: A study of wetland dynamics

1990 (four awards given)

Grant A. Meyer, University of New Mexico, Holocene and modern geomorphic response to wildfires and climate change in northeastern Yellowstone National Park
Kelin X. Whipple, University of Washington, The construction of alluvial-fan landforms by debris flows
Robert B. Genau, University of Delaware, A shallow land-based seismic reflection approach to mapping Quaternary paleochannel(s) of the Susquehanna River system at Taylor's Island, Maryland
Martin Thomas Kammerer, Arizona State Unviersity, The use of heavy metal concentrations and concentration-ratios to cross-correlate alluvial deposits


1989 (two awards given)

Andrew Fox, Cornell University, Glacial history of the central Andes Mountains
Garrett Jackson, University of Arizona, Tectonic geomorphology of the Toroweap Fault, western Grand Canyon, Arizona

1988 (three awards given)

Jay S. Noller, University of Colorado, History of El Nino in soil chronosequences of the Peruvian desert
Donald T. Rodbell, University of Colorado, Late Quaternary glacial and climatic history of the northern Peruvian Andes based on glacial geology, glaciolacustrine sedimentology, and soils
Eric A. Oches, University of Massachusetts, Late Quaternary paleotemperature estimates of the northern Mississippi and Illinois River valleys, U.S.A.

1987 (three awards given)

Kevin M. O'Dea, Humboldt State University, Quaternary terrace formation and deformation on Yager Creek, Humboldt County, California
Leal A.K. Mertes, University of Washington, Morphology and construction of the Solimoes-Amazon River flood plain in Brazil
Jim E. O'Connor, University of Arizona, Hydraulics and sediment transport of Pleistocene Lake Bonneville flooding on the Snake River

1986 (three awards given)

Mark A. Gonzales, University of Wisconsin, Fluvial geomorphology, geochronology, and paleoclimatology of Paddock Creek, Little Missouri Badlands, southwestern North Dakota
Christopher M. Menges, University of New Mexico, Systematic and quantitative analyses of the landforms of a mountain front within a basin and range landscape in the northern Rio Grande rift near Taos,north-central New Mexico
Dorothy I. Sack, University of Utah, Geomorphology of alluvial fans in the Bonneville Basin, Utah--Modeling alluvial fan activity

1985 (two awards given)

Karin A. Hoover, University of Washington, The relation of fluvial processes to facies--The Holocene stratigraphy and sedimentology of the Wells Reservoir area, eastern Washington
Peter E. Lea, University of Colorado, Late-Quaternary stratigraphy and paleoenvironments of the Nushagak region, southwestern Alaska

1984 (two awards given)

Jim E. O'Connor, University of Arizona, Paleohydrology and hydraulics as interpreted from geologic evidence: Boulder Creek, Utah
Leonard H. Thorleifson, University of Colorado, The Quaternary stratigraphy of the Hudson Bay lowlands

1983 (three awards given)

Jonathan M. Harbor, University of Colorado, Chronology of Holocene events, geomorphic response, and eolian influx in alpine lakes in the Front Range, Colorado

David S. Shafer, University of Tennessee, Quaternary climatic change, landscape evolution, and paleoecologic history, southern Appalachians, western North Carolina.

Carolyn H. Eyles, University of Toronto, Scarborough Bluffs, Lake Ontario basin, lithofacies codes and the model of diamict deposition below floating ice

1982 (two awards given)

Thomas F. Bullard, University of New Mexico, Quaternary geomorphic evolution of a tributary to the Chaco River, northwestern New Mexico
J. Steven Kite, University of Wisconsin, Late-glacial and Holocene alluvial chronology, St. Johns drainage basin, northern Maine and southern New Brunswick and Quebec

 (two awards given)

Mary L. Gillam, University of Colorado, Age and climate effects on soil development, Colorado and New Mexico

Julie Brigham, University of Colorado, Chronology of Pleistocene marine deposits in coastal Alaska

Susan L. Gawarecki, Lehigh University, Origin of the Railroad Ridge diamicton


1979 Donna Marron, University of California, Berkeley, Slope processes in Redwood National Park

1978 Lisa Osterman, University of Colorado, Quaternary geology of Frobisher Bay, Baffin Island

1977 Daniel R. Muhs, University of Colorado, Marine terraces-soil development, San Clemente Island, California

1976 Award date changed

1975 P. Thompson Davis, University of Colorado, Cirque glacier fluctuations and lacustrine chronologies

1974 Louis D. Carter, University of Southern California, Quaternary geology in Baja, California