Morisawa Award

About the Marie Morisawa Award

The Marie Morisawa Award was established in 2006 to honor Dr. Marie Morisawa, one of the first women to maintain a high profile in Quaternary geology and geomorphology throughout her career. The purpose of the award is to support promising female M.S. and Ph.D. graduate students pursuing a career in geomorphology.  The Division granted the first Marie Morisawa Award in 2009.

Dr. Morisawa entered the discipline in 1960, a period when relatively few women engaged in research and university-level science teaching. She went on to help establish the annual Binghamton Geomorphology Symposia and the journal Geomorphology, both of which are thriving today. She was the first female chair of the QG&G and was well known for mentoring younger scientists throughout her career.

Female scientists in geomorphology currently enrolled in a Masters or Ph.D. program are encouraged to apply. 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 Morisawa 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.

Marie Morisawa Award Winners


2023 Yueyi Che, Stanford University. The ghosts of Yosemite past, present..and future? New meteoric Be-10 method to constrain the stability and dynamics of glacier margins.

2022 Hannah Richardson, Boise State University. Off-glacier stream source water contribution variation in the Wolverine Glacier watershed, Alaska. 

2021 Katherine Worms, Oregon State University. Quantifying the rate and pattern of surface uplift in the southern Cascadia forearc from the age of the Klamath peneplain.

2020 Joanmarie Del Vecchio, Pennsylvania State University, for the proposal Quantifying sediment and carbon fluxes in thawing permafrost landscapes.


2019 Tess Walther, University of Maine, Reconstruction of Koettlitz Glacier in the McMurdo Sound region, Antarctica, during the Last Glacial Maximum and Termination

2018 Annette Patton, Colorado State University, Landslide Response to Climate Change in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

2017 Elizabeth Olson, Northern Illinois University, Holocene climate change in the Atacama Desert reconstructed from the stable isotopic composition of Prosopis tamarugo tree-rings.

2016 Joanmarie Del Vecchio, Pennsylvania State University, A periglacial erosion record in a headwater valley, central Pennsylvania. 

2015 Sarah Schanz, University of Washington, Strath formation through changes in sediment retention in the Pacific Northwest

2014 Katherine Lininger, Colorado State University, The influence of channel-spanning logjams and beaver dams on floodplain carbon storage and sedimentation rates in Alaska 

2013 Christine Brandon, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Reconstructing the flooding history of New Harbor, including Hurricane Sandy, from event deposits in a pond

2012 Elizabeth Thomas, Brown University, Generating a quantitative record of Holocene terrestrial climate on western Greenland to decipher mechanisms controlling ice sheet discharge and sea level rise 

2011 Kristen Cooke, University of Victoria, Resolving large-magnitude earthquake events and isolation of a signature in fjord sediment archives of northern Cascadia

2010 Britta J.L. Jensen, University of Alberta, A chronostratigraphic framework for the middle Pleistocene in eastern Beringia.


2009 Jill Onken, University of Arizona, Late Holocene alluvial cycles, landscape change, and climatic controls in the Carrizo Wash watershed of west-central New Mexico.