The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has a diverse program for recognizing members and others who have made outstanding contributions to geophysical research, to community service, and to enhancing public understanding of Earth and space science. AGU Union Medals, Awards & Prizes are among the most respected in the Earth and space science communities worldwide, and recognize individuals for their outstanding contributions.

David Smith has won the 2012 AGU Whitten Medal “for outstanding achievement in research on the form and dynamics of the Earth and planets.” The award represents the accomplishments of the Brown-MIT team and the importance of their lunar science. He will be presented at the AGU conference with a cherry box containing an engraved gold plate.

AGU will also present NLSI’s Maria Zuber with the 2012 Hess Medal “for her outstanding achievements in research on the constitution and evolution of the Earth and other planets.” Maria will also be giving this year’s Shoemaker lecture; presenting the Shoemaker lecture is a great honor that could not be better placed than upon her this year.

Both Maria Zuber and David Smith are leading NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) Mission as the Principal and Deputy Principal Investigators, respectively. For more information on this exciting mission, read the GRAIL Launch Press Kit

NLSI would like to offer our heartfelt congratulations!

About the Charles A. Whitten Medal
Established in 1984, the Whitten Medal is named in honor of Charles A. Whitten, who has made fundamental contributions to the research of crustal movements. Whitten formerly served as an AGU section president for the Geodesy section (1964–1968) and AGU General Secretary (1968–1974). The Whitten Medal is awarded not more than once annually in alternate (even) years to an individual “for outstanding achievement in research on the form and dynamics of the Earth and planets.” Whitten was the first recipient of this medal.

Charles Whitten was a geodesist with the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey who made outstanding contributions to the geodetic sciences and the work of the American Geophysical Union. He was the best known American geodesist of his day, and his kindness to his colleagues and devotion to his profession are legendary.

About the Harry H. Hess Medal
Established in 1984, the Hess Medal is named in honor of Harry H. Hess, who made many contributions to geology, mineralogy, and geophysics. Hess served multiple terms as an AGU section president — for the Geodesy section (1950–1953) as well as the Tectonophysics section (1956–1959). The Hess Medal is awarded not more than once annually to an individual “for outstanding achievements in research of the constitution and evolution of Earth and other planets.” Gerald J. Wasserburg was the first recipient of the Hess Medal.

For more than 30 years, Harry H. Hess was a geology professor at Princeton University. He made major contributions to the study of the oceanic lithosphere, including the concept that convection cells in the mantle were the driving force for seafloor spreading. Hess discovered and explained the formation of flat-topped seamounts (guyots), performed seafloor gravity studies while submerged aboard U.S. Navy submarines, conducted detailed mineralogic and petrologic studies of peridotites, and was an originator of scientific ocean drilling by the Mohole Project.

For more information on AGU medals, awards and prizes, visit:

Posted by: Soderman/NLSI Staff
Source: NLSI Team

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