Bowring Awarded Bucher Medal

Helen Hill
Thursday, July 21, 2016

EAPS congratulations to Samuel A. Bowring, the Robert R. Shrock Professor of Geology, who has been awarded the Walter H. Bucher Medal of the American Geophysical Union

Sam Bowring’s work using high-precision U-Pb zircon geochronology to examine rates of geological and biological processes in deep time has revolutionized scientists' ability  to more closely pinpoint the timing of events in early Earth history. Areas of particular interest include the earliest history of the Earth, the origin of continental crust, thermal evolution of orogenic belts, and the age and duration of major extinction events. His work also extends to environmental applications of tracer isotopes using the isotopic composition of Pb, Sr, and U in natural waters to examine mixing and the fate and transport of contaminants.

Bowring holds a PhD from the University of Kansas (1985) and has been a professor at MIT since 1991. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2015 and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Fellow of the Geochemical Society and the American Geophysical Union (AGU). He has been the Robert R. Shrock Professor of Geology since 2007.

The Walter H. Bucher Medal is given in even-numbered years to one honoree in recognition for “original contributions to the basic knowledge of crust and lithosphere.” Established in 1966, the Bucher Medal is named in honor of former AGU president Walter H. Bucher (1948–1953), who was a major contributor to the study of crustal problems. Former EAPS department head William F. Brace was awarded the medal in 1987.

Others receiving awards this year included former Stanley R. Hart PhD '60, Maureen Long PhD '06, a former student of EAPS department head Robert van der Hilst and Alexandra Witze XII BS '92. Hart, now a senior scientists in the Geology and Geophysics department at WHOI, was a professor in EAPS  from 1975-1989 continuing as a visiting professor until 1992, receives the William Bowie Medal, Long, who is now an associate professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Yale University, has been awarded the James B. Macelwane Medal. Witze now a science journalist working as a contributing correspondent for Nature and Science News specializing in the Earth and planetary sciences, has been awarded the David Perlman Award for Excellence in Science Journalism–News.

The awards will be presented in a ceremony on Wednesday, 14 December 2016, at the Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

Updated August 15