The Columns

Jim Head III ’64 To Receive the Penrose Medal for Work in Planetary Geology

— by on May 26th, 2015

James W. “Jim” Head III, who graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1964, will receive the Geological Society of America’s Penrose Medal in Baltimore this November. Head is the first planetary geologist to win the GSA’s highest honor.

Last fall we blogged about an award Jim received in 2013 — the Norman L. Bowen Award for his outstanding contributions to volcanology, geochemistry or petrology from the American Geophysical Union. As W&L professor emeritus Ed Spencer pointed out in that post, “This is one of the highest recognitions for scholarly achievements given among the geoscience societies.”

The Penrose Medal, awarded since 1927, is given “in recognition of eminent research in pure geology, for outstanding original contributions or achievements that mark a major advance in the science of geology.” Ed noted that Albert Nobel overlooked geology when establishing his international awards. Hence, the Penrose “is one of the highest honors a geologist can receive.”

Jim is the Louis and Elizabeth Scherck Distinguished Professor of the Geological Sciences at Brown University. He received an honorary degree from W&L in 1995.

You can read more about the Penrose award and Jim’s distinguished career on the Brown website.

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