Alley wins prestigious award from Geological Society

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Richard Alley, Evan Pugh University Professor of Geosciences and associate of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute at Penn State, will receive the 2017 Wollaston Medal.

The prize is the highest award given by the Geological Society of London. It is reserved for geologists who have made a significant impact on the field through a substantial body of impactful research, according to the society’s website.

Alley is a renowned climate scientist and science communicator who studies glaciology, ice sheet stability, paleoclimates from ice cores and erosion and sedimentation by ice sheets. His research focuses on the flow and stability of ice sheets and how they interact with the landscape.

He has received numerous awards for his research and his ability to translate his findings to the public. Alley chaired the National Research Council’s panel on abrupt climate change; hosted a television series on climate change, “Earth: The Operators’ Manual,” which originally aired on the Public Broadcasting System in 2011; and has written two popular books. He regularly speaks with members of the media and often appears in news stories explaining climate science to broad audiences.

Alley has been elected to membership or fellowship in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society (U.K.), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, and the Geological Society of America.  

He is the second consecutive Penn State scientist to win the award. Susan Brantley, distinguished professor of geosciences and director of EESI, received the prize in 2016. She was the second woman to win the award in its 186-year history.

Alley will receive the award in June 7 at the group’s annual meeting in London. 

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Last Updated March 10, 2017