The Goldthwait Polar Medal is given annually, or at the Director’s discretion, to one honoree in recognition for “outstanding contributions to polar research.” It is the highest honor bestowed by the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center.
Established in 1996, The Goldthwait Polar Medal is named in honor of Dr. Richard Parker Goldthwait, a leading glacial geologist and the founder and first Director (1960-1965) of The Ohio State University’s Institute of Polar Studies, now the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center.
Richard Goldthwait (1911-1992) was an international figure in polar research and one of the most highly respected glacial and Quaternary geologists of his generation. He conducted field studies around the globe, producing seminal work on the behavior and deposits of contemporary glaciers in comparison with those of the Pleistocene. At the same time, he exemplified commitment to service through his leadership in scientific organizations and mentorship of young scientists, many of whom went on to become leaders themselves.
The Director of the center and an award committee select the medal recipients. The awardee presents the Goldthwait Polar Lecture at a reception in his or her honor.
List of Goldthwait Polar Medal Recipients:
1996 Richard B. Alley, Pennsylvania State University
1997 Hugo Decleir, Vrije Unversiteit Brussel
1998 Charles R. Bentley, University of Wisconsin Madison
1999 Robert H. Thomas, EG&G and NASA
2000 Ian M. Whillans, The Ohio State University
2001 Anthony J. Gow, U.S. Army CRREL
2002 Mark F. Meier, INSTAAR, University of Colorado
2003 John C. Priscu, Montana State University
2004 Claire L. Parkinson, NASA
2005 Terrence J. Hughes, University of Maine, Orono
2006 Roger G. Barry, NSIDC, University of Colorado
2010† Charles R. Stearns, University of Wisconsin, Madison
2010 Douglas R. MacAyeal, University of Chicago
2018 Amy Leventer, Colgate University
2019 Julie Palais, National Science Foundation