GSA Student Award named for professor Farouk El-Baz

The Geological Society of America (GSA) Foundation has established the “Farouk El-Baz Student Award” to encourage and promote desert research in the broadest sense. “Deserts have received far less attention than other types of landforms in geological studies. This award will encourage more students to pursue investigations of arid lands, which constitute over one-third of the land surface of our planet,” said El-Baz.

The award fund of $100,000.00 was generously provided by the Qatar Foundation as an endowment. It will be considered principal and only income will be disbursed as awards; the GSA Foundation will accept and acknowledge additional contributions to the fund. Up to 2 students will be awarded $2,500 each, based on a proposal for arid land research and a recommendation by an advisor. Recipients will be selected from a special Committee appointed by the GSA International Division.

The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is a private, chartered, non-profit organization. It was founded in 1995 by the Emir of the State of Qatar to develop centers for progressive education, research and community welfare. It is chaired by H.H. Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, consort of the Emir of Qatar.

Dr. El-Baz, a veteran of NASA’s Apollo program, is Research Professor and Director of the Boston University Center for Remote Sensing. He is renowned for pioneering research in the applications of satellite images to study deserts worldwide, with emphasis on the location of groundwater resources. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and serves on its committee to identify “Grand Challenges for Engineering” in the next century.


2010 Awards:


 Justine R. Cullen, University of the Fraser
Valley. For “Determining an optimal protocol
for optically-stimulated luminescence of sand
dunes in the drylands of central Canada.”

 Stefan Thomas Knopp, University of Calgary.
For “Near-surface diagenetic processes and
their implication for landscape evolution in
desert environments: an example from the
late Jurassic to early Cretaceous of the
western interior U.S.A.”


2009 Awards: 

Sarah W. Keenan, University of Bristol. 
For “Rare earth elements and rates of
fossilization in dinosaur bones from
various depositional environments
of the late Cretaceous of Montana.”
  Christopher J. Hein, Boston University.
For “Sea Level Changes and the
Regressive Wadi Infilling of a Pharaonic


2008 Awards:


 Amanda J. Williams, a Geoscience Ph.D.
student at the University of Nevada, Las
has won the GSA Student Award
for her work on Biological Soil Crusts in
the Mojave
Alexander Rohrmann, a Geosciences student
from the University of Arizona, is the recipient
of the first Farouk El-Baz Student Research
Award from the Geological Society of America,
to encourage and promote desert research.

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