Liang Yang receives the 2007 Walter Award from Dean Barron

Liang Yang receives the 2007 Walter Award from Dean Barron

The Joseph C. Walter Jr. Excellence Award is the most prestigious internal award in the School. It carries a cash prize of $2,000. This award was provided for in an endowment created by Mr. J. C. Walter, Jr. and approved by the Board of Regents in 1977. It was originally titled the Houston Oil and Gas Corporation Excellence Award and was designed to provide annual awards to faculty “in recognition of outstanding service and special contributions to teaching and research programs.”

With the creation of the Jackson School of Geosciences, and with the thorough endorsement of Mr. J. C. Walter III, the award has been renamed the Joseph C. Walter Jr. Excellence Award and is now extended School-wide. Walter awards are made based on demonstrated excellence in any or all of the areas of the School—research, teaching, service, professional activity, and administration. We have three recipients this year.

The 2008 Recipients

Excerpts are from Dean Barron’s remarks at the annual Jackson School Awards Ceremony April 24, 2008.

 

Ian Dalziel 

Ian Dalziel

Ian Dalziel

Institute for Geophysics

There is no other word for it — Ian is famous for his research efforts to unravel the geological and plate tectonics history of Antarctica. The nomination suggested that he was equally comfortable with ice axe or hammer as he was with lap top or GPS, or making measurements from sleds, ships or airplanes.

Imagine leading 30 field expeditions to Antarctica, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, six cited between 100 and 500 times. Add 20 Ph.D. and M.S. students, the Murchison Medal from the Geological Society of London, the Clough Medal from the Geological Society of Edinburgh, the Bownocker Medal from Ohio State, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

You get the picture. And, there are no signs that he is slowing down.

Bridget Scanlon

Bridget Scanlon

Bridget Scanlon

Bureau of Economic Geology

Bridget focuses on the sustainability of water resources in the context of climate variability and land use/land cover change. Clearly, this topic is of major importance to society and to the research and educational future of this School. In this important topic, Bridget distinguishes herself.

As a PI, she has attracted 7.3 million dollars of research over the last 10 years. 36 papers and 11 book chapters demonstrate the impact of her research. She has served on four National Research Council committees, four NSF committees, and several DOE and AGU committees. Those committees are strong indications of how her advice is valued. Finally, she was named the 2007 Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer, sponsored by the GSA Hydrogeology Division.

Each of these elements — external research, publications, prominent role in important advisory committees, and the distinguished lecturer role, demonstrate that her peers in water resources recognize her outstanding accomplishments. It is our pleasure to now recognize her in the Jackson School.

David Mohrig 

David Mohrig

David Mohrig

Department of Geological Sciences

David’s nomination epitomizes the combination of balance and high level achievement in our combined mission of teaching, research and service. He is a dynamic presence in the School — through service in strategic planning, theme search committee chair, curriculum committees, IT committees — he could easily be recognized for service. He is also an inspiring teacher and supervisor.

Because of his skills he was a DIIA’s UT-Austin Faculty Orientation faculty panel member. His research is also innovative, interdisciplinary and of great significance. He is Co-PI of the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics – just refunded for 18 million dollars for five years. David is leader of one of the three projects that are the focus of the center.

His major focus is on the Mississippi Delta, and his work truly combines the fundamental with the desire to serve societal needs in management and restoration. For excellence in three areas, congratulations David.

For more information about the Jackson School contact J.B. Bird at jbird@jsg.utexas.edu, 512-232-9623.