Mineralogical Society of America, Founded December 30, 1919

Distinguished Public Service Medal

revised 10/16/2019

Description of the Honor     Description of the Medal     Recipients     Submitting a Nomination

Description of the Honor

The Distinguished Public Service (DPS) Medal is awarded by the MSA Council to individuals or organizations who have made important contributions to furthering the vitality of the geological sciences, especially but not necessarily in the fields of mineralogy, geochemistry, petrology, and crystallography. Mineralogy is broadly defined and the [candidate] recipient need not qualify as a mineralogist. Rather [his or her] their recorded contributions and should be related to the mineralogical and geological sciences and should make some outstanding contribution to them but exclusive of original scientific research; for such research the Mineralogical Society of America has established three other awards.

An example of public service our society might recognize as worthy of the DPS Medal, are written reports or testimony made to state and federal legislators, to the general public, or to the broader scientific community on topics such as volcanic hazards, mineral resource and waste management policy, science funding, and health effects of mineral dusts and mine effluents. Other examples of activities that might be considered for the DPS Medal are: museum curatorial activities, assisting in bringing the geological sciences into the K-12 school curricula, presenting lectures that advance the public's understanding of the importance of the geosciences, and extraordinary service to national or international geoscience societies.

Choosing candidates for MSA Distinguished Public Service Medal may be difficult for their service may be to a smaller community, such as a local school system, and thus hidden from view from much of the scientific community. There may be little or no "paper trail" for many types of public service, or if there is, the written documents may not be easily accessible. It is thus very important that the nominators for the DPS Medal carefully describe in detail the nature of the candidate's service. Although the medal in the past has been presented to individuals, it may be awarded to a group. The public service medalist is asked to select a person to make the citation or reasons for honor, usually the medalist's sponsor, and give an acceptance talk at the annual meeting of the society. The presentation and acceptance talks will be published in the American Mineralogist in the year following the award.

Nomination and selection of a medalist shall be made without regard to nationality and membership in the Mineralogical Society of America is not a necessary prerequisite to receive the medal. The medal is given only if a suitable candidate can be recommended by the Committee or selected by the Council.

Description of the Distinguished Public Service Medal

The recipient of the Distinguished Public Service Medal receives a 3-inch diameter and sterling silver engraved medal. The medal was designed by Drs. Peter Robinson, Maryellen Cameron, and Malcolm Ross. The design started with the triangular, tourmaline-inspired Society Logo. The founding date of MSA, MCMXIX (or 1919), was removed and replaced with "Public Service".

The central panel of the Society logo is modernized by inserting a tetrahedral layer, symbolic of our advancing knowledge of the internal structure of minerals. On the reverse the recipient's name and date of the presentation of the medal are engraved on the central black triangle that lies within the central "tourmaline" surrounded by three symbolic scenes and the words "Investigation", "Education" and "Intelligent Uses of Natural Recourses".

The lower left image symbolizes investigation and understanding of the nature of minerals at the submicroscopic scale. It shows images of chrysotile, mica, amphibole, pyroxene, and pyrite, calling to mind the contributions of the first medalist, who examined the differential health effects of mineral dusts for the purposes of developing health policy.

The top image symbolizes protection of natural values necessary to life on this (or any) planet, including air, water, and landscape, and to the important role mineralogists must play in this task.

The lower right panel symbolizes use of natural resources, which man will continue to do, hopefully wisely. In this regard mineralogists must strive to bring attention to adequate scientific knowledge so that resources are used intelligently and for the long-term benefit.

The medals have been struck by the Medallic Art Company since 1990.

Front of Public Service Medal Back of Public Service Medal

Past Recipients of the Distinguished Public Service Medal

With Links to the Presentation (P) and Acceptance (A) Articles

1990 Malcolm Ross P, A
1991 H. Catherine W. Skinner P, A
1993 Paul H. Ribbe P, A
1994 Konrad B. Krauskopf P, A
1996 Robert I. Tilling P, A
1998 Daniel E. Appleman P, A
1999 Robert A. Howie P, A
2000 Richard S. Fiske P, A
2001 Jeffrey E. Post P, A
2002 David P. Hill P, A
2003 George E. Harlow P, A
2004 Robert F. Martin P, A
2005 Robin Brett P, A
2007 Marie Huizing P, A
2009 Robert M. Hazen P, A
2011 Jolyon Ralph
2013 Pierrette Tremblay P, A
2015 J. Alex Speer P, A
2017 David W. Mogk P, A
2019 Rodney C. Ewing P, A
2021 Denton S. Ebel
2023 Sharon Tahirkheli

Submitting Nominations for the Distinguished Public Service Medal


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