• Paleoenvironmental Change Specialty Group Awards and Reminder of Upcoming Votes

    Dear Paleoenvironmental Change Specialty Group,

    Following on our colleague J-P McCool’s Newsletter,  I want to

    1. Reiterate our statement of racial justice to the discussion in AAG and beyond
    2. Announce The Butzer Lifetime Achievement and The Ellen Mosely-Thompson award winners
    3. Coming Soon: Votes

    1. Statement on Racial Justice

    Thanks to J-P for sending around our statement on Racial Justice and Black Lives Matter, a topic that is only becoming more important in all of our fields and society!

    2. Awards

    The Honors Committee met to consider The Butzer Lifetime Achievement and The Ellen Mosely-Thompson awards.  There are so many deserving scholars who have had stellar careers and amazing research published over the last few years.  We are happy to announce The Butzer Lifetime Achievement award goes to:

    Glen MacDonald

    Dr. Glen Sproul dit MacDonald, Distinguished Professor of Geography and John Muir Chair at UCLA




    Glen has had significant scholarship in Paleoenvironmental Research and Biogeography, with over 160 peer-reviewed publications, numerous chapters in books, and an award-winning textbook in Biogeography that gives strong attention the contributions of paleoenviromental research to understanding past and modern species distributions.

    Quoting his nomination letter:

    Glen is known for addressing important research questions on the impacts of long-term climate and environmental change on ecosystems, water resources, wildfire and society. His approach has always been to define critical scientific and societal questions and then determine the best paleoenvironmental techniques available to address those questions. Glen’s research, which incorporates multi-proxy analyses of lake, bog and marsh sediment and tree-rings, elemental geochemistry, stable isotopes, meteorological data, climate models and historical documents, largely centers on documenting the causes and consequences of environmental change – past and present. His research spans the globe.

    Multiple honors for his scholarship including election as a member of the National Academy of Sciences and fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Royal Society of Canada, and numerous awards including from the AAG.  Glen also has a strong track record of external support from NSF and other government funds and from foundations including the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations.

    He has supervised over 35 students, received many teaching awards, and is known for his expert mentoring.

    He has a stellar record of service to the discipline (AAG president and other offices, National Academy of Science-National Research Council committees, editorial boards) and to UCLA, and strong and important public service involving articles in the popular press and interviews with major media on climate change and other issues, and testimony before government bodies on climate science and water resources.

    Again quoting from a letter:

    To conclude, Glen’s outstanding scholarship, commitment to teaching and notable service over the last 35 years clearly demonstrates the excellence honored by the Karl and Elisabeth Butzer Award for Lifetime Achievement in Paleoenvironmental Change.

    2b. The Ellen Mosely-Thompson award goes to:

    Jiaying Wu, David Porinchu, and Sally Horn for this paper:

    Wu, J., Porinchu, D., Horn, S.P.  2019.  Late Holocene hydroclimate variability in Costa Rica: Signature of the Terminal Classic Drought and the Medieval Climate Anomaly in the northern tropical Americas.  Quaternary Science Reviews 215: 144–159.

    The Paleoenvironmental Change Specialty Group is pleased to give the Mosley-Thompson Award for best paper published in 2019 to this outstanding team!

    Ultimately, we selected Wu et al because their paper offers an important and timely examination of the regional dynamics and drivers of the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA). Wu et al. contributes additional evidence necessary to define large-scale hydroclimate patterns during the MCA. This work fills a need for greater spatial coverage of hydroclimate response, and used detailed site-specific analyses and comprehensive review of regional records to support their discussion of potential theories for cooling and drought in southern Central America during the MCA. We particularly appreciated the long-term synthesis, and that their evidence-based discussion was able to rule out some competing theories of change.

    The Honors Committee consisted of Sally Horn (who did not take part because one of her many papers was up for the EMT Award), Matthew Bekker, Anna Klimaszewski-Patterson, and Rachel (Ray) Lombardi. 


    3. Don’t forget our upcoming Elections.  We will have elections for each of these offices:

    Chair: Tim Beach is stepping down from this role after several years so we need someone to take on the mantle of PEC Chair.  Fortunately, we have identified an excellent candidate.

    Honors Committee: We need two members to serve a 2-year term and a student member to serve a 1-year term. Fortunately, we have identified two excellent candidates.

    Student Liaison: Danika Mosher’s tenure in this role will end next year, and we have identified another excellent candidate!

    Watch this space and vote!

    Don't forget that Virtual AGU and GSA Meetings are due very soon:
    Deadlines for abstract submission are coming up: July 29 for AGU and August 04 for GSA.
    _ _ _ _ _
    Tim Beach
    Centennial Chair & Professor
    Director, Soils & Geoarchaeology Labs
    Geography and Environment, UT Austin