ICS award announcement

ICS Stratigraphy Prizes

        The International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) is a leading entity of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) with responsibility for establishing international standards in stratigraphy, such as the Geological Time Scale and the International Chronostratigraphical Scale, defined by boundary stratotypes (GSSPs).

        Stratigraphy is the core discipline of the geological sciences, concerned with the relationships in time and space of rocks (not just sedimentary, but also igneous and metamorphic rocks) and the varied processes that have formed and affected them. Results and interpretations deriving from other disciplines can only be integrated into a coherent all-embracing geological history if they are based on sound stratigraphy.

        To emphasize this key role of stratigraphy, the International Commission on Stratigraphy awards two ICS Prizes to outstanding geoscientists. Previous awards were made at the 32nd IGC in Florence (2004), the 33rd IGC in Oslo (2008), the 34th IGC in Brisbane (2012), and the 2nd International Congress on Stratigraphy in Graz (2015). See http://stratigraphy.org/index.php/ics-prizes for a list of previous awardees.

        The awards are made at two levels:

1. The Digby McLaren Medal is awarded to honor a significant body of internationally important contributions to stratigraphy sustained over a number of years. The contributions can be in research (through publication of papers, monographs or books) or in education (through development of influential educational material or resources). It is expected that a major proportion of this work will have been published in an international language. The medal is named in honor of the Canadian geologist Digby McLaren who was so influential in developing the key "golden spike" concept of a Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) with reference to the Silurian - Devonian boundary, and a major force behind the International Geological Correlation Program (IGCP) of UNESCO.

2. The ICS Medal is awarded to honor high-quality research in stratigraphy by recognizing a single major achievement in advancing stratigraphical knowledge. The research can be either in the development of new methods of analysis or in the presentation of new data and/or interpretation of the geological history of a particular area or time interval. There are no limitations to the size or scale of the subject matter. The geographical scope of the work need not be international, but the work should be of an international scientific caliber. The language of publication of the work is not a criterion, and it may comprise a single paper of distinction or a series of papers over a short period of time that have similar impact.


Nominations and Selection

        Nominations for either of the Awards are solicited from any source, not just members of the Commission or other entities within IUGS. Nominations should include a brief biographical background of the Nominee, a reasoned case based on the Nominee’s contributions, the Nominee’s CV, and, if necessary, translation into English of at least abstracts of this material so that independent judgment can be made.

        The ICS has established a committee to elicit and evaluate nominations for the two Prizes, and afterwards to make recommendations to all members of ICS, who must then approve the nominations by a clear majority vote. The committee includes Shuhai Xiao (Committee Chair, Virginia Tech, USA), Brian Huber (Committee Secretary, Smithsonian Institution, USA), Carl Brett (Committee Member, University of Cincinnati, USA), Stephen Hesselbo (Committee Member, University of Exeter, UK), Aitor Payros (Committee Member, University of the Basque Country, Spain), and Maria Rose Petrizzo (Committee Member, University of Milan, Italy).

        Nomination documents should be submitted as a single pdf file by November 1, 2018 to Dr. Brian Huber at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

        For further information please contact Dr. Brian Huber ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ), Dr. Shuhai Xiao ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ), or David Harper ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).