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USGS Scientist Receives Geological Society of America Distinguished Career Award
Released: 11/6/2012 9:22:31 AM

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Ken Pierce, U.S. Geological Survey Geologist Emeritus, has been selected as the recipient of the Distinguished Career Award of the Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division of the Geological Society of America, to be presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting in Charlotte, N.C.  

The Geological Society of America Distinguished Career Award recognizes an outstanding geologist of the Quaternary Period, or the last 2.6 million years, who has demonstrated excellence in their contributions to science. 

Dr. Pierce's work spans much of the fields of Quaternary geology and geomorphology, especially natural landscapes and the geologic processes responsible for their formation. Dr. Pierce received his doctoral degree from Yale University in 1964 and joined the USGS regional office in Denver, Colo. in 1965, where he spent almost 35 years of his career. In 2000, he moved to the USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK) in Bozeman, Mont., to focus on research in the Yellowstone region. He officially retired in 2003 and remains in active emeritus status with the Geology and Environmental Change Science Center in Denver. 

Most of Dr. Pierce's research has involved interdisciplinary work in the greater Yellowstone-Teton area. His specific research topics include Pleistocene glaciations of the Rocky Mountains and adjacent areas; Quaternary faulting and neotectonics; Yellowstone caldera unrest; volcanism, faulting, and uplift along the track of the Yellowstone hotspot; and geologic controls on ecology of the greater Yellowstone area.  Dr. Pierce was awarded the distinguished Kirk Bryan Award of the Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division of the Geological Society of America for his 1979 report on Yellowstone glaciation.  Dr. Pierce is also the 2012 recipient of the Distinguished Career Award of the American Quaternary Association. 

Established in 1888, The Geological Society of America provides access to elements that are essential to the professional growth of earth scientists at all levels of expertise and from all sectors: academic, government, business, and industry. To learn more about the Distinguished Career Award, visit the GSA website. The GSA Annual Meeting and Exposition occurs November 4-7, 2012.

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