Header Mary Clark Thompson Medal

The Mary Clark Thompson Medal will be presented in 2015.

The Mary Clark Thompson Medal honors important services to geology and paleontology.

The first Mary Clark Thompson Medal was presented in 1921 to paleontologist Charles Doolittle Walcott. Walcott was president of the NAS from 1917-1923. He made large contributions to stratigraphy by linking fossils to particular layers of rock. His most important discovery was of the well preserved fossils located in the Burgess Shale of Canada that painted a picture of early life on Earth.

The most recent Mary Clark Thompson Medal was presented in 2012 to Andrew H. Knoll, Fisher Professor of Natural History at Harvard University, for “unparalleled contributions relating Precambrian life to Earth’s physical and chemical history and for innovative contributions on the paleophysiology and evolution of algae and land plants.” Knoll is best known for his contributions to Precambrian paleontology and biogeochemistry. He has discovered microfossil records of early life around the world, and was among the first to apply principles of taphonomy and paleoecology to their interpretation. Knoll and colleagues authored the first paper to demonstrate strong stratigraphic variation in the carbon isotopic composition of carbonates and organic matter preserved in Neoproterozoic (1000-542 million years ago) sedimentary rocks, and Knoll’s group also demonstrated that mid-Proterozoic carbonates display little isotopic variation through time, in contrast to both older and younger successions.

Established in 1919 by a gift from Mary Clark Thompson, this medal is presented every three years with a $15,000 prize.


Andrew H. Knoll (2012)
For unparalleled contributions relating Precambrian life to Earth’s physical and chemical history and for innovative contributions on the paleophysiology and evolution of algae and land plants.

Alfred G. Fischer (2009)
For leadership and research in the discovery of the cyclical and period nature of the sedimentary record in the geologic past and its connections with earth-system change, including biodiversity.

Steven M. Stanley (2006)
For research and leadership in bivalve functional morphology and the macroevolution of disparate animals, including hominids, in the context of Earth's physical and chemical history.

Frederik J. Hilgen (2003)
For his meticulous integration of various geological, geophysical, and proxy cyclostratigraphic sedimentological records in developing a late Neogene (12-0Ma) astronomical time scale.

Jan Smit (1999)
For establishing the sequence of impact-generated events that occured 65 million years ago, including ejecta fallout, tsunami propagation, geochemical distubances, and extinction in foraminifera and dinosaurs.

David L. Jones (1995)
For his development of terrane-tectonic theory through geologic mapping of westernmost North America and the biostratigraphic study of radiolarians in deepwater chert.

Harry B. Whittington (1990)

J. William Schopf (1986)

W. A. Berggren (1982)

James M. Schopf (1976)

Hollis D. Hedberg (1973)

Raymond C. Moore (1970)

Wendell P. Woodring (1967)

Milton N. Bramlette (1964)

Norman D. Newell (1961)

Roman Kozlowski (1958)

G. Arthur Cooper (1957)

Alfred S. Romer (1954)

Lloyd W. Stephenson (1952)

Lauge Koch (1949)

Frank H. McLearn (1948)

John Bernard Reeside, Jr. (1946)

Thomas W. Vaughan (1945)

William Joscelyn Arkell (1944)

George G. Simpson (1943)

Edward W. Berry and Arthur S. Woodward (1942)

David M. Watson (1941)

Amadeus William Grabau (1936)

Charles Schuchert (1934)

Francis A. Bather (1932)

David L. White (1931)

William B. Scott and Edward Oscar Ulrich (1930)

James P. Smith (1928)

John M. Clarke (1925)

Emmanuel de Margerie (1923)

Charles Doolittle Walcott (1921)


Powered by Convio
nonprofit software