Header Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship

Header Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship

Scheduled for presentation in 2020.  Nominations accepted online through Monday, October 7, 2019.

About the Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship

Awarded to a scientist making lasting contributions to the study of the physics of the Earth and whose lectures will provide solid, timely, and useful additions to the knowledge and literature in the field. The nominee should also be a good speaker with the ability to summarize and synthesize current knowledge in the field. The recipient is awarded a $50,000 prize and funds to present a series of Day Lectures. Provided for by funds from the Arthur L. Day Bequest.

Most Recent Recipient

Susan Solomon received the 2017 Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship. Solomon has been a leader in the fields of atmospheric chemistry and climate change for three decades. In 1986, Solomon proposed that novel chemistry was taking place and then used optical techniques to demonstrate that chlorine and bromine released by chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gases were responsible for the ozone “hole” over Antarctica, which had been discovered just a year earlier. This groundbreaking work has now become standard text in any description of stratospheric ozone processes. Her findings contributed to the establishment of the Montreal Protocol to reduce emissions of CFC gases beginning in 1987. Thirty years later, Solomon used observations and model calculations to identify the first signs of the recovery of the Antarctic ozone layer, an indication of the progress and effectiveness of the Montreal Protocol.

In addition to her personal scientific contributions, Solomon has served as a co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group I, leading an effort of hundreds of authors and reviewers for the 2007 IPCC international climate assessment report. Throughout her career, she has also worked to communicate the science of climate change to the public and to policymakers. Read more about Solomon's work»

NAS Day Prize Lecture Series

Susan Solomon presented the 2018 Arthur L. Day Prize Lecture, entitled “A Brief History of Environmental Successes,” at Smith College, Bowdoin College, and Bryn Mawr College. Humans have faced a series of national and global environmental challenges in the past half-century, including smog, the use of lead in gasoline, ozone depletion, and much more. This talk revealed how combinations of science, public policy, industry participation, and the engagement of citizens succeeded in addressing past environmental challenges. Solomon also explored how the lessons learned help us understand how to better manage today’s environmental problems, including climate change.


Susan Solomon (2017)
For her work in understanding atmospheric chemistry related to stratospheric ozone depletion and for her leadership in communicating climate change science.
Read more about Solomon's work»

Richard B. Alley (2014)
For his contributions to understanding the Earth’s past climate through high precision dating of ice cores and for his elucidation of the physical and chemical processes that govern the accumulation of ice and its movement in glaciers and ice streams.
Watch Alley's Day Lectures» 

R. Lawrence Edwards (2011)
For innovative use of U-Th and stable isotope systems to discover and quantify abrupt 30-500 ka temperature excursions and their timings attending Milankovitch cycle-induced global climate changes.
Learn more about Dr. Edward's Day Lectures»

Stanley R. Hart (2008)
For development of the new field of "chemical geodynamics" through the use of the chemical and isotopic signature of mantle-derived samples to map and constrain the dynamical evolution of the Earth's interior.

Herbert E. Huppert (2005)
For fundamental research into the fluid mechanics of natural and multiphase flows and for pioneering the field of geological fluid mechanics.

Wallace S. Broecker (2002)
For his uniquely evocative, creative voice that has fundamentally changed the way we think about the role of oceans in the climate system.

Sean C. Solomon (1999)
For his analysis of seismological data constraining the tectonics of the earth's lithosphere, and for his development of global tectonic models of the moon and terrestrial planets.

James G. Anderson (1996)
For his pioneering work on the study of the abundance and chemical physics of radicals in the stratosphere and the effects of human influence on the ozone layer.

Hiroo Kanamori (1993)
For his outstanding contributions to the fundamental physics of the earthquake source process and to its application to earthquake prediction and mitigation of seismic risks.

Ho-kwang Mao (1990)
For his measurement of fundamental properties of elements and minerals under extreme conditions and development of the diamond cell to megabar pressures, thereby increasing our knowledge of planetary interiors.

Harmon Craig (1987)
For the masterful use of the isotopes of the elements from hydrogen through oxygen in attacking problems of cosmochemistry, mantle geochemistry, oceanography, and climatology.

Allan Cox (1984)
For his development of the geomagnetic-reversal time scale.

G. J. Wasserburg (1981)
For his work in the use of isotopes in studying geophysical problems of the solar system, ranging from the early solar nebula to rock formation on the moon and in the earth's mantle.

John Verhoogen (1978)
For his fundamental work on the thermodynamics of the earth's core and mantle, and his contributions to scholarship in the earth's sciences.

Drummond H. Matthews and Fred J. Vine (1975)
For their discovery that the stripes in oceanic magnetic anomaly patterns are a datable record of the history of sea-floor spreading and continental drift, thus making one of the major contributions to the revolution in earth sciences now known as plate tectonics.

Hatten S. Yoder, Jr. (1972)
For his work on mineral systems under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature.


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