Valley with steep rocky cliffs

Francis Birch Lecture

Information on the Lecture

The Francis Birch Lecture honors the life and work of Francis Birch, a renowned geophysicist. It is presented annually to a recipient who exemplifies Birch’s work, especially those focused on elasticity, phase relations, thermal properties, heat flow, and the composition of the Earth’s interior. The lecture is presented during the AGU Fall Meeting.

The Birch Lecture is also part of the Bowie Lecture Series, established in 1989 to commemorate the 50th presentation of the William Bowie medal, AGU’s highest honor.

Hot thermal spring on sunny day in New Zealand

Lecturer Benefits

AGU is proud to recognize our section honorees. Recipients of the Francis Birch Lecture will receive the following benefits with the honor:

  • 1

    Lecture certificate

  • 2

    Recognition in Eos

  • 3

    Recognition at the AGU Fall Meeting during the lecture presentation year

  • 4

    An invitation to present the Birch Lecture at the AGU Fall Meeting during the lecture presentation year

Eligibility

To better understand eligibility for nominators, supporters and committee members, review AGU’s Honors Conflict of Interest Policy.

  • The nominee is required to be an active AGU member.
  • The following individuals are not eligible to be candidates for the award during their terms of service:
    • AGU President;
    • AGU President-elect;
    • Council Leadership Team members;
    • Honors and Recognition Committee members;
    • Techtonophysics section leadership
    • Francis Birch Lecture Committee members;
    • All full-time AGU staff; and
    • AGU Fellows.

  • Nominators are not required to hold an active AGU membership.
  • Thesis/research advisors are eligible nominators.
  • The following individuals are not eligible to be nominators for the award during their terms of service:
    • AGU President;
    • AGU President-elect;
    • Council Leadership Team members;
    • Honors and Recognition Committee members;
    • Techtonophysics section leadership
    • Francis Birch Lecture Committee members; and
    • All full-time AGU staff.

  • Individuals who write letters of support for the nominee are not required to be active AGU members.
  • Supports may not be currently or recently associated with the nominee’s institution.
  • The following individuals are not eligible to be supporters for the award during their terms of service:
    • AGU President;
    • AGU President-elect;
    • Council Leadership Team members;
    • Honors and Recognition Committee members;
    • Techtonophysics section leadership
    • Francis Birch Lecture Committee members; and
    • All full-time AGU staff.

The following relationships need to be identified and communicated to the Award Committee but will not disqualify individuals from participating in the nomination or committee review process. These apply to committee members, nominators, and supporters:

  • Current dean, departmental chair, supervisor, supervisee, laboratory director, an individual with whom one has a current business or financial relationship (e.g., business partner, employer, employee);
  • Research collaborator or co-author within the last three years; and/or
  • An individual working at the same institution or having accepted a position at the same institution.

Individuals with the following relationships are disqualified from participating in the award nomination process as a nominator or supporter:

  • Family member, spouse, or partner.
  • A previous graduate (Master’s or Ph.D.) and/or postdoctoral advisor, or postdoctoral fellow may not write a nomination letter but may write a supporting letter after five years of terminating their relationship with the nominee beginning on 1 January after the year the relationship was terminated.
  • A former doctoral or graduate student, or a former postdoctoral fellow may not write a nomination letter for a former advisor but may write a supporting letter after five years of terminating their relationship with the nominee beginning on 1 January after the year the relationship was terminated.

Nomination Package

Named section lectures are not required to follow a nomination cycle process. Sections have the flexibility to adopt the process that will best serve their communities in seeking lecture recipients. For nomination requirements, please contact Julia Morgan, Techtonophysics section president.

Looking across grand prism at yellowstone

Submission process

Nominations for the Francis Birch Lecture are being accepted. Please submit your nomination package or Birch Lecture inquiries to Julia Morgan, Tectonophysics section president.
Email
Flowing lava at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Past recipients

Name

Year of honor

Claudio Faccenna  2019

Carolina R. Lithgow-Bertelloni

2018

Greg Hirth

2017

Maya Tolstoy

2016

Kelin Wang

2015

Roland Burgmann

2013

Rick Sibson

2012

Michael Manga

2011

Wang-Ping Chen

2010

Jerry Mitrovica

2009

Suzanne Carbotte

2008

Jean-Philippe Avouac

2007

Claude Jaupart

2006

Leigh Royden

2005

Shun-Ichiro Karato

2004

W. Roger Buck

2003

Gerald Schubert

2002

Louise Kellogg

2001

Paul Tapponnier

1999

Richard Gordon

1998

Donald Forsyth

1997

Ross Stein

1996

Harry Green

1995

Jim Rice

1993

Thomas Herring

1992

Honors Contacts

AGU staff headshot of Robert Rader

Robert Rader

Director, Engagement and Membership

202-777-7418 | [email protected]

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Leah Bland

Program Manager, Honors

202-777-7389 | [email protected]

AGU Staff Headshot Covington

Antonio Covington

Program Specialist, Section Awards and Lectures

202-777-7484 | [email protected]