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Walter H. Bucher medal

Information on the Bucher Medal

The Walter H. Bucher Medal is given annually to one honoree in recognition of original contributions to the basic knowledge of crust and lithosphere. Recipients typically conduct research in the following disciplines: geodesy, geomagnetism and paleomagnetism, mineral rock physics, near surface geophysics, seismology, study of the Earth’s deep interior, tectonophysics, and volcanology, geochemistry, and petrology.

The Bucher Medal is named in honor of former AGU president Walter H. Bucher (1948–1953), who was a major contributor to the study of crustal problems.

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Award benefits

AGU is proud to recognize our honorees. Recipients of the Walter H. Bucher Medal will receive an engraved medal, as well as the following benefits with the honor:

  • 1
    Awardee will be made an AGU Fellow (if the honoree has been an AGU member for three consecutive years and is not already a Fellow)
  • 2
    Recognition in Eos
  • 3
    Recognition at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year
  • 4
    Four complimentary hotel nights at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year
  • 5
    Two complimentary tickets to the Honors Banquet at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year


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

  • 1

    Nominees: The nominee should be a senior scientist, but is not required to be an active AGU member. They should be in compliance with the Conflict of Interest Policy.

  • 2

    Nominators: Nominators must be active AGU members and in compliance with the Conflict of Interest Policy. Duplicate nominations for the same individual will not be accepted. However, one co-nominator is permitted (but not required) per nomination.

  • 3

    Supporters: Individuals who write letters of support for the nominee are not required to be active AGU members but must be in compliance with the Conflict of Interest Policy.

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There are two criteria candidates must meet:

  • The scientific excellence of the candidate’s body of work over a sustained period of time (this medal is for lifetime achievement), and
  • The fundamental insights gained through his/her contributions to the Earth and space sciences in one or more areas.

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Nomination package

Your nomination package must contain all of the following files, which should be no more than two pages in length per document. For detailed information on the requirements, review the Union Awards, Medals and Prizes Frequently Asked Questions.

  • A nomination letter with one-sentence citation (150 characters or less). Letterhead stationery is preferred. Nominator’s name, title, institution, and contact information are required. The citation should appear at either the beginning or end of the nomination letter.
  • A curriculum vitae for the nominee. Include the candidate’s name, address and email, history of employment, degrees, research experience, honors, memberships, and service to the community through committee work, advisory boards, etc.
  • A selected bibliography stating the total number, the types of publications and the number published by AGU.
  • Three letters of support not including the nomination letter. Letterhead is preferred. Supporter’s name, title, institution, and contact information are required.

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Nominations are now closed. The 2022 Nominations for all AGU honors will open on 17 January.

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Past recipients


Year of honor

Susan L. Beck 2020
Leigh Royden 2019

Philip England


Samuel Bowring


Bryan Isacks


James R. Rice


Paul F. Hoffman


Mark D. Zoback


E. Bruce Watson


Mervyn S. Paterson


Stuart Ross Taylor


James H. Dieterich


Norman H. Sleep


Hiroo Kanamori


Patrick Hurley


Aleksey N. Khramov


Seiya Uyeda


Arthur H. Lachenbruch


William F. Brace


John G. Sclater


John W. Handin


Jack E. Oliver


Edward Irving


Bruce C. Heezen


Lynn Sykes


Maurice Ewing


William Jason Morgan


Robert S. Dietz


David T. Griggs


James Gilluly


Honors Contacts

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Artesha Moore

Vice President, Affiliation, Engagement & Membership

202-777-7530 | [email protected]

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Leah Bland

Program Manager, Honors

202-777-7389 | [email protected]

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Antonio Covington

Program Specialist, Section Awards and Lectures

202-777-7484 | [email protected]