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Walter H. Bucher Medal
Updates to Union Medals, Awards and Prizes Program
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Career Stage
Award Type
Union Medal
Of Note
Confers Union Fellowship;
Peer nomination OR self-nomination permitted
Established 1968

Recognizing Original Contributions to the Basic Knowledge of Crust and Lithosphere

The Walter H. Bucher Medal is given annually to a senior scientist 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.

Honor Benefits
Recipients receive the following:

  • An engraved medal
  • Induction into the AGU College of Fellows (if the honoree has been an AGU member for three consecutive years and is not already a Fellow with exceptions allowed in cases of financial hardship, determined through AGU definition)
  • Recognition at AGU's annual meeting the year the honor is awarded
  • Four complimentary hotel nights and two complimentary tickets to the Honors Banquet at AGU's annual meeting the year the honor is awarded

Criteria for a Successful Nomination

Nominees are evaluated on the following:
  • The scientific excellence of the candidate’s body of work over a sustained period of time (this medal is for lifetime achievement).
  • The fundamental insights gained through their contributions to the Earth and space sciences in one or more areas.


The nominee must be an experienced senior scientist who is an established leader in their field.
Nominators/co-nominators must be active AGU members.
All Parties
Must be in compliance with AGU's conflict of interest and professional conduct policies.
Read AGU's Ethics Policies