Geosciences Professor Receives Prestigious American Geophysical Union Award

Jill Marshall
Russell Cothren, University Relations

Jill Marshall

Jill Marshall, an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, was awarded the American Geophysical Union's Earth and Planetary Surface Process Group's 2018 Luna B. Leopold Young Scientist Award.

Marshall is one of 75 distinguished scientists receiving a prestigious award from the American Geophysical Union this year.

The award is given annually to an early-career scientist (no more than five years post-degree) in recognition of significant and outstanding contributions that advance the field of earth and planetary processes. The award honors Luna B. Leopold, a pioneering and world-renowned geomorphologist and hydrologist who engaged and nurtured young scientists throughout his career. Marshall said she is especially honored to be named for the award, as she benefited, like so many others, from Leopold's enthusiasm and unsparing advice at a critical point early in her science career.

The Leopold Young Scientist Award is the top early-career award in geomorphology in the United States and is highly competitive. Marshall was nominated for her pioneering work in understanding how rock is converted into soil in two types of terrains: cold and unglaciated, and temperate. The research "forces us to rethink how climate, lithology and life interact to create landscapes that humanity depends on today," she said.

Nominators praised her poly-disciplinary and Renaissance-style approach to answering grand challenges in geomorphology and critical-zone science, listing the "astonishingly diverse set of techniques … she brings to problems including remotely sensed topographic data, geochemical data, petrography and numerical modeling, all with foundations in extensive fieldwork to understand landscape change holistically."

As part of the award, Marshall will give the Sharp Lecture at AGU headquarters in Washington, D.C., in December. The named lecture will be both webcast and archived for future viewing.


Jill A. Marshall, assistant professor
Department of Geosciences

Bob Whitby, feature writer
University Relations


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