One of SEG’s great traditions is the special recognition of individuals and organizations for their contributions to geophysics and to the Society. The Honors and Awards Committee annually solicits nominations for deserving recipients to be honored yearly.

2023 Honors and Awards Ceremony Program

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The Maurice Ewing Medal

Established in 1978, this award is the highest honor given by SEG. The award was established to honor the memory of Maurice Ewing and his vast contributions to geophysics. The Maurice Ewing Medal shall be awarded from time to time to a person who is deserving of SEG’s highest honor by having made distinguished contributions both to the advancement of the science and to the profession of exploration geophysics. The award of the Maurice Ewing Medal shall confer Honorary Membership to the recipient.


Honorary Membership

Honorary Membership shall be conferred upon persons who have made distinguished contributions, which warrants exceptional recognition, to exploration geophysics or a related field or to the advancement of the profession of exploration geophysics through service to the Society.


Virgil Kauffman Gold Medal Award

The Kauffman Gold Medal is awarded to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the science of geophysical exploration as manifested during the previous five years. The contribution may be of a technical or a professional nature.


Cecil Green Enterprise Award

The Cecil Green Enterprise Award was established to recognize the importance of an individual enterprise to the economic vitality of our industry and shall be conferred from time to time on persons who have demonstrated courage, ingenuity, and achievement while risking their own resources and future in developing a product, service, organization, or activity which is recognized as a distinct and worthy contribution to the industry.


Reginald Fessenden Award (formerly Medal Award)

The Reginald Fessenden Award is given to a person who has made a specific technical contribution to exploration geophysics, such as an invention or a theoretical or conceptual advancement, which merits special recognition.


J. Clarence Karcher Award

To honor the memory of Clarence Karcher and his enormous contribution to exploration geophysics, the J. Clarence Karcher Award is given in recognition of significant contributions to the science and technology of exploration geophysics by a young geophysicist of outstanding abilities who merits such recognition. Recipients must be less than 35 years of age on 1 November of the year preceding presentation of the award. A maximum of five awards can be given each year.


Distinguished Achievement Award

The Distinguished Achievement Award shall be given from time to time to a company, institution, or other organization for a specific technical contribution or contributions that have substantially advanced the science of exploration geophysics.


Life Membership Award

Life Membership may be conferred on persons who have voluntarily rendered exceptionally meritorious service to the Society that warrants recognition.


Special Commendation

SEG established a Special Commendation for the purpose of recognizing and honoring deserving persons for meritorious services to the public, the scientific community, or to our profession. This award may be for recognized community leadership, professional leadership, or for contributions outside the mainstream of geophysics which warrants special recognition.


Outstanding Educator Award

The Outstanding Educator Award honors individuals for excellence in geophysics education and is awarded to a person who merits such recognition, based on his or her educational qualities and contributions that may include:

  • Outstanding contributions in teaching of geophysics classes at any educational level;
  • Impact on education programs by commitment to excellence in geophysics education;
  • Special dedication to advising, supervising, and mentoring students;
  • Providing extraordinary inspiration to the next generation of geophysics professionals.

A maximum of two awards can be given each year.


Craig J. Beasley Award for Social Contribution

Craig J. Beasley was the driving force behind the founding of Geoscientists without Borders®. In recognition of this contribution, the Craig J. Beasley Award for Social Contribution is given from time to time to a person or organization that has made a meritorious achievement that supports the application of geophysics to a humanitarian, public service, or other socially significant cause.


Presidential Award

Established in 2008, the SEG Presidential Award is not part of the collection regularly given at the Honors and Awards Ceremony, but is bestowed at the discretion of the current SEG President to individuals who are recognized as having contributed outstanding service to the Society.


Best Paper in GEOPHYSICS Award

Voting for Best Paper in GEOPHYSICS combines input from the SEG membership-at-large and the editors of the journal and is approved by the SEG Board of Directors. Criteria for the Best Paper in GEOPHYSICS includes the attributes of originality, innovation, impact, clarity, educational value, and overall significance to the science of exploration geophysics.


Honorable Mentions (GEOPHYSICS)


Best Papers in The Leading Edge Award

Voting for  Best Paper in The Leading Edge combines input from the membership-at-large and the TLE the Editorial Board and is approved by the SEG Board of Directors. Criteria for the best paper include that it be concise, clear, original, applicable, and have technical and/or educational impact.


Honorable Mentions (The Leading Edge)


Best Paper in Interpretation Award

Voting for Best Paper in Interpretation combines input from the SEG and AAPG membership-at-large, reviewers, and the editors of the journal and is approved by both the SEG Board of Directors and AAPG Executive Committee. Criteria for the Best Paper in Interpretation includes the attributes of originality, innovation, potential impact, clarity, educational value, and overall significance to the practice of geoscience interpretation.


Honorable Mentions (Interpretation)


Best Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting

Awards are given for the best presentation of technical papers at the Annual Meeting each year.


Honorable Mentions (Best Paper, Annual Meeting)


Best Poster Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting

Awards are given for the best poster presentation of technical papers at the Annual Meeting each year.


Honorable Mentions (Best Poster Paper, Annual Meeting)


Best Paper Presented by a Student at the Annual Meeting

Awards are given for the best presentation of technical papers by a student at the Annual Meeting each year.


Awards of Merit (Best Student Paper, Annual Meeting)


Best Poster Paper Presented by a Student at the Annual Meeting


Awards of Merit (Best Student Poster Paper, Annual Meeting)