Iain Stewart Receives 2013 Athelstan Spilhaus Award: Response

Iain Stewart received the Athelstan Spilhaus Award at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, held on 11 December 2013 in San Francisco, Calif. The award honors “individuals who have devoted portions of their lives to expressing the excitement, significance, and beauty of the Earth and space sciences to the general public.”



It is really wonderful to receive this award and the recognition of AGU for my work. I've been a member of the Union since my Ph.D. days, 25 years or so ago, when I was working on earthquake faulting in Greece and Turkey. Its meetings were always the place that showcased geoscience at its most novel and exciting. It was the breadth of what was on offer that was so exhilarating. My doctoral studies had already opened up fairly wide vistas for me since my interest in Holocene earthquake activity also required an understanding of the Mediterranean's rich cultural history and the vagaries of millennial-scale climate fluctuations. Later, my research would distract me into farther-flung realms, such as volcanic faulting on Mount Etna, paleotsunamis along Aegean shores, even postglacial earthquakes in northern Scotland! Kindly colleagues would occasionally advise me to focus my efforts on a single substantive area of research, cautioning that my flighty research forays weren't conducive to climbing the academic ladder. I'm sure they were correct. Or would have been proved so if I hadn't been rescued by television.