Harry H. Hess Medal
Established in 1984, the Hess Medal is named in honor of Harry H. Hess, who made many contributions to geology, mineralogy, and geophysics. Hess served multiple terms as an AGU section president — for the Geodesy section (1950–1953) as well as the Tectonophysics section (1956–1959). The Hess Medal is awarded not more than once annually to an individual “for outstanding achievements in research of the constitution and evolution of Earth and other planets.” Gerald J. Wasserburg was the first recipient of the Hess Medal.
For more than 30 years, Harry H. Hess was a geology professor at Princeton University. He made major contributions to the study of the oceanic lithosphere, including the concept that convection cells in the mantle were the driving force for seafloor spreading. Hess discovered and explained the formation of flat-topped seamounts (guyots), performed seafloor gravity studies while submerged aboard U.S. Navy submarines, conducted detailed mineralogic and petrologic studies of peridotites, and was an originator of scientific ocean drilling by the Mohole Project.
Presented to one medalist annually.
For outstanding achievements in research on the constitution and evolution of the Earth and other planets.
- Presentation piece description: engrave and gold-plate; mount on gray stone; cherry case