Lawrence University Geologist Elected Fellow of Geological Society

Lawrence University Professor of Geology Marcia Bjornerud has been elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. The prestigious honor is awarded to GSA members who have had at least eight years of professional experience in geology or related fields and who have made “significant contributions” to the science of geology.

Bjornerud was one of 50 Fellows elected at the GSA’s recent annual meeting. Only seven percent of GSA’s current 2,684 fellows are women. Fellowship status is accorded for life.

A specialist in tectonics and structural geology, Bjornerud joined the Lawrence faculty in 1995 and has served as the department chair since 1998. She also directs Lawrence’s environmental studies program.

In 2000, Bjornerud was awarded a Fulbright Scholars Program grant to conduct field research in Norway, investigating the role fluids play in fault zones at different crustal levels. She also has carried out field studies in areas of the Canadian high Arctic, as well as Ontario and northern Wisconsin. Her research integrates field observations with quantitative analysis and computer modeling.

The National Science Foundation named Bjornerud one of its “distinguished scholars” for its Visiting Professorships for Women Program in 1996 and she serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Geoscience Education.

Bjornerud is the author of the nontraditional introductory geology textbook “Guide to the Blue Planet,” which is based on the premise that all students, as earthlings, should know how their planet works. She also contributed the essay “Natural science, natural resources and the nature of Nature” to the book “The Earth Around Us,” which was published in March, 2000. She earned her Ph.D. in geology at the University of Wisconsin.

“This is a well-deserved honor for Marcia and Lawrence is obviously pleased to bask in the reflected glory of her election as a GSA Fellow,” said Lawrence President Richard Warch. “She has not only made significant contributions to the science of geology, but has provided exceptional leadership to the department here, as well as to our new and burgeoning program in environmental studies.”

Bjornerud’s election as a GSA Fellow continues Lawrence’s long-standing tradition of exceptional geologists. She becomes the fourth Lawrence faculty member to be recognized as a GSA Fellow, joining John Palmquist (1970), William Read (1952) and Rufus Bagg (1896).

Founded in 1888, the Geological Society of America is a scientific society with more than 17,500 members that fosters the human quest for understanding Earth, planets and life, catalyzes new scientific ways of thinking about natural systems and applies geoscience knowledge and insight to human needs and stewardship of the Earth.