Steven M. Stanley, Ph.D., Recognized for Excellence in Science and Education

Entering his field due to a love of studying the environment, Dr. Stanley currently serves as a research professor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in Honolulu, a position he has held since 2005. Prior to this appointment, he spent several decades with Johns Hopkins University, first joining the university as an assistant professor of paleobiology in 1969. Progressing to associate professor in 1971 and full professor in 1974, he also chaired the department of earth and planetary sciences from 1987 to 1988 and the Master of Science Program in environmental sciences and policy from 1993 to 2005. Dr. Stanley began his career as an assistant professor at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York, from 1967 to 1969.

The president of the American Geosciences Institute in 2002, Dr. Stanley has been active on the board of earth sciences with the National Research Council since 1985 and has held a number of other roles with the organization as well. Currently an editorial board member for Paleobiology, the American Journal of Science and Evolutionary Theory, he has authored and co-authored a number of books, including “Earth System History,” which is in its fourth edition as of 2014, and “Macroevolution: Pattern and Process,” the publication of which he considers to be a major highlight in his career. Dr. Stanley has also co-authored “Children of the Ice Age: How a Global Catastrophe Allowed Humans to Evolve,” “Earth System History,” “Extinction,” “The New Evolutionary Timetable: Fossils, Genes and the Origin of Species,” and several others.

Inspired to pursue evolution and paleontology while an undergraduate student at Princeton University in New Jersey, Dr. Stanley earned a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from the university in 1963. Following this accomplishment, he obtained a Doctor of Philosophy from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1968. In order to remain abreast of developments in his field, he has maintained affiliation with a number of professional organizations over the years. Holding leadership roles with the Geological Society of America, the American Geosciences Institute, the Paleontological Society, the National Science Foundation and the Society for the Study of Evolution, Dr. Stanley holds further membership with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Paleontological Research Institute, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers and the Society for Sedimentary Geology.

For excellence in his career, Dr. Stanley has been the recipient of a number of honors and accolades over the years. First recognized in his field with an Outstanding Paper Award by the Journal of Paleontology in 1968, he went on to be awarded an Allan C. Davis Medal by the Maryland Academy of Sciences in 1973 and a Charles Schuchert Award from the Paleontological Society in 1977. He has also received an Outstanding Paper Award from the Washington Geological Society, a Bownocker Medal from the Ohio State University and the James H. Shea Award from the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. More recently, he has been honored with a Mary Clark Thompson Medal from the National Academy of Sciences, a Twenhofel Medal from the Society for Sedimentary Geology, a Penrose Medal from the Geological Society of America and a Paleontological Society Medal. Dr. Stanley was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1981 and has been elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences.

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