Ron Amundson honored by the Geological Society of America

December 01, 2022
Ronald Amundson receiving the 2022 Farouk El-Baz Award for Desert Research.

Ronald Amundson receiving the 2022 Farouk El-Baz Award for Desert Research.

Congratulations to Environmental Science, Policy, and Management professor Ronald Amundson on receiving the 2022 Farouk El-Baz Award for Desert Research from the Geological Society of America’s (GSA) Quaternary Geology & Geomorphology Division.

The division award was established by the GSA Foundation in 1999 and is given annually in recognition of an outstanding body of work in desert research. El-Baz, a research professor and director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University contributed funding for the initial endowment.

 “Desert landforms have not received as much attention by geologists as other types of landforms,” he said. "We need to encourage and reward arid land studies."

A pedologist who holds the Betty and Isaac Barshad Chair in Soil Science, Amundson has spent nearly four decades examining the geochemistry of desert soils and developing new isotopic tools to both date minerals and use them to understand past climatic history. This work has formed a basis for also interpreting the climatic history of Mars from rover-based chemical measurements.

Amundson’s most recent book, “Introduction to the Biogeochemistry of Soils,” offers advanced undergraduates and graduate students a self-contained and integrated overview of the field as it stands. The first process-based textbook on how soils form and function in biogeochemical cycles, the book provides students with the theoretical knowledge and analytical skills necessary to conduct original research.