Dr. Scott Burns Recognized for his Contribution to the Public Understanding of Geoscience

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Dr. Scott Burns Recognized for his Contribution to the Public Understanding of Geoscience
Maureen Moses (mmoses@americangeosciences.org)

Alexandria, VA - Scott Burns, engineering geologist and geomorphologist and media personality was recognized by the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) with its Outstanding Contribution to the Understanding of Geoscience award. His award was presented at a ceremony at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting hosted in Baltimore, Maryland.

Burns, nominated by a group of his peers, personifies AGI's mission of "Connecting Earth, Science, and People." He is recognized for his contagious enthusiasm for geoscience, and has enhanced the public's understanding of the geosciences through outreach, teaching, volunteering and media support. From K-12 science fairs, geohazard workshops and briefing the Congressional Hazards Caucus Alliance he has turned his passion for geology into public service.

His career in geoscience started with Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Stanford University and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado. Burns has been lauded by the community for being an accessible and trusted figure to the media - having made over 450 appearances since 1996. He was a driving force in the selection of the Oregon State Soil - the Jory Soil, adopted by the state legislature, and has made himself a resource available to decision makers to help guide their understandings of geoscience.

He is a leader within the geoscience community, actively participating and publishing geoscience research, serving in leadership positions with professional and scientific societies, and acting as a teacher and mentor. His contribution to the community has been palpable and immeasurable and his peers recognize that "his contributions... are always done with complete enthusiasm, attention to detail, professional care and loyalty to the organization and profession."

This award is presented to a person, organization, or institution in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the public understanding of geoscience. The contribution may be in geoscience or how geoscience relates to economic or environmental aspects of modern civilization. The award may be given to a geoscientist, non-geoscientist, or to an organization or an institution that is geoscientific or non-geoscientific in character.


The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.

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