Dr. James M. Robertson, recently retired State Geologist and Director of the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, has been named the 2020 recipient of the AGI Medal in Memory of Ian Campbell for Superlative Service to the Geosciences, AGI's highest award. Dr. Robertson has provided outstanding service to the geoscience community in a variety of ways. Most notably, he was a long-time director of the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey. A highlight of Dr. Robertson’s tenure there was the acquisition and development of Wisconsin’s repository for core and geological samples, the Mount Horeb Research and Education Center. Today this repository boasts over 660,000 feet of rock core, thousands of well-cutting sets, and irreplaceable hand samples in a well-organized and accessible modern facility near Madison, Wisconsin.
Before that, Dr. Robertson served in various roles at New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources, including Associate Director, Acting Deputy Director, Senior Economic Geologist, and Mining Geologist. He focused on New Mexico’s Precambrian geology and mineral resources with emphasis on recognizing, organizing, and defining a state-wide chronologic and geologic framework for Precambrian rocks. In prior years, Dr. Roberson worked as a geologist at Hudson’s Bay Oil & Gas Co. Ltd. (1974) and taught as a visiting assistant professor at Michigan Technological University (1972-1973). He earned his bachelor’s degree in geology from Carleton College in 1965, his master’s in geology from the University of Michigan in 1968, and his Ph.D. in economic geology from the University of Michigan in 1972.
Dr. Robertson held leadership roles at the Association of American State Geologists (AASG) including that of President in 1999-2000, and he played an integral role on the AASG Federal Liaison Committee. He also held leadership roles at AGI, serving as Treasurer (2009-2011), Finance Committee Chair (2011-2013), and as a long-time chair of the Government Affairs Committee. Dr. Robertson has strong ties to the Geological Society of America (GSA), having been a Geology and Public Policy Committee member for over 30 years and having become a GSA fellow in 1997. He also has been active within the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Board on Earth Sciences and Resources; the New Mexico Geological Society; the Society of Economic Geologists; the American Institute of Professional Geologists; and a number of national and state boards, councils, and committees.