Award Name : Benjamin Franklin Medal
Year of Award : 2014
Award for : Environment
Location : La Jolla, California, United States
Lisa Tauxe is a preeminent researcher and educator in the field of Earth magnetism. Her research has focused on the behavior of Earth’s magnetic field and its changing intensity and dispersion through time and space. She was the leader of the Time Averaged Field Initiative (TAFI), a multi-institutional collaborative project to obtain a precise and accurate description of the geomagnetic field from volcanic rocks, its most reliable recorders. Better knowledge of properties of the ancient geomagnetic field has already been incorporated in a new statistical model she developed as the lead proponent for correcting inclination error in sediments, which will lead to more precise reconstructions of paleogeography and paleoclimates.
This represents a major advance and will change the way we interpret paleomagnetic data. Lisa’s first paper as a graduate student was a sole-authored Nature paper that dealt with a revision of the age of Miocene hominoids in Asia based on revised magnetostratigraphic correlations in the Siwaliks, on which she has written numerous additional papers. Also as a graduate student she went out on DSDP Leg 73 and produced a superb magnetostratigraphy for virtually the entire Cenozoic that confirmed in detail the sequence obtained at Gubbio and led to the development of integrated magnetobiostratigraphic time scales, toward which she continues to make important contributions.She received the Benjamin Franklin Medal in 2014 for the development of observational techniques and theoretical models providing an improved understanding of the behavior of, and variations in intensity of, the Earth's magnetic field through geologic time.