The Paleontological Society

Photo courtesy of the Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA


All applications will be automatically considered for the following named awards.  The awardees will be selected by the committee based on the merit of the proposal.  Awardees will be recognized in the Paleontological Society Newsletter, Priscum.

2014 Student Award Winners

2013 Student Award Winners

2012 Student Award Winners

Past Student Award Winners 


Mid-American Paleontology Society (MAPS) Outstanding Student Research Awards

The top three proposals receive MAPS awards.


Richard K. BambachAward

All applications will be considered for two Bambach Student Research Awards.


Arthur J. Boucot Award

The Boucot Award was established by the Paleontological Society in recognition of Art Boucot's generosity to the Society. All applications will be considered for a Boucot Student Research Awards.


Kenneth E. & Annie Caster Award

Ken CasterKenneth E. Caster (1908-1992) was a renaissance paleontologist who researched fossils from sponges to eurypterids; he had especial affection for echinoderms and arthropods. In addition, he was an early proponent of the application of the facies concept to understanding stratigraphy, his work in the Southern Hemisphere convinced him that continents moved, and he was an ichnologist before the word was coined.

Ken and Annie (1910-1995) came to the University of Cincinnati in 1936.  Annie was a geologist and teamed with Ken in producing manuscripts.  The Casters were well known for entertaining students at their fascinating home.  They worked closely with amateur collectors and helped found the well-known "Dry Dredgers" in 1942.

Ken, as teacher, supervised at least 30 master and 25 doctoral students.  He was given a variety of awards, including the Orville A. Derby Medal of the Brazilian Geological Survey, the Gondwana Medal of the Geological Survey of India, the Paleontological Society Medal, and received both Guggenheim and Fullbright fellowships.  Ken was President of the Paleontological Society, three times President of the Paleontological Research Institution, and in 1975, his students presented him with a Festschrift volume in honor of his 45th year of teaching.

(See, 1993, Journal of Paleontology, 1993, p. 1095-1096).

All applications will be considered for five Caster Student Research Awards.


G. Arthur Cooper Award

The Cooper Award was established by Richard Bambach in honor of G. Arthur Cooper.  All applications will be considered for a Cooper Student Research Award.


Rodney M. Feldmann Award

All applications will be considered for two Feldmann Student Research Awards.


Stephen Jay Gould Award

All applications will be considered for four Gould Student Research Awards.


N. Gary Lane Award

N. Gary LaneN. Gary Lane (1930-2006) was a leading international authority on fossil crinoids during the 20th century.  He completed his Ph.D. research on Mississippian crinoids with R.C. Moore (founder of the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology) at the University of Kansas in 1958.  He then joined the faculty at UCLA where he rose to the rank of Professor before moving to Indiana University in 1973 so he could be closer to the Mississippian outcrops he so loved.  Along with Moore, he was a major contributor to the Crinoidea volumes of the Treatise.  Gary published numerous papers and books on crinoid systematics, paleoecology, and evolution, as well as several other topics in paleontology, stratigraphy, the history of geology, and the textbook Life of the Past.  He was an innovative thinker and contributed pioneering ideas in benthic community paleoecology.  In addition to his scholarly publications, Gary was well known for his love of geologic fieldwork, close comradery with fellow geologists, his nurturing of graduate students, many of whom he inspired to be professors as well, and his encouragement of other echinoderm paleontologists.  Among many honors, he was President of the Paleontological Society (1987-1988) and received the R.C. Moore Medal of SEPM (1995).  After his retirement in 1995, he remained active, participating in two research expeditions to China that produced several publications.  In 2005, a symposium was held in his honor at the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America, which led to the book, Echinoderm Paleobiology, published by Indiana University Press.

All applications will be considered for three Lane Student Research Awards.


Richard Osgood Award

The Osgood awardee shall undertake a project that integrates knowledge of natural history and behavior of modern animals with observations derived from the fossil and stratigraphic record.  The committee will assign the Osgood Award to the successful proposal that most nearly meets these criteria.


Allison R. "Pete" Palmer Award

All applications will be considered for two Palmer Student Research Awards.


James M. & Thomas J. M. Schopf Award

The Schopf Award was funded by a gift from Bill Schopf to honor the memories of James M. Schopf of the U.S. Geological Survey and The Ohio State University, Paleontological Society Medalist, and Thomas J. M. Schopf of the University of Chicago, winner of the Paleontological Society's Charles Schuchert Award.

All applications will be considered for a Schopf Student Research Award.


Steven M. Stanley Award

The Stanley Award was established by the Paleontological Society in recognition of Steve Stanley's generosity to the Society.  All applications will be considered for a Stanley Student Research Awards.


Robert J. Stanton & James R. Dodd Award

The Stanton & Dodd Award was established by Cheryl Metz to honor the fruitful collaboration of Bob Stanton and Bob Dodd.  All applications will be considered for a Stanton & Dodd Student Research Award.


Harry B. Whittington Award

All applications will be considered for a Whittington Student Research Award.


Ellis L. Yochelson

Ellis L. YochelsonEllis L. Yochelson (1928-2006) was both a paleontologist and a historian.  His paleontological studies centered on Paleozoic mollusks, especially gastropods, but also included scaphopods, chitons, and monoplacophorans.  In addition, he proposed the Phylum Agmata, and monographed the Late Cambrian "motorcycle tracks" made by Climacticnites.

His historical studies included the epic two-volume biography of Charles D. Walcott, the 75th anniversary volume of the National Museum of Natural History (USNM), and his 2004 study of "...Natural History in Washington."  Ellis' bibliography has at least 300 entries. Ellis had a lifelong interest in natural history.  He joined the U.S. Geological Survey in 1952 and had his laboratory at the United States National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. After retirement in 1985, he continued at the USNM as a Research Associate and Scientist Emeritus for the rest of his life. Ellis, and his wife Sally, hosted innumerable colleagues and students who came to the USNM to study.

Ellis was President of the Paleontological Society, he founded the Society's annual short courses in 1978, and in 1969 he arranged the first North American Paleontological Convention (NAPC). The 2001 NAPC in Berkeley was dedicated to him.  In 2003, he received the Award of the History of Geology Division of the Geological Society of America.  Yochelson Ridge, in the Heritage Range of the Ellsworth Mountains, was named for him in honor of his Antarctic work. (See, 2007, American Paleontologist, v. 15, No. 1, p. 11).

All applications will be considered for four Yochelson Student Research Awards.