Wallace S. Broecker Medal

Awarded in Recognition of Extraordinary Accomplishments and Novel Insights in the Areas of Marine Geoscience, Chemical Oceanography, or Paleoceanography

Wallace S. Broecker (1931–2019)

Wallace S. “Wally” Broecker (November 29, 1931–February 18, 2019) was an American Geochemist. Born in Chicago in 1931, Wally first attended Wheaton College, Illinois, and received a PhD in Geology in 1959 from Columbia University, New York. He was named Newberry Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University and scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. After early work in Pleistocene geochronology, he made major contributions to Chemical Oceanography, developing a kinetic view of chemical distributions in the ocean, their role in tracing ocean circulation and the carbon cycle, and their utility as paleoceanographic tracers to discern large-scale changes in the global ocean and climate systems. He popularized the term “global warming” and was a leading voice for the development of an informed solution to human-caused climate change, including reduction of excess greenhouse gases. He was awarded numerous fellowships and awards, including Fellowship in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences and receipt of the Crafoord Prize in Geosciences, the Alexander Agassiz Medal of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Medal of Science of the United States and many others. He received honorary doctorate degrees from Harvard University, Pennsylvania State University, Cambridge University, Oxford University, and many others.

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