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hatcherBob Hatcher, Distinguished Scientist at UT, has been awarded the 2014 Marcus Milling Legendary Geoscientist Medal. The award makes the professor the only recipient of the three most prestigious medals in his field.

Established in 1999, the award from the American Geosciences Institute is presented to a geoscientist who has demonstrated a long history of scientific achievement and exceptional service to the geoscience profession. Hatcher is also the recipient of the American Geosciences Institute’s 2006 Ian Campbell Medal and the Geological Society of America’s 2006 Penrose Medal.

The Milling Medal will be presented on April 6 at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists in Houston, Texas.

“Bob Hatcher’s distinguished career has been characterized by stellar achievements. It’s fitting that his work has been acknowledged by three top awards from his geoscience colleagues,” said Theresa Lee, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Professor Hatcher’s research and teaching excellence are widely acclaimed. Less well known is his sustained and passionate commitment to taking his expertise into the public arena through community outreach to schools and community groups and fielding media inquiries.”

This award will come just a few days after the conclusion of a Geological Society of America Penrose Conference held in Asheville, N.C, and named in honor of Hatcher’s achievements—”Linkages and Feedbacks in Orogenic Processes: A Conference Honoring the Career of Robert D. Hatcher Jr.” It comes less than six months after the establishment of the GSA Foundation’s Robert D. Hatcher Endowment and Award Fund, established by his former students and colleagues.

“The Milling Medal, the Penrose Conference, and GSA scholarship fund are all great honors that came as very pleasant surprises. I am very grateful for and humbled by all of these forms of recognition,” said Hatcher, also professor of structural geology and tectonics in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Hatcher’s research aims to provide a better understanding of the evolution of continental crust, mostly through the study of mountain chains and mature crust. It is for his long career marked by highest quality research, along with his long-time professional service to the geological community that he is being awarded with the Marcus Milling Legendary Geoscientist Medal.

Hatcher received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Vanderbilt University and his doctorate from UT. He worked as a geologist for Humble Oil and Refining Company before teaching and conducting research at Clemson University, Florida State University, and the University of South Carolina. He began his research and teaching career at UT in 1986. He served as a Distinguished Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory from 1986 to 2000 and remains the only Distinguished Scientist with a degree from UT.

The American Geological Institute is a nonprofit federation of forty-nine geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 120,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. For more information, visit


Karen Simsen (865-974-5186,