Contact: Julie Jackson (703) 379-2480
November 9, 2000


RENO, NV — Konrad Krauskopf, former president of the American Geological Institute (AGI), will receive AGI’s Legendary Geoscientist Award during the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. His research and teaching career provided scientists with the original defining texts in geochemistry and physical geology, says Gary Ernst, Benjamin Professor, Geological and Environmental Sciences, and former Dean of the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University. The awards ceremony takes place during the AGI Past Presidents Dinner on Sunday, Nov. 12, in the Crystal Room of the Reno Hilton Hotel.

 It was at Stanford that Krauskopf’s research and teaching career was centered. After earning a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, he accepted a position as an undergraduate physical science instructor at Stanford while working toward a second doctorate in geology, completed in 1939. As a pioneer in the new field of geochemistry, Krauskopf literally wrote the book—or books—on applying the principles of physics and chemistry to studies of Earth, and provided scientists with the original defining texts in geochemistry and physical geology, still in use after more than five decades. The third edition of his textbook, Introduction to Geochemistry, was published in 1994.

“When Konrad Krauskopf first began his teaching career, the term, ‘geochemistry,’ was just coming into use,” recalls AGI Executive Director Marcus E. Milling. “Throughout his career, he has conducted investigations of international quality ranging across the breadth of hard-rock geology, petrology, and geochemistry. He is an outstanding researcher and educator.”

Krauskopf’s seminal contributions to the emerging field of geochemistry included research on the controls of trace-element concentrations in seawater, the solubility of silica, and the transport of metals in ore-forming solutions. Detailed studies illuminated the parageneses of granitoids and basement terranes in the Pacific Northwest, the volcanic eruptions of Parícutin, Transmexican Volcanic belt, and the regional petrologic evolution of coastal Norway. He generated both mineral deposit maps and general geologic maps for the California Division of Mines and the U.S. Geological Survey, chiefly in the Sierra Nevada and the White-Inyo Range.

In recognition of his achievements, Krauskopf has been the recipient of many professional awards and honors, including the Day Medal of GSA in 1961, the Goldschmidt Medal of the Geochemical Society in 1982, the Ian Campbell Medal of the American Geological Institute in 1984, and the Mineralogical Society of America’s Distinguished Public Service Medal In 1995. In addition to serving as President of the American Geological Institute in 1964, Krauskopf was President of the Geological Society of America in 1967 and the Geochemical Society in 1970.  He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

AGI created the Legendary Geoscientist Award in 1999 to recognize lifetime achievements in the geosciences. This award will be presented annually to a distinguished geoscientist whose achievements have lasting historic value in the earth sciences.

The American Geological Institute is a nonprofit federation of 35 geoscientific and professional associations that represent more than 100,000 geologists, geophysicists, and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in our profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in mankind's use of resources and interaction with the environment. More information about AGI can be found at The Institute also provides a public-outreach web site,

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