Skip to content
For WHOI personnel, vendors, and visitors: COVID-19 Guidelines

Stan Hart Receives AGU’s Highest Honor

Stan Hart Stan Hart, shown here in 2002 with WHOI Summer Student Fellow Megan Coetzee and MIT-WHOI Joint Program student Rhea Workman, is this year’s winner of AGU’s highest honor — the William Bowie Medal. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

December 15, 2016

Stan Hart, scientist emeritus with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), has been awarded the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) highest honor, the William Bowie Medal. The Honors Tribute was held on Wednesday, 14 December 2016, at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

The medal is given annually to one honoree in recognition for “outstanding contributions for fundamental geophysics and for unselfish cooperation in research.” Unselfish cooperation is considered volunteer activity above and beyond any job requirements. The award was established in 1939 in honor of William Bowie, an American geodetic engineer, for his spirit of helpfulness and friendliness in unselfish cooperative research.

Hart came to WHOI in 1989 as a senior scientist in the Department of Geology and Geophysics. A geologist and isotope geochemist, Hart’s research at WHOI focused on the origin of hot spots and mantle plumes and on the dynamics and evolution of the deep Earth. He retired in 2007 and was made scientist emeritus. Prior to working at WHOI, Hart was a professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Throughout his career, Hart has won numerous honors and distinctions. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1983 and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005.  He is also a fellow of the  Geological Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, the Geochemical Society, and the European Association of Geochemistry. Hart was awarded Doctor Honoris Causa, Institut de Physique du Globe, University of Paris, in 2005 and the Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship in 2008 by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean’s role in the changing global environment. For more information, please visit