Geosciences’s Julie Brigham-Grette Wins Prestigious Distinguished Career Award


Julie Brigham-Grette
Julie Brigham-Grette

Julie Brigham-Grette, professor of geosciences, has received the Distinguished Career Award from the American Quaternary Association. The award honors someone with a decades-long commitment to and positive impact within Quaternary science, and who has worked on North American Quaternary issues for a substantial part of their career.

Colin Long, secretary of the American Quaternary Association and professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh say that Brigham-Grette “does join an impressive group of scientists from a variety of fields that focus on the Quaternary. Her career and contributions to our understanding of environmental change in the arctic has been particularly important.”

The Quaternary period embraces the last 2.6 million years, and among many notable achievements, Brigham-Grette led the $10 million International Continental Scientific Drilling Program at Lake El’gygytgyn in North Eastern Russia. The program collected a 1,100-foot sedimentary record of Arctic change over the past 3.6 million years—the longest such continuous sedimentary Arctic record in existence. For example, the cores Brigham-Grette’s team collected are more than 30 times longer than records from the Greenland Ice Sheet. Brigham-Grette’s Lake El’gygytgyn core has become a cornerstone of the attempts to understand climate change over the last 3-million years.

Brigham-Grette’s career has been marked by her willingness to reach across disciplinary boundaries in order to conduct cutting edge science. “Placing value on all parts of what we do as a community contributed to my early perspectives concerning the interconnectedness of Quaternary studies,” she says. “None of us do things in isolation.”