— April 21, 2023
Dr. Kent Condie received the 2023 Earth Science Achievement Award for “outstanding contributions advancing the role of earth science in areas of research and education” during the New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting held at Macey Center on the campus of New Mexico Tech on April 21, 2023. The award was presented by Dr. Nelia Dunbar, director of the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources.
Kent Condie began his academic career at New Mexico Tech in 1970. He retired in 2014, but only from teaching. As an emeritus faculty member with the Earth and Environmental Science Department, his research remains strong. During his time in New Mexico, he has studied geology not only within our state but also around the world. He focuses on better understanding of the first 2 to 3 billion years of earth’s history. Kent’s research prowess is well recognized. He is the top-ranked scholar at New Mexico Tech based on H-index and citations. He also received the 2018 Penrose Medal, the Geological Society of America’s top honor, in recognition of his research accomplishments. The citation for the Penrose Medal provides a wonderful summary of Kent’s research contributions.
The Earth Science Achievement Award focuses not only on research but also on the nominee’s impact on geoscience education in New Mexico. During his time in New Mexico, Kent taught upper-level and graduate geology courses to a huge cohort of geoscientists, a number of whom have spent their careers in New Mexico, contributing to geoscience research in our state. Kent also advised seven PhD and many MS students, and, beyond that, served on many thesis committees. Kent’s classes, and the projects done by his students, tended to be notably field-oriented, and Kent’s geo-river raft trips were legendary.
Kent’s former students highlight how his classes and associated field trips, as well as his appreciation for science and the natural world, inspired them as students and in their professional careers. Things mentioned by former students include rough terrain, scorching heat, death marches, and cactus spines, but also patience, mapping skills, the excitement of new discoveries, dedication, support of individual students’ particular needs, and kindness and thoughtfulness.