The William Christian Krumbein Medal was established in 1976 during the XXV International Geological Congress in Sydney. The medal measures 96 millimeters in diameter and contains slightly over 500 grams of bronze. The bust of Krumbein is on the front side of the medal, and the Association's logo is on the reverse side. The medal was designed by sculptor Abbot Pattison, a graduate from the Yale School of Fine Arts. Casting of the medals has been done at the Fonderia Artistica Ferdinando Marinelli in Florence, Italy, in three batches in 1977, 1980, and 1999. In addition to the medal, recipients receive a plaque with the recipient's name and date of the award. Until 1996 the prize was awarded annually, biennially since then.
Krumbein was a founding officer of the Association. Born at Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania in January, 1902, Krumbein attended the University of Chicago, receiving the degree of bachelor of philosophy in business administration in 1926, an MS in geology in 1930, and a PhD in geology in 1932. He taught at the University of Chicago from 1933 to 1942, advancing from instructor to associate professor. During World War II, from 1942 until 1945, he served in Washington, D.C. with the Beach Erosion Board of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. Following a short stint with Gulf Research nd Development Company immediately after the end of the war, he joined Northwestern University in 1946, serving there until mandatory retirement in 1970. He was named the William Deering Professor of Geological Sciences in 1960. Krumbein died on August 18, 1979, a few months after Syracuse University had awarded him a DSc (honoris causa). At his memorial service, former Northwestern colleague Larry Sloss said of Krumbein "that by constitutionally rejecting conventional wisdom, he continually pursued innovative methods whereby the natural phenomena of geology could be expressed with mathematical rigor."
B. Supporting By-Law
Presentation of the medal is regulated by By-Law 12, which reads:
12. The William Christian Krumbein Medal is the highest award given by the Association and the recipient shall be so honored and acknowledged. The Krumbein Medal is awarded to senior scientists for career achievement, which includes (a) distinction in application of mathematics or informatics in the earth sciences, (b) service to the IAMG, and (c) support to professions involved in the earth sciences. There is no stipulated preference for fields of application within the earth sciences.
- The Awards Committee shall publicize a request for nominations for the Krumbein Medal in the IAMG Newsletter and other appropriate places early enough to provide for presentation of the medal before the end of the nomination year.
- Each nomination should include a resume and a short statement summarizing the relevant qualifications of the nominee with respect the conditions outlined in the By-Laws.
- Each Awards Committee member shall evaluate all nominees in a scale from 0 to 10 for each of the criteria outlined in the By-Laws, for a maximum of 30 points. The winner shall be the nominee who receives the most points. In the event of a tie, the chairman of the Awards Committee shall cast the deciding vote.
- A nominee does not need to be a member of the Association at the time of the nomination, but evaluation of prospective candidates includes the condition of "service to the IAMG."
- The candidate must be living at the time of the selection, be willing to receive the medal at the time and place designated by the Association, and be a keynote speaker at the meeting where the medal is presented.
- The Association shall pay for the recipient's travel expenses up to a maximum amount to be determined by the Awards Committee.
- The Awards Committee shall be responsible for the preparation of an announcement to be published in the journal Mathematical Geosciences and in the proceedings of the meetings where the presentation takes place. Copies of the announcement should also go the Association site in the Internet, where it shall stay until the next recipient is chosen.