Hisashi Kuno Award


The Hisashi Kuno Award is presented annually to an early career scientist for outstanding contributions to the fields of volcanology, geochemistry, and petrology. It is named to honor the life and work of Hishashi Kuno, an exceptional volcanologist and petrologist of the mid-twentieth century. Successful nominees are no more than seven years past the completion of their Ph.D. or highest terminal degree by the the beginning of the year in which the award is presented.

For allowances to career stage eligibility (childbirth, adoption, illness, COVID-19, etc.) please see Eligibility Allowance Policy.

Previous Kuno Award Winners

  • 2023 C. Brenhin Keller
  • 2022 Andrea Mundl-Petermeier
  • 2021 Ming Tang
  • 2020 Claire Bucholz
  • 2019 Marion Garçon and Daniel A. Stolper
  • 2018 Leif Karlstrom
  • 2017 Matthew Steele-MacInnis and James Watkins
  • 2016 Esteban Gazel
  • 2015 Christian Huber
  • 2014 Matthew Jackson
  • 2013 Frédéric Moynier
  • 2012 Rajdeep Dasgupta
  • 2011 Katherine Kelley
  • 2010 Josef Dufek
  • 2010 Alison Rust
  • 2009 Edwin A. Schauble
  • 2008 Cin-Ty Lee


The Executive Committee of the VGP Section proposes the Hisashi Kuno Award to recognize the scientific accomplishments of junior scientists who make outstanding contributions to the fields of volcanology geochemistry and petrology. The intent is to award and highlight excellence in research performed during and in the seven years after the Ph.D.

Currently the VGP section has one sectional award, the Bowen Award which was established in 1980 and is intended principally for mid-career researchers. In the intervening period the section, along with all AGU sections, has grown substantially to now number close to 4000. A large proportion of this membership resides in academic institutions where major awards are important for promoting both our science and our colleagues. Furthermore, the Executive Committee believes that the size of the section, when compared to those of sister societies, means that this new award will be highly-prized. For comparison, the Mineralogical Society of America is about 60% of the size of the VGP section and has 3 major Awards, Junior (MSA Award), Mid-Career (Dana Medal) and Senior (Roebling Medal).

Naming of the Award

This award is named in honor of Hisashi Kuno (1910-1969), formerly Professor of Petrology at the University of Tokyo and an oustanding volcanologist and petrologist of the mid-20th Century. Kuno was a brilliant petrographer and field geologist who, using the optical microscope and field observations was able to apply the experimental work of Bowen to understanding the evolution of volcanic rocks. In particular Kuno recognised the importance of the fine-grained groundmass minerals in volcanic rocks as indicators of their genetic relationships and demonstrated the presence of 2 distinct volcanic series in the Japan Arc. All of this work took place under extremely difficult conditions during and after the Second World War. Kuno’s seminal paper was finally published in 1950. With the advent of the electron microprobe in the 1960’s use of groundmass mineralogy to unravel genetic relationships flourished, particularly in the U.S. Of particular relevance to a Junior Award is that Kuno mentored a number of outstanding students, several of whom, notably Shigeo Aramaki, Ikuo Kushiro, and Akiho Miyashiro, have had distinguished careers with international impact.

Selection process

Any AGU member can nominate one or more candidates. The nomination will include a nominating letter, a curriculum vitae, and up to 3 letters of recommendation that address the nominees accomplishments. The nomination and supporting letters should describe the high quality of the nominee’s research accomplishments. In addition, the nomination may include copies of in-press manuscripts that illustrate the candidate’s quality of work. Nominations should be submitted (online, by fax, or by mail) to the Chair of the Award Committee by 1 May of the award year. A call for nominations will appear in Eos and on the AGU VGP Section Website.

The VGP Section will constitute a Kuno Award committee to consider nominations. The selection committee will recommend the nominees to whom it considers awards should be made. It will submit a letter for review and approval by the VGP Section Executive Committee that describes the selection process. This letter will detail the total number of candidates considered, the number of holdover candidates, the number of new candidates, and the number of nominations that resulted from the general call versus the number actively solicited by the committee.

Proposed Citation

The Hisashi Kuno Award is given by the Volcanology Geochemistry Petrology Section for outstanding contributions to the fields of Volcanology, Geochemistry and Petrology. The Award is based on the quality of publications arising from work performed up to seven years past the receipt of the Ph.D. Awardees must be members of AGU at the time of nomination and within seven years of the award of the Ph.D. on Jan 1st of the year of the Award.


Proposal for Volcanology Geochemistry Petrology Section Hisashi Kuno Award

As approved by Council– 14 December 2007


Awardees must be members of AGU at the time of nomination. The evaluation of the candidates will be based on the quality of papers arising from work performed up to seven years past the award of the Ph.D.


A maximum of 2 awards per year will be made. The award(s) will be presented at the VGP Reception at the Fall Meeting or at another appropriate venue, such as immediately preceding the Daly Lecture. The award will consist of a certificate signed by the Section President and recognition in EOS.