The Sidney Powers Memorial Award is given in recognition of distinguished and outstanding contributions to, or achievements in, petroleum geology. It is AAPG’s most distinguished award, and is made at such times as the Executive Committee may designate, but not more than once in any calendar year.

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The recipient must be a Member of the Association. A candidate must be living at the time of selection and willing to be present to receive the medal and certificate at the time and place designated by the Executive Committee, normally at the Annual Convention.

Guidelines for Consideration of Candidates

Consideration should emphasize contributions to petroleum geology – not necessarily service to the Association. Contributions may have been in a variety of forms or combinations, such as a significant development in geologic concepts, advancement in discovery thinking, leadership in exploration and the development of explorationists, inspiration and academic preparation of petroleum geologists, etc. Publication is not a necessary criterion; it is recognized that in today’s competitive world, publication may not be feasible for many very able explorationists. Honorary Membership is not a prerequisite for consideration, but it may serve as a useful checklist for potential candidates.

Procedure for Recommendation

Nominations for this award should be submitted, along with documentation, to the Chairman of the Honors and Awards Committee at Association Headquarters. The Committee’s recommendations will be submitted to the Advisory Council, which in turn will submit its selection to the Executive Committee for final action.

Description of Award

The gold plated medal features a bas-relief likeness of Sidney Powers and the name of the Association on the obverse side. On the reverse side are inscribed the words, “Awarded for Distinguished Achievement in Petroleum Geology,” along with the name of the recipient. The medal is mounted in multi-sided acrylic and is presented along with an embossed certificate and a lapel pin tack. Honorary Membership is automatically bestowed upon recipients of the Sidney Powers Memorial Award, if they have not already received that honor.


The Powers Medal was first awarded in 1945 to Wallace E. Pratt.

Sidney Powers was a founding member and 14th President of the Association. He died in 1932 at the age of 42. Frank R. Clark, in his memorial to Sidney Powers said, “Sidney Powers will be known by future generations for his able contributions to pure and applied geology, but, important as are his scientific achievements, his character was greater, because it typified service to others.”

Sidney Powers Memorial Award
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AAPG's Sidney Powers Memorial Award recipients, 2009 to present.