SWG Gold Medalists

Gold Medal Recipients

The Gold Medal

The Gold Medal: Established: 1941
Designed by: Lucille Sinclair Douglass, sculptor
Represents: Winged Victory standing upon the arc of the world.

The Society's highest honor is awarded to a member whose original, innovative, or pioneering contributions are of major significance in understanding the world's cultures and environment.


2022 Mechtild Rössler
For her transformative influence on UNESCO World Heritage during her 30 years within different divisions of UNESCO. 

2017 Constanza Ceruti 
For her achievement in high-altitude archaeology, most notably for discovering three preserved Incan mummies in the Andes mountains.

2014 Rebecca Lee Lok-Sze
For her physical exploration of the three Polar Regions-the Arctic, Antarctica, and Mount Everest-to bear scientific witness to warming at the earth's extremes and raise awareness of the global implications for sea levels and climate. Lee also established a museum dedicated to climate change in Hong Kong.

2011 Susan Shaw
For her pioneering research documenting harmful impacts of man-made chemicals on marine life.

2008 Laurie Marker
For her work as a conservation biologist, and for the founding of the non-profit Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, where she also established the International Research and Education Centre in the country's main cheetah habitat.

2005 Tanya Marie Atwater
For her pioneering work in plate tectonics, which has increased the world's knowledge of earth movements from mountaintops to ocean floors.

1999 Anna Curtenius Roosevelt
For discovery of evidence of a hitherto unknown prehistoric culture in the Amazon Basin.

1996 Pam Flowers
For pioneering achievements as a solo dog-sled trekker in the Arctic, and as the first person to trek the 2,500 miles across Arctic North America, the longest solo dog sled trek by a woman.

1996 Natalie Goodall
For her work in botany and biology studies of flora and fauna native to Tierra del Fuego, South America.

1993 Anne LaBastille
For her work as a wildlands and wildlife consultant, and work with rare and endangered wildlife, wild areas, acid rain, and women in the wilderness, particularly in Central America, the Caribbean, and northern South America.

1993 Kathryn Sullivan
For her pioneering nine-day mission into space as a member of the Challenger shuttle crew, becoming the first American woman to "walk" in space.

1990 Sylvia Alice Earle
For achievements as an oceanic biologist, as an experienced, versatile, and intrepid diver, leader and/or pilot of record setting deep water dives in miniature submarines or submersibles.

1990 Jane Goodall
For her pioneering field studies of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania.

1987 Freya Stark
For her Middle Eastern explorations into remote cultures and areas, including Euphrates River raft trip, and her books recording them.

1984 Arlene Blum
For mountaineering triumphs, leading the first woman's climbs of Mount McKinley, Garwhal Himalaya Brigupanth, and Annapurna, and reaching 24,000 feet on Mount Everest.

1975 Eugenie Clark
For contributions in Marine biology, expanding knowledge of the reproduction and behavior of sharks.

1975 Mary Douglas Leakey
For contributions to our knowledge of the evolution of Homo sapiensand his age on earth, in Tanzania's Olduwai Gorge.

1975 Marion Stirling Pugh
For contributions in archeology to the world's knowledge of the Olmec, and discovery of stone "colossal heads", in Central America.

1950 Irene Wright
For geographic research and contribution to Tudor maritime history, especially 16thcentury English voyages to the Caribbean.

1944 Blair Niles
For geographic travels and research presented in published novels and non-fiction books, featuring Southeast Asia, Central & South America, and the Caribbean.

1942 Margaret Mead
For anthropological research among primitive tribes in Samoa, New Guinea, other South Seas isles.

1933 Amelia Earhart
For her first woman's solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean on May 20, 1932.

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