2021: William K Fletcher


WK Fletcher

William K. Fletcher, AAG 2021 Gold Medal

The Association of Applied Geochemists is pleased to announce that the 2021 Gold Medal for outstanding contributions to exploration geochemistry is awarded to William K Fletcher in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the scientific field of exploration geochemistry, and his exemplary service promoting the exchange of ideas and the dissemination of information in these fields throughout a distinguished career in university teaching and research.

"K’s" most significant research at UBC centred on the fluvial transport of heavy minerals, including gold and cassiterite, in temperate and tropical regions, on the development of effective methods of sampling and analyzing stream sediments for mineral exploration, and in statistical evaluation of the results of regional geochemical exploration surveys. His work in stream sediment transport in various climatic regions remains a foundation of regional geochemical programs in the mineral exploration industry. He also made important contributions to our understanding of the distribution and behaviour of base and precious metals in soil, till and organic sediments in glaciated terrain. K conducted field investigations, delivered invited lectures and gave short courses in many parts of the world, most notably in Canada, USA, Brazil, Africa and Southeast Asia.

Perhaps K’s greatest contribution to the discipline of applied geochemistry however has been as a teacher and mentor, training many young scientists at the MSc and PhD level. He supervised 23 graduate students, many of whom went on to important leadership roles as exploration geochemists in industry, academia and government. He was very generous with both his time and ideas, and no less than 6 of his graduate students were awarded the Student Paper Prize of the Association of Exploration Geochemists for papers co-authored with K. His energy, enthusiasm, and many years of leadership in geochemical research and in teaching students played no small role in making Vancouver the important global centre of exploration geochemistry it has become.

Presented at the
29th International Applied Geochemistry Symposium
Viña del Mar, Chile
October, 2022


John Carranza, AAG President