Gwendy Hall

Gwendy E. Hall – Honorary Fellow

The Association of Applied Geochemists is pleased to announce that Honorary Fellowship in the Association has been awarded to Gwendy E. Hall, of the Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa (retired), in recognition of her distinguished contribution to applied geochemistry in a career spanning 50 years.

Her passion for science and the AAG, a high level of integrity, and a humility that has enabled her to communicate widely as well as encourage and mentor the research of others is well established. Her Honorary Fellowship is particularly noteworthy as she is the first recipient of this honor since Ian Nichol in 2005. Only seven eminent geochemists – all now deceased - have attained Honorary Fellow status over the entire 50-year history of the AAG and its predecessor, the AEG.

What is it that makes Honorary Fellowship so special, particularly given that Gwendy is already a recipient of the AAG’s Gold Medal (2005) and Silver Medal (2013). An Honorary Fellow shall have made a distinguished contribution to applied geochemistry that warrants exceptional recognition. The AAG Council has endorsed both criteria and process for conferring of Honorary Fellow status. The criteria span a broad involvement in generating and disseminating applied geochemical research at a high level, as well as a long commitment to the Association. A minimum of three Fellows must formally propose an individual to the AAG’s Awards & Medals Committee. Their independent assessments are forwarded to the AAG Secretary, who then presents the results to Council. A unanimous endorsement by Council is required. Significantly, the number of active Honorary Fellows is capped at a maximum of 5% of AAG Fellows at any one time. Full details concerning Honorary Fellowship are available on the AAG website.

Gwendy Hall has had a prolific publication record over her long career, including 35+ years at the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) as a research scientist. She has published over 200 papers in recognized scientific journals (>100 as lead author), over 45 GSC reports, and more than 10 book chapters (many as an invited author). Although she is perhaps best known for her work on selective leaches and their application to mineral exploration, her R&D work and resulting publications cover a wide range of topics, including hydrogeochemistry, the development and application of cost-effective approaches for analysis of a broad range of elements to ultra-low levels, environmental geochemistry, the development of specialized techniques to detect individual elements, evaluation of pXRF technology for real-time acquisition of geochemical data, and the application of geochemistry to detect past nuclear test explosions. She has been on the editorial board of prestigious scientific journals, including Chemical Geology and Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis, and a scientific reviewer for several respected journals including Analyst, Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectroscopy, Analytica Chimica Acta, Applied Geochemistry, Water Air Soil Pollution, and Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis. She is a past editor of the Journal of Geochemical Exploration, and was instrumental in the creation of the AAG’s journal Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis in 2001, serving as Editor in Chief from inception until 2015.

Throughout her career, Gwendy has made a consistent contribution to the transfer and dissemination of applied geochemistry knowledge, with a career-long commitment to presenting seminars, workshops, conference talks and posters. She has made more than 270 conference presentations, including at all AEG & AAG symposia since 1987. She has presented over 25 seminars to industry, government and academia, including the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy distinguished lecture series in 2005 and 2006. Gwendy was AEG Distinguished Lecturer in 1998. She has organized and chaired over 14 conference sessions, including four for IGES/IAGS, and was responsible for organizing and chairing the ‘Geoanalysis 90’ conference, which was the precursor for an ongoing conference series. She has been an invited lecturer at Canadian universities, an external examiner for postgraduate theses, and an advisor for university-based research proposals and theses.

Much of her innovative work at the GSC has been applied by laboratories, government and industry, and is widely available in the public domain due to a prolific and high-quality series of publications. Her successful approach to the technology transfer of her R&D research has resulted in the commercialization of media- and element-specific analytical techniques, and the optimizing of the use of applied geochemistry in the search for mineral deposits by exploration companies. This commercialization was recognized by a Government of Canada award for technology transfer in 1998.

Gwendy has been a long-serving member of the AEG and AAG since joining the Association in 1987, serving unselfishly and guiding its development. She has been an ongoing member of the AAG Council since 1989, led it as President in 1994-95, and was the AEG’s Distinguished Lecturer in 1998-99. She is currently AAG Treasurer, a key executive position that she has filled since 1996. Her contributions to applied geochemistry were recognized by the Association with the AAG Gold Medal in 2005, and her commitment to the Association with the Silver Medal in 2013. She is the only person other than the late Eion Cameron who has received both medals. The scientific rigour that she demonstrated while at the GSC has continued since her retirement in 2005, again evidenced by a continued contribution to knowledge via publications, dissemination of her work at conferences, and collaboration with government and industry. She has, for example, continued her research on cost effective ways to detect mineralization, focusing on the use of field portable XRF through research funded by the Canadian Mining Industry Research Organization (CAMIRO).

Gwendy’s Honorary Fellowship will be formally presented to her at the next IAGS in Chile, now rescheduled for 2021. Those wishing to read more about her many achievements can find her Gold Medal presentation citation made by the late Gerry Govett in EXPLORE No. 129 (Dec 2005), and her Silver Medal presentation citation made by Paul Morris in EXPLORE No. 162 (March 2014). Versions of both citations are also available on the AAG website, as are listings of all earlier AAG Honorary Fellows Bob Boyle, Eion Cameron, Alan Coope, Gerry Govett, Herb Hawkes, Ian Nichol, and John Webb.

Paul A. Morris
M. Beth McClenaghan
David L. Kelley
Stephen Cook