Bruce Jakosky Receives CU-Boulder Robert L. Stearns Award

Bruce Jakosky is the 2014 recipient of the Robert L. Stearns Award. Image Credit: CU-Boulder

Bruce Jakosky is the 2014 recipient of the Robert L. Stearns Award. Image Credit: CU-Boulder

October 28, 2014 – Bruce Jakosky was honored with the Robert L. Stearns Award at the University of Colorado’s 85th annual Alumni Association Awards Ceremony at the Hotel Boulderado on October 23, 2014. Jakosky was one of nine alumni, faculty, staff and student award winners honored for their service and commitment to CU-Boulder and their communities.

Jakosky is the principal investigator for the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) Mission, dedicated to studying the upper atmosphere of Mars. Scientists will use MAVEN data to determine how much gas from the Red Planet’s atmosphere has been lost to space throughout the planet’s history and gain insight into the history of Mars’ atmosphere and climate to determine how this once-habitable planet became barren over time. Jakosky has spearheaded MAVEN for eleven years, from original concept to finally having the spacecraft in orbit at Mars and beginning his dream of working on science data.

Jakosky also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Earth and planetary geology and extraterrestrial life. He is a faculty research associate in CU-Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics and is the director of the university’s astrobiology center.

The Stearns Award was initiated in 1953, the year that Robert L. Stearns resigned as the sixth president of the University. He had presided over CU since 1939. The award recognizes members of the faculty and staff for extraordinary achievement or service in teaching, service to the University, work with students, and research or off-campus service. Award winners receive a medal.

The tradition of honoring the University of Colorado Boulder’s best began in 1930 when the George Norlin Award was conceived by the Alumni Association to honor the beloved CU President George Norlin and the growing legions of extraordinary alumni. Since then, the association has recognized several generations of outstanding alumni with the Norlin award, including President Norlin himself, who received the medal in 1939 when he retired after 20 years of presidential service.

In the decades since, the association has added five prestigious awards to honor members of the university community. They include the Leanne Skupa-Lee Award, the Robert L. Stearns Award, the Alumni Recognition Award, the Kalpana Chawla Outstanding Recent Graduate Award, and the Forever Buffs Student Award. These awards are one of the university’s longest standing traditions.

The Award Ceremony was the kickoff event for the 100th CU-Boulder Homecoming Weekend. For the complete list of 2014 award recipients, and to learn more about the awards, visit: