The Homer award

Award Guidelines and Past Winners

Since 1979 the ILSG has presented the prestigous Goldich Medal to a geoscientist whose name is associated with a substantial interest in, and contribution to, the geology of the Lake Superior region. Over the years this award has been presented to an impressive collection of geologists. However, in recent years the Institute recognised the need to create an award to honour some of our membership who had followed in the foot steps of the great Homer Simpson and managed to "succeed despite idiocy".

The first winner of the Homer award was Mark Jirsa, who in 1999 was presented with the trophy for an impressive effort at "tree springing" that resulted in a fractured leg! Mark is also the only winner of the ILSG Survivor Award, presented to him in 2003 for surviving not only this “incident”, but a close call on an underground ILSG trip in Red Lake.
The second winner was Mark Smyk, who in 2000 received the award for failing to scout out a field trip stop location beforehand. Mark had the dubious honour of  having a trip participant point out Paleozoic fossils in Mark’s Proterozoic sandstone! (The “real” Proterozoic sandstone was around the corner.)
The two Mark's were joined in 2005 by Bill Addison who received the award for running out of gas while returning from the Beardmore-Geraldton trip run as part of the Nipigon meeting. This in itself would not have been Homer-worthy except that Bill was aware of the near empty gas tank and when asked if he wanted to fill up assured everyone that he knew exactly how much gas he had and he would make it back to Nipigon just fine. It should also be noted that Bill defers some of the blame to his passengers, one of whom was a previous Homer recipient.
Steve Kissin joined the illustrious ranks of the Homers in 2007. Steve participated in a canoe trip into the Boundary Waters area during the 2007 Lutsen meeting. The field trip leaders provided a thorough warning to participants "WARNING: The ice just went out (we hope) on the lake and so the water is just above freezing. We will take some time over the lunch hour to instruct everyone on basic canoe safety and what to do in the event that someone dumps in the water. We have BWCA-experienced assistants on the trip and we will bring special equipment to guard against hypothermia. Despite these precautions, the best preventative is using extreme care and common sense". Bearing this in mind Steve managed to tip his canoe not once, but twice!
The most recent addition to these hallowed ranks is Harvey Buck. Harvey is somewhat unique in that he earned the award before the meeting even began, arriving at the field trip departure point for the 2012 Lac des Illes trip exactly one month early, apparently the result of failing eye sight. Harvey assured us that the weather was much better the second time around.

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