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Maria Mastalerz
Indiana Geological Survey

Last modified: Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Indiana University coal geologist to receive national honor

June 11, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Geological Society of America has named Indiana University Bloomington geologist Maria Mastalerz the winner of the 2008 Gilbert H. Cady Award. Mastalerz, 51, is the youngest person ever to receive the award, and only the second woman to be so honored.

Mastalerz is a senior scientist at the Indiana Geological Survey, a research institute of Indiana University, and is a graduate faculty member in IU's Department of Geological Sciences, where she advises graduate students.

Maria Mastalerz

Photo by: Maria Mastalerz

Indiana Geological Survey Senior Scientist Maria Mastalerz

Print-Quality Photo

"I am pleased that Maria will be the recipient of the 2008 Cady Award," said University of Kentucky coal petrographer James C. Hower, a previous recipient of the award who has collaborated with Mastalerz. "This recognition is highly deserved. She is one of the outstanding coal scientists of this generation, not just in Indiana and the United States, but in the world."

The award is presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of coal geology.

Mastalerz's area of expertise is coal petrology, the science that deals with the origin, history, occurrence, structure, chemical composition and classification of coal. She has conducted research in the sedimentary basins of Poland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

A native of Poland, she came to the United States in 1994 from British Columbia, Canada, to accept her current position at the Indiana Geological Survey. Her current projects include the characterization of Indiana coals, investigations into coalbed methane potential, the sequestration of carbon dioxide in coal beds and the importance of stable isotopes in organic matter maturation. Her work on Indiana coals has increased the marketability of some coals for specific purposes, such as using Indiana's high-volatile bituminous coals for firing coking furnaces in the steel-making process.

An associate editor of the International Journal of Coal Geology, Mastalerz has authored two books and 111 peer-reviewed papers in international journals, and about 130 other published contributions. She is a recipient of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists' Gordon H. Wood Jr. Memorial Award and the Organic Petrology Award from the International Committee for Coal and Organic Petrology.

"Dr. Mastalerz's recognition by this prestigious award is a proud moment not only for her, but also for the Indiana Geological Survey and Indiana University," said John C. Steinmetz, the director of the Indiana Geological Survey. "Her work is critical to the development of cleaner coal technology, which has both economic and environmental benefits for Indiana."

An engraved silver award bowl will be presented to Mastalerz at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Houston in October.

To speak with Mastalerz, please call 812-855-9416 or e-mail