Susan L. Brantley
Brantley is recognized for her pioneering geochemical research achievements and for her role in leading a novel initiative in science of the critical zone -- the part of the Earth that extends from the tree canopy to groundwater. Her fundamental research has had an enormous impact in environmental geoscience. She has made groundbreaking advances in quantifying rock-water-biological agent interactions while championing the need to study the societally-important ‘skin’ of the Earth as one entity instead of breaking it down into its individual parts. She led the charge to establish this new field of research to treat the critical zone for the first time as a co-evolving entity driven by physical, chemical, and biological processes that sustain life.