The 2011 Union Service Award is awarded to Herbert Summesberger for his invaluable and unselfish contribution to the organization, the attractiveness and the success of the GIFT workshops for the last 7 years.
Herbert Summesberger earned his degrees from the University of Vienna. His PhD thesis deals with structural geology, stratigraphy and palaeontology in the Northern Calcareaous Alps. He has organized several international symposia and has been the leader of the Working Group on Geosciences, Education and Public Relations of the Austrian Geological Society. Retired since 2004, he is a member of the Board of the Friends of the Museum of Natural History, and organizes exhibitions and seminars for high school teachers. He has also written high school books and a Vienna city guide for buildings and decorative stones.
Since the EGU General Assemblies moved to Vienna, he has immensely contributed to the organization, attractiveness and overall success of the GIFT workshops for teachers. From the very beginning he has worked with the Austrian Ministry of Education to obtain official recognition of the GIFT workshops, so that Austrian teachers are officially encouraged to participate by the Ministry. Dr Summesberger has also provided a private guided tour of the Museum of Natural Sciences in Vienna on the afternoon of the Sunday preceding the workshop, and in the last three year an “ice-breaker” reception has been added. Dr Summesberger has also personally addressed the teachers during the workshops (presentation of pedagogical tools such as GEOLAB) and last year also added a field trip at the end of the workshop, out of the conference hall and into real geology. Many people are willing to offer their assistance by giving a talk or a hands-on contribution to a single GIFT workshop, but not Herbert Summesberger – he continually comes up with new ideas, which he then happily implements.