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January 18, 2017

U.S. Geological Survey scientist Dr. Robert Baskin is being awarded with a 2016 Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology. Gov. Gary R. Herbert will present awards to 11 individuals and one company at the 30th anniversary awards dinner tonight.

Photo of USGS scientist Robert Baskin deploying a side scan sonar in the Salton Sea, California. 
USGS scientist Robert Baskin deploys a side scan sonar in the Salton Sea, California. (© Jenny E. Ross)

“The medal recipients are true leaders in innovation, serving as educators, mentors and influencers statewide,” Gov. Herbert said. “Innovation drives Utah’s thriving economy and unmatched quality of life. I commend the winners for excellence in their fields and for their important work, which will benefit Utah residents for generations.”

Baskin is best known for his innovative research on Great Salt Lake, collaborating with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and University of Utah to provide information vital for effective lake management. His work has greatly contributed to the understanding of Great Salt Lake and how sediments influence the health of the ecosystem.

Baskin has worked extensively with local, state, federal and international entities on subjects ranging from water quality and availability, seismic hazards, thermal imaging and saline ecosystems throughout his 30 year USGS career. His research mainly focuses on Utah, but studies have also lead him to diverse areas around the globe, including the Middle East, the Salton Sea, NASA Stennis Space Center and southern Florida. He holds the world record, as far as he knows, for the deepest dive in Utah Lake (63 feet).

Baskin earned his Master of Science and doctorate degrees from the University of Utah. His ongoing research focuses on integrating multiple technologies to identify environmental variables that affect microbial carbonate development and influence the ecology of Great Salt Lake. Baskin has published more than 30 peer-reviewed papers and is working on multiple research projects.

Since 1987, the Governor’s Medals for Science and Technology have been awarded to individuals who have provided distinguished service to the state of Utah in science and technology fields. The program is sponsored by the Utah Science and Technology Research Initiative and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.




Photo of USGS research boat conducting science on the Great Salt Lake.
USGS scientist Robert Baskin takes a boat out on the Great Salt Lake to conduct research. (Credit: Jennifer LaVista, USGS. Public domain.)
Photo of scientists deploying a side scan sonar in the Salton Sea, California.
USGS scientists Robert Baskin (right) and Danny Brothers (left) deploy a side scan sonar in the Salton Sea, California. (© Jenny E. Ross)

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