The Vetlesen Prize has been described as an attempt to establish an equivalent of a Nobel Prize for geophysics or geology. The prize is awarded for scientific achievement resulting in a clearer understanding of the Earth, its history, or its relations to the universe. The prize was established in 1959 and is awarded on average once every two years, if the jury selects at least one worthy candidate during this period.
G. Unger Vetlesen established the foundation which bears his name shortly before his death in 1955. In addition to the Vetlesen Prize, the foundation provides support in the Earth sciences for institutions of excellence. The prize is awarded for scientific achievement resulting in a clearer understanding of the Earth, its history, or its relations to the universe. The prize is awarded on average once every two years, if the jury selects at least one worthy candidate during this period.
- 2017 - Mark Cane, USA
- 2017 - George Philander, USA
- 2015 - Robert Stephen John Sparks, United Kingdom
- 2013 - Susan Solomon, USA
- 2013 - Jean Jouzel, France
- 2008 - Walter Alvarez, USA
- 2004 - Sir Nicholas Shackleton, United Kingdom
- 2004 - W. Richard Peltier, Canada
- 2000 - W. Jason Morgan, USA
- 2000 - Walter C. Pitman III, USA
- 2000 - Lynn R. Sykes, USA
- 1996 - Robert E. Dickinson, USA
- 1996 - John Imbrie, USA
- 1993 - Walter Munk, USA
- 1987 - Wallace S. Broecker, USA
- 1987 - Harmon Craig, USA
- 1981 - Marion King Hubbert, USA
- 1978 - J. Tuzo Wilson, Canada
- 1974 - Chaim Leib Pekeris, Israel
- 1973 - William A. Fowler, USA
- 1970 - Allan V. Cox, USA
- 1970 - Richard R. Doell, USA
- 1970 - S. Keith Runcorn, United Kingdom
- 1968 - Francis Birch, USA
- 1968 - Sir Edward Bullard, United Kingdom
- 1966 - Jan Hendrik Oort, Netherlands
- 1964 - Pentti Eskola, Finland
- 1964 - Arthur Holmes, United Kingdom
- 1962 - Sir Harold Jeffreys, United Kingdom
- 1962 - Felix Andries Vening Meinesz, Netherlands
- 1960 - W. Maurice Ewing, USA
- "Vetlesen Prize" howstuffworks.com
- Alden, Andrew "What Is Geology's Nobel Prize?" About.com
- "The Vetlesen Prize"
- "About the G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation"
- Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
- "Past Vetlesen Laureates - Susan Solomon". www.ldeo.columbia.edu. Lamont-doherty Earth Observation, Columbia University. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
- "Past Vetlesen Laureates - Jean Jouzel". www.ldeo.columbia.edu. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
- The Vetlesen Prize past recipients