The Vetlesen Prize was established in 1959 by the G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation .
The prize is awarded for scientific achievement resulting in a clearer understanding of the Earth, its history, or its relations to the universe and is administered by Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Designed to rank in its field in importance and honor with the Nobel awards, the Vetlesen is acknowledged as the premier prize in this area.
Competition for the Vetlesen Prize is open to any person anywhere in the world.
The prize is awarded on average once every two years, if the jury selects at least one worthy candidate during this period.
The prize consists of a cash award of $250,000, a medal, and travel expenses for the awardee and the awardee’s spouse or other family member (if the awardee lives outside the New York City area).