This is the highest award of the QRA and is named in honour of James Croll (1821-1890). Croll is most closely associated with fundamental work on the astronomical theory of the ice ages, but he also made seminal contributions on the glacial geology of Scotland, on the mechanisms that drive ocean circulation and the impact of that circulation on recent climate, on tidal theory and the rotation of the Earth. These are all major issues that occupy Quaternary scientists to this day. Croll was effectively self-taught. His work and example demonstrate that any individuals from all backgrounds can rise to national eminence and generate science of lasting and major international impact, that it is not who you are or where you come from but what you do that is important. These are the qualities that the QRA seeks to celebrate in the award of the James Croll Medal.
The Medal is therefore normally awarded to a member of the QRA who has not only made an outstanding contribution to the field of Quaternary science, but whose work has also had a significant international impact.