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Section Awards and Lectures

Recognizing outstanding work

Each year, sections of AGU recognize outstanding work within their scientific discipline by hosting nearly 25 named lecture presentations and presenting more than 30 awards and prizes. Awardees in various stages of their careers who represent some of the most innovative minds in their disciplines are chosen for their meritorious work or service toward the advancement and promotion of discovery in Earth and space science.

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Nominations are Open!

The nomination cycle for 2021 AGU Section awards is now open until 15 April. Nominate a colleague, peer or student today.
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Section awards and lectures

This section is responsible for fostering atmospheric and space electricity science within AGU. It is also charged with building interdisciplinary interaction and educating AGU members about the nature and importance of problems and issues in atmospheric and space electricity.

The Atmospheric and Space Electricity Section supports the Benjamin Franklin lecture to recognize outstanding scientists and an early career award.

The Atmospheric Sciences Section studies the physics, chemistry, and dynamics of the atmosphere. One of the most critical issues that section members are studying today, along with colleagues in other sections, is global climate change.

The Atmospheric Sciences Section offers a total of three awards and three lectures:

The Biogeosciences Section emphasizes linkages between biological sciences and geophysical sciences fundamental to study of the Earth and other planets. The research areas encompassed within the section include biogeochemistry, biogeophysics, astrobiology, and planetary scale ecosystem science.

The section established the following awards and lectures:

The Cryosphere Section encompasses the scientific study of the portion of the Earth’s surface where water is in a solid form; this includes ice sheets, glaciers, sea ice, freshwater ice, snow, and frozen ground (or permafrost).

The section supports the Cryosphere Early Career Award and the John F. Nye Lecture.

The Earth and Planetary Surface Processes Section focuses on the full range of processes — including anthropogenic — that generate, erode, and measure landscapes, that generate stratigraphy, and that couple the internal dynamics of the surface to climatic and tectonic forcings.

The section offers the following awards and lectures:

The Earth and Space Science Informatics Section serves to facilitate communications and coordinate activities related to issues of data management and analysis, large-scale computational experimentation and modeling, and the hardware and software infrastructure needs to span the range of scientific topics of interest to the Union.

It established the Greg Leptoukh Lecture to recognize outstanding scientists.

The Geodesy Section focuses on the study of the geometrical, structural, and gravitational properties of the Earth, their time evolution, and the dynamic interactions of the solid Earth with other physical components of the Earth system (atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and the core), at a wide range of temporal and spatial scales.

This section established the following awards and one lecture:

Members of the Geomagnetism, Paleomagnetism and Electromagnetism Section study the magnetic field, from Earth’s core to other planets and to outer space, to gain an understanding of Earth’s structure, dynamics, history and its relationship to other planets.

The section offers the Gilbert Award and the Edward Bullard Lecture.

The Global Environmental Change Section addresses large-scale chemical, biological, geological, and physical perturbations of the Earth’s surface, ocean, land surface, and hydrologic cycle with special attention to time scales of decades to centuries, to human-caused perturbations, and their impacts on society.

This section supports the following awards and lectures:

The Hydrology Section is focused on the cycling of continental water (solid, liquid and vapor) at all scales, and with physical, chemical and biological processes driven by that cycling.

The section supports the following awards and lectures:

The Mineral and Rock Physics Section fosters a focus on the properties of the Earth’s materials and their current physical state and chemical makeup as well as the processes that have governed their evolution.

The section has established three awards to recognize outstanding current Ph.D. students and early career scientists: John C. Jamieson Student Paper Award, Mineral and Rock Physics Early Career Award, and the Mineral and Rock Physics Graduate Research Award.

The Natural Hazards Section fosters a focus within AGU on studies of geophysical hazards, including droughts, earthquakes, fires, flooding, heat waves, landslides, space weather, storms, tsunamis, volcanoes, impact by near-Earth objects, and related events.

The section supports the following awards and lectures:

The Near-Surface Geophysics Section focuses on the development and application of any and all geophysical methods to study the near-surface region of the Earth, to advance the fundamental science of geophysical imaging (data acquisition, inversion, interpretation), and to address key questions about subsurface properties and processes.

The section offers the Near-Surface Geophysics Early Career Achievement Award.

The Nonlinear Geophysics Section focuses on quantifying nonlinear behavior through analysis of geophysical data and modeling using the mathematical tools and approaches of fractals, chaos, scaling, critical phenomenon, nucleation, cellular automata, and self-organizing and complex systems.

The section offers the Space Weather and Nonlinear Waves and Processes Prize, the Donald L. Turcotte Award and the Ed Lorenz Lecture.

The Ocean Sciences Section engages members primarily affiliated with biological oceanography, marine geochemistry, marine geology and geophysics, physical oceanography, and ocean sciences.

The section established the following awards and lectures:

The Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology Section focuses on understanding the past conditions and dynamics of Earth’s oceans and atmosphere and their interactions.

The section offers the following awards and one lecture:

AGU’s Planetary Sciences Section encompasses basic research into the nature of planets and how they work, as well as the planning and implementation of space missions for exploration and discovery.

This section established the following awards and lectures:

Seismology Section members use seismic waves to study how earthquake faults rupture and to prove Earth’s internal structure from the surface to the core.

The section has established the Keiiti Aki Early Career Award, the Paul G. Silver Award for Outstanding Scientific Service and the Beno Gutenberg Lecture.

The Study of the Earth’s Deep Interior Section is dedicated to understanding the internal structure of the Earth (and other bodies) at depths inaccessible by direct sampling.

The section established the Study of the Earth’s Deep Interior Section Award for Graduate Research.

The Tectonophysics Section is interested in geodynamic processes and deformation from the scale of individual crystals to mantle convection and plate tectonics through the study of rock mechanics, mineral physics, seafloor geology and morphology, continental marine tectonics and structural geology, and the thermal regime and mass balance of the Earth.

The section established the Jason Morgan Early Career Award, the Paul G. Silver Award for Outstanding Scientific Service and the Francis Birch Lecture.

The Volcanology, Geochemistry, and Petrology Section has an interest in studying and mitigating the hazards of volcanoes and its work has a direct bearing on public safety and the preservation of life.

The section supports the following awards and lectures:

Announcing our 2019 awardees

Eighty-two distinguished scientists have been selected for section awards or named lectures. 
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Section awards timeline

15 October

Nominations submissions site opens.

1 June

Nominations submissions site closes.

1 May – 19 June 

AGU Staff liaison review nomination packages for eligibility and completeness.

22 June – 17 July

Section Honors Committees review nomination packages and complete initial evaluations.

Individual committee reviews are summarized in preparation for committee deliberations.

17 July

Committee recommendations are due to AGU Honors staff (via email: [email protected]). Report template will be made available to the committee chairs.

Section Chairs provide feedback on all nominations (successful and unsuccessful).

24 July 

Deadline for Section Presidents to approve committee selections.

Early September

Notification email sent to all nominators.

Late September

AGU officially announces the Section honorees.

7-11 December

AGU formally recognizes the 2019 Section honorees during the AGU Fall Meeting.