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Ocean Sciences Voyager Award

Information on the Award

Starting in 2022, the Ocean Sciences Voyager Award is presented every year and recognizes a mid-career scientist’s significant contributions to, and expanding leadership in, the ocean sciences. Notable contributions can include the awardee’s research impact, innovative interdisciplinary work, educational accomplishments and mentoring, societal impact, or other relevant contributions. This award also acknowledges the awardee’s exceptional promise for continued leadership in the ocean sciences.

The award is presented at the Ocean Sciences section luncheon during the AGU Fall Meeting.

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Award Benefits

AGU is proud to recognize our section honorees. Recipients of the Ocean Sciences Voyager Award will receive the following benefits with the honor:

  • 1
    Award certificate
  • 2
    Recognition in Eos
  • 3
    Recognition at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year
  • 4
    Complimentary meeting registration the year the award is presented
  • 5
    Complimentary ticket to the Ocean Sciences section luncheon at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year

Eligibility

To better understand eligibility for nominators, supporters and committee members, review AGU’s Honors Conflict of Interest Policy.

  • The nominee is required to be an active AGU member.
  • The nominee must be primarily or secondarily affiliated with the Ocean Sciences section or a related sub-section.
  • The nominee must be within 10 to 20 years of receiving their Ph.D. or the highest equivalent terminal degree.
  • The following individuals are not eligible to be candidates for the award during their terms of service:
    • AGU President;
    • AGU President-elect;
    • Council Leadership Team members;
    • Honors and Recognition Committee members;
    • Ocean Sciences Voyager Award Committee members; and
    • All full-time AGU staff.

  • Nominators are not required to hold an active AGU membership.
  • The following individuals are not eligible to be nominators for the award during their terms of service:
    • AGU President;
    • AGU President-elect;
    • Council Leadership Team members;
    • Honors and Recognition Committee members;
    • Ocean Sciences Voyager Award Committee members; and
    • All full-time AGU staff.

  • Individuals who write letters of support for the nominee are not required to be active AGU members.
  • The following individuals are not eligible to be supporters for the award during their terms of service:
    • AGU President;
    • AGU President-elect;
    • Council Leadership Team members;
    • Honors and Recognition Committee members;
    • Ocean Sciences Voyager Award Committee members; and
    • All full-time AGU staff.

The following relationships need to be identified and communicated to the Award Committee but will not disqualify individuals from participating in the nomination or committee review process. These apply to committee members, nominators, and supporters:

  • Current dean, departmental chair, supervisor, supervisee, laboratory director, an individual with whom one has a current business or financial relationship (e.g., business partner, employer, employee);
  • Research collaborator or co-author within the last three years; and/or
  • An individual working at the same institution or having accepted a position at the same institution.

Individuals with the following relationships are disqualified from participating in the award nomination process as a nominator or supporter:

  • Family member, spouse, or partner.
  • A previous graduate (Master’s or Ph.D.) and/or postdoctoral advisor, or postdoctoral fellow may not write a nomination letter but may write a supporting letter after five years of terminating their relationship with the nominee beginning on 1 January after the year the relationship was terminated.
  • A former doctoral or graduate student, or a former postdoctoral fellow may not write a nomination letter for a former advisor but may write a supporting letter after five years of terminating their relationship with the nominee beginning on 1 January after the year the relationship was terminated.

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Nomination Package

Your nomination package must contain all of the following files, which should be no more than two pages in length per document and submitted as one PDF file. Watch our tutorial on successfully submitting a nomination package or read our guide.

  • A nomination letter that states how the nominee meets the selection criteria. It should include details about significant contributions to, or leadership in, the ocean sciences. Nominator’s signature, name, title, institution, and contact information are required and letterhead is preferred.
  • A curriculum vitae for the nominee.
  • One additional letter of support. Supporter’s signature, name, title, institution, and contact information are required and letterhead is preferred. We encourage letters from individuals not currently or recently associated with the candidate’s institution of graduate education or employment.

Submission Process

Awardees are selected by the Ocean Sciences Honors Committee. The nomination cycle is open through 1 June 2020.
SUBMIT
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Recipients

Galen A McKinley

2020

Andréa G. Grottoli will receive the 2018 Ocean Sciences Voyager Award at AGU’s Fall Meeting 2018, to be held 10–14 December in Washington, D. C. The award is given to midcareer scientists for significant contributions and expanding leadership in ocean sciences.

 

Citation

It is my pleasure to recognize Dr. Andréa Grottoli as the recipient of the 2018 AGU Ocean Sciences Voyager Award for her significant contributions and expanding leadership in ocean sciences. Her interdisciplinary research bridges methods and approaches in both geochemistry and coral biology, giving her a unique lens for addressing questions related to the impact of climate change on coral reefs of the past, present, and future. She has published extensively on the effects of ocean warming and acidification on coral biology and skeletal geochemistry, coral bleaching, and coral resilience. Her discoveries have highlighted the importance of plankton to coral survival, and the importance of acclimatization to coral persistence, in the face of climate change. She has also published in the field of paleoceanography. She is a world leader in these fields, and I have had the pleasure of following her progress and impact since the time she was a graduate student.

In addition to her groundbreaking research, Dr. Grottoli has served as an exceptional role model to the next generation of marine scientists. Among the many dozens of undergraduate and graduate students she has mentored, more than 60% were women or minorities. She has also shared the excitement of fieldwork with dozens of students and taught oceanography classes to thousands more. She is a leader in the international scientific community and at Ohio State University. Dr. Grottoli is a highly accomplished marine scientist who serves as a tireless advocate for addressing the current and future plight of coral reefs. Her accomplishments are most impressive. Join me in congratulating her as the highly worthy recipient of this year’s AGU Voyager Award.

—Peter Swart, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Fla.

Response

Thank you, Peter, for nominating me for this award. You have played a significant and positive role in my career, and for that I am immensely grateful. Who knew that 1 month of running coral isotope samples in your lab when I was a graduate student would turn into enduring mentorship, collegiality, and professional friendship? I am so very glad it did. I am grateful to my Ph.D. advisor, Dr. Gerard Wellington (now deceased), who encouraged my research independence early on, and to my postdoc advisor, Dr. Ellen Druffel, who showed me by example how to forge a successful career path as a female scientist. I am also thankful to Drs. Ed Boyle and Ruth Gates, who have been encouraging and supportive of my career and of this award nomination.

The tireless efforts of my many students, postdocs, and collaborators have also been integral to my receipt of this award. The work has been a team effort, and I am very grateful to every one of you. It is those “Aha!” moments that make the research so rewarding. To my family and friends, who have listened to countless stories about corals and research adventures: Thank you. To my spouse, Jim, and my daughter, Marcella, you have added a sense of balance and deeper purpose to my endeavors. I am so happy to share my adventures with you and grateful for your unflagging support. I am thankful to live in a place and a time when it has been possible for me to thrive and be recognized as a female scientist.

And, finally, I would like to thank the AGU Ocean Sciences section for this award. I am deeply honored.

—Andréa G. Grottoli, Ohio State University, Columbus

Laurent Bopp will receive the 2016 Ocean Sciences Voyager Award at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 12–16 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is given to mid-career scientists for significant contributions and expanding leadership in ocean sciences.

 

Citation

It is a joy to introduce to you Dr. Laurent Bopp, the recipient of the 2016 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Ocean Sciences Voyager Award. Laurent is an ocean scientist whose curiosity, drive, and wide-ranging interests have led to a diverse range of well-cited publications, e.g., with Laurent being named one of Thompson-Reuters Most Highly Cited researchers in 2015. A prominent modeler of the Earth system, Laurent has published extensively on the carbon cycle, marine productivity, iron, nitrous oxide, deoxygenation, ocean acidification, and associated feedbacks on climate. He has provided first answers to key questions, e.g., how will multiple global stressors affect ocean productivity, fisheries, and ocean carbon and oxygen.

But research is just part of his story. Motivated to teach from a young age, as an undergraduate he attended the school renowned for producing the best French university professors, the Ecole Normale Superior. On the side, he acquired the French certificate to become a university professor, doing so before entering graduate school, a rare feat. Later, with his doctorate in hand, Laurent jumped immediately into teaching in parallel to his research. He currently teaches marine biogeochemistry and climate science to graduate students at three French universities, while at three others, he gives preparatory courses for future professors. And Laurent’s students love him. Laurent’s dozens of graduate students and postdocs have been attracted to his research mostly through his excellence in teaching. And his teaching goes well beyond the university. Besides writing many pieces for the wider public in books and popular science magazines, Laurent has authored two books on the ocean, both for children.

Only in mid-career, Laurent Bopp is a highly influential ocean biogeochemist, research leader, and educator. Let us join in congratulating him as the recipient of the Voyager award.

—James Orr, Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat de l’Environnement, France

Response

Thank you, James, for this laudatory citation—a large part of my start in this research area, I owe it to the confidence that you and Patrick Monfray, my Ph.D. supervisor, showed me when I arrived at Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat de l’Environnement (LSCE) years ago for a master’s research project!

I thank AGU and the Ocean Sciences section for this award. I am deeply honored, but this award also recognizes colleagues, students, and postdocs with whom I have worked over many years.

A scientific career is a human adventure, made of encounters that shape each of our paths. I had the great chance early on to meet Olivier Aumont and Corinne Le Quéré. Both have inspired me throughout my career, and it is a great pleasure to continue working with them. I also thank my close colleagues at LSCE and at Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, Christian Ethé, Marion Gehlen, James Orr, Marina Lévy, to name a few, with whom I have collaborated in such a constructive way for so many years.

The fruitful interactions with doctoral and postdoctoral students represent an indispensable source of motivation for my research. It is these day-to-day discussions that allow me to move forward and remain passionate about science. It’s wonderful to see many of them, Birgit Schneider, Alessandro Tagliabue, Italo Massotti, Laure Resplandy, becoming professors at leading universities around the world.

An essential part of my job is to convey our science to junior scientists, but also to the general public and especiallly young people. The Surface Ocean-Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS) and Integrated Marine Biosphere Research (IMBER) summer schools have been key moments for this transmission of knowledge. The numerous school visits to talk with children about the ocean and climate are also magical moments.

Most importantly, this would have been impossible without the constant support of my wife Annette and my four children.

—Laurent Bopp, Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, France

Benjamin Horton received the 2014 Ocean Sciences Voyager Award at the 2014 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, held 15-19 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is given to a midcareer scientist (10-20 years postdegree) in recognition of significant contributions and expanding leadership in ocean sciences.

 

Citation

It gives me great pleasure to introduce Dr. Benjamin Horton as the recipient of the inaugural American Geophysical Union (AGU) Ocean Sciences Voyager Award.

Ben’s research focuses on the mechanisms and nature of past sea level changes, including those associated with earthquakes, tsunamis, and storms, to understand how these processes will impact future coastal environments. Ben has rapidly distinguished himself as a leader both within and beyond his discipline.

Certainly, the impact and quality of Ben’s publication record alone qualifies him for the Voyager Award. Beyond the high quality and sheer number of his scholarly contributions, Ben exemplifies many additional qualities that speak to his promise for continued leadership in ocean sciences, including his talent as an educator—both within academia and beyond—and as a leader in interdisciplinary science teams. Ben has built a highly successful research group, and he did so at an impressive speed. There is no doubt that Ben already has had a significant impact on coastal science in the United States in terms of training sea level scientists of the future. Ben is also a very talented public speaker, and despite his intense research activity, he devotes an impressive amount of time to outreach, which is an increasingly important role for climate scientists of our generation. Ben has also developed a very strong network of interdisciplinary collaborators and is particularly effective in designing and implementing collaborative research programs that go well beyond his personal areas of expertise and extend worldwide.

I would like to conclude by saying that Ben has emerged as one of the most energetic and productive Quaternary scientists of his generation. His accomplishments as a scholar, as an educator, and as a citizen of the ocean sciences community make him more than deserving to receive the Voyager Award. Please join me in congratulating Ben on his accomplishments.

—Andrea Dutton, University of Florida, Gainesville

Response

Thank you very much, Andrea, and my most sincere thanks to AGU and the Ocean Sciences section for the Voyager award; I am deeply honored. This award recognizes the students, colleagues, and mentors who have always been supportive of me, both professionally and personally, throughout my career.

I would particularly like to thank Andy Plater, who saw my potential as an undergraduate at Liverpool University, and my graduate advisors, Ian Shennan and Antony Long at Durham University, who not only had the most amazing knowledge and understanding of Quaternary Science but were also patient men, allowing me to find my way as I began to understand the theory of sea level change. A decade ago, I moved the United States, where I met a new set of wonderful colleagues. These include Steve Culver, Jeff Donnelly, Alan Nelson, Daria Nikitina, Dick Peltier, and Tor Tornqvist. I also wish to make a special mention of the late Fred Scatena and Orson van de Plassche, whose influence on my scientific career lives on.

I have been very fortunate to work with a number of young, motivated postdoctoral scientists and graduate and undergraduate students, most notably Andy Kemp and Simon Engelhart. These interactions were pivotal in shaping the research questions we ask in the sea level research community. My career has benefited enormously from field meetings and workshops through the International Geoscience Programme and the Paleo-constraints on Sea-level rise (PALsea) working group, by generating open debate and different perspectives on observations, analyses, and interpretations. I am also indebted to colleagues who have helped me become actively engaged at the interface between science and society.

But I would not have received this award if I had not had the support of my family, who remind me every day what matters in life. The final mention goes to my dad, Professor Peter Horton FRS, who is my inspiration.

—Benjamin P. Horton, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N. J.

Honors Contacts

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Rosa Maymi

Director, Engagement and Membership

202-777-7322 | [email protected]

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Leah Bland

Program Manager, Honors

202-777-7389 | [email protected]

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Hannah Hoffman

Honors and Affiliation Program Coordinator

202-777-7515 | [email protected]