Multiple lightning strikes on a stormy evening behind a city.

Charles S. Falkenberg Award

Information on the Falkenberg Award

The Charles S. Falkenberg Award is an annual award sponsored by AGU and the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) to recognize an early to mid-career scientist who has contributed to the quality of life, economic opportunities and stewardship of the planet through the use of Earth science information and to the public awareness of the importance of understanding our planet.

Charles S. Falkenberg was a computer scientist whose research focused on enabling practical applications of Earth science through data visualization and information technology. Falkenberg was also committed to increasing public awareness of both the research methods and findings regarding the Earth's environment. After he and his family died in the tragic events of 11 September 2001, Falkenberg was posthumously recognized as the first recipient of this award in 2002.

Illustration of data and global information connecting

Award benefits

AGU is proud to recognize its honorees. Recipients of the Charles S. Falkenberg Award will receive an engraved award, as well as the following benefits with the honor:

  • 1
    Monetary prize
  • 2
    Recognition in Eos
  • 3
    Recognition at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year
  • 4
    Two complimentary tickets to the Honors Banquet at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year


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

  1. Nominees: The nominee must be within 15 years of receiving their highest terminal degree or under age 45 as of 1 January when nominated.AGU membership is not required but they must be in compliance with the Conflict of Interest Policy.
  2. Nominators: Nominators must be active AGU members and in compliance with the Conflict of Interest Policy. Duplicate nominations for the same individual will not be accepted. However, one co-nominator is permitted (but not required) per nomination.
  3. Supporters: Individuals who write letters of support for the nominee are not required to be active AGU members but must be in compliance with the Conflict of Interest Policy.

Icebergs floating in water

Nomination package

Your nomination package must contain all of the following files, which should be no more than two pages in length per document. For detailed information on the requirements, review the Union Awards, Medals and Prizes Frequently Asked Questions.

  • A nomination letter with one-sentence citation (150 characters or less). Letterhead stationery is preferred. Nominator’s name, title, institution, and contact information are required. The citation should appear at either the beginning or end of the nomination letter.
  • A curriculum vitae for the nominee. Include the candidate’s name, address and email, history of employment, degrees, research experience, honors, memberships, and service to the community through committee work, advisory boards, etc.
  • A selected bibliography stating the total number, the types of publications and the number published by AGU.
  • Three letters of support not including the nomination letter. Letterhead is preferred. Supporter’s name, title, institution, and contact information are required.

Trees with sun rays and clouds in the background

Criteria for nomination and support letters

All nominations should clearly demonstrate that the honoree has met the key criteria of improving the planet and quality of life through using and increasing awareness of data and the understanding of our planet.

The nomination package should detail (itemize) demonstrable, current impacts of the nominee’s research as opposed to future possibilities, and the nominator should also include evidence of current or past impacts. This can manifest in recommendation letters that provide details that are verifiable or where the nominator can direct the committee to find such evidence. The nominator should include details on the scope of impact, including the number and/or diversity of the people or communities impacted.

If the nominee’s work has been within a group effort, the nominee’s specific contributions should be detailed with supporting evidence.

Lava flowing in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Nominations are Open!

The nomination cycle for 2022 AGU Union awards, medals, and prizes is now open until 15 April. Nominate a colleague, peer or student today.

Illustration of chaos abstract fractal effect light design

Past recipients


Name Year of honor
Ved Chirayath 2020 
Rebecca B. Neumann 2018
Hook Hua 2017
Kevin Murphy 2016
Benjamin L. Preston 2015
Curt Tilmes 2014
Chelle Gentemann 2013
Faisal Hossain 2012
Jay Gulledge 2011
Stefan R. Falke 2010
Mark Parsons 2009
Daniel E. Irwin 2008
Dave Jones 2006
George Tselioudis 2004
Jeff de La Beaujardiere 2003
Charles S. Falkenberg 2002


Honors Contacts

AGU Staff Headshot Moore

Artesha Moore

Vice President, Affiliation, Engagement & Membership

202-777-7530 | [email protected]

Graphic silhouette of a person

Leah Bland

Program Manager, Honors

202-777-7389 | [email protected]

AGU Staff Headshot Covington

Antonio Covington

Program Specialist, Section Awards and Lectures

202-777-7484 | [email protected]