A photography of AGU Fellows medals with the AGU100 logo and blue ribbons laying across a white table.

Union Fellows

Program Overview

The Fellows program was established in 1962 and recognizes AGU members who have made exceptional contributions to Earth and space science through a breakthrough, discovery, or innovation in their field. Fellows act as external experts, capable of advising government agencies and other organizations outside the sciences upon request. The program enhances the prestige of AGU and motivates members to achieve excellence in research.

Nominations are Open!

The nomination cycle for the 2021 Class of AGU Fellows is now open until 15 March. Nominate a colleague today.

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Union Fellows

2021 Nominations are now open! Click here to submit a nomination

2020 Fellows

Congratulations to our 62 new Fellows who are recognized for their advancement of the Earth and space sciences.
View Fellows

Nomination package requirements

Provided here are the required materials and submission details to be considered for a Union Fellow nomination. Please note that starting in 2018, only three letters of support will be accepted. Fellows nominations can be submitted online or by regular mail delivery.

Letterhead stationary is preferred to include nominator’s name, title, institution, and contact information are required. The citation must appear at either the beginning or end of the nomination letter and be no more than 150 characters.

CVs must list all the following candidate information: name, mailing and email address, history of employment, degrees, research experience, honors, memberships, service to the community through committee work, advisory boards, etc.

Briefly state the total number and types of publications; specify the number published in AGU publications. For example: Jane Doe is the author of 92 publications, 86 in peer-reviewed scientific journals, 14 of which have been published in AGU journals and books. The following selected list best supports Jane’s nomination for AGU Fellow.

Letterhead stationary is preferred. Supporter’s name, title, institution, and contact information are required. Diverse supporters (i.e. individuals who are not currently/recently associated with the nominee’s institution) are strongly encouraged.

ISI Web of Knowledge is the recommended resource. Though a requirement in previous years, the h-index is now optional and plays a secondary role in evaluation. A recent AGU Fellows program review suggests the following actions when using h-index in Fellows nominations:

  • The h-index is one potential indicator of scientific merit but should not be a major deciding factor in consideration of candidacy.
  • If the h-index is used in a nomination package or is mentioned in letters, it is incumbent on the writer to include the source of the h-index and a URL that has been uniquely identified for the candidate’s h-index calculation.
  • If the h-index is used, it is meant to be compared only within the same scientific discipline.

Each document should be no more than two pages in length. Only complete packages will be forwarded to Section Fellows committees for review. AGU prefers all documents use either Calibri 11 pt. or Times New Roman 12 pt. font size for all nomination documents (i.e. nomination letter, letters of support, selected bibliography, curriculum vitae). If the font size used is too small, you will be asked to revise the document.

Fellows nominations can be submitted online or by regular mail delivery. You may choose only one mode of submission.

To expedite the submission process, we recommend that you use the online submission system. Please do not hit the “submit” button before your nomination is complete. Once the nomination is submitted, no additional information can be submitted online.

Nominations submitted by mail should include a completed nomination cover sheet along with other package components. Please send the complete nomination cover sheet and package to:

Attn: Fellows Committee
2000 Florida Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20009, USA

Nominee eligibility

Fellows must demonstrate scientific eminence in the Earth and space sciences through achievements in research, as demonstrated by one or more of the following: 

1. breakthrough or discovery;
2. innovation in disciplinary science, cross-disciplinary science, instrument development, or methods development; and/or
3. sustained scientific impact

In addition to the criteria listed above, please ensure all eligibility aspects are met prior to nominating a candidate. The nominee must be a middle or senior career scientist, an active AGU member for the past three years, and in compliance with our Honors conflict of interest policy. Selected nominees will need to sign a self-disclosure form

To verify a nominee’s join date and section affiliation please contact the Union Fellows coordinator.

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Nomination timeline

15 January 2021 - 15 March 2021: Union Fellows Nomination Period is Open  

March - August 2021: AGU staff, Section Fellows Committees, and Union Fellows Committee review nomination packages

July 2021: Union Fellows Committee meets for final deliberations to elect the 2021 Class of Fellows

August 2021: 2020 Class of Fellows is Announced

December 2021: AGU formally recognizes the 2021 Fellows during the AGU Fall Meeting

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Union Fellows Review Process

The number of Fellows elected each year shall not exceed 0.1 percent of the total membership and is based on the previous year. Approximately three to five additional AGU members are conferred as Fellows annually with their receipt of specific AGU honors.

Each nominee’s primarily section affiliation automatically reviews the nomination package. Nominators can also request review by up to three additional sections.

Nominations are forwarded to the Section Fellows Committees to be ranked for review by the Union Fellows Committee. Each Committee may nominate up to 0.2 percent of their membership for the next review stage. This review lasts one month.

The Union Fellows Committee then reviews all recommended nominations over the course of a second month, concluding with a two-day in-person meeting to vote on all nominations. In cases where there are significant differences of opinion, secret ballots are cast. Elected Fellows must receive a majority of the Union Fellows Committee votes.

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Union Fellows Committee

Learn about the Union Fellows Committee charged with selecting AGU Fellows, vetting candidates, and working with the section selection committees.
Learn more

College of Fellows

The mission of the AGU College of Fellows is to foster excellence, integrity, and interdisciplinary collaboration in the Earth and space sciences, provide expert and strategic advice to AGU on global scientific issues, and support the professional development and engagement of scientists at all career stages and from all backgrounds.

To learn more about the College of Fellows and how to get involved, visit their website.

AGU President Robin Bell shakes hands and laughs with a new AGU Fellow