Satellite view of the Caspian Sea

James B. Macelwane Medal

Information on the Macelwane Medal

The James B. Macelwane Medal is given annually to three to five early career scientists in recognition of their significant contributions to Earth and space science. Nominees are selected for the medal based on their depth and breadth of research, impact, creativity as well as service, outreach, and diversity.

The Macelwane Medal was named in honor of former AGU president James B. Macelwane (1953-1956) who was renowned for his contributions to geophysics. Macelwane was also deeply interested in teaching and encouraging scientists, founding the Department of Geophysics at St. Louis University and serving as Dean of the Graduate School, along with various other roles, all while always committing to teach at least one course.

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in southern Arizona

Award benefits

AGU is proud to recognize our honorees. Recipients of the James B. Macelwane Medal will receive the following benefits during the award presentation year:

  • 1
    An engraved medal
  • 2
    Awardee will be made an AGU Fellow (if the honoree has been an AGU member for three consecutive years and is not already a Fellow)
  • 3
    Recognition in Eos
  • 4
    Recognition and invitation to give a talk at the AGU Fall Meeting
  • 5
    Four complimentary hotel nights at the AGU Fall Meeting
  • 6
    Two complimentary tickets to the Honors Banquet at the AGU Fall Meeting


AGU membership is not required for nominees, however, they should be in compliance with the Conflict of Interest Policy. To better understand eligibility for nominators, supporters and committee members, review AGU’s Honors Conflict of Interest Policy.

  • 1

    Nominees: The nominee must be an early career scientist within 10 years of receiving their Ph.D. or the highest equivalent terminal degree as of 1 January of the year of the nomination. 

    PLEASE NOTE: Allowances to this eligibility requirement will be considered under AGU's Honors Program Career Stage Eligibility Requirement Allowance Policy. This policy grants allowances to the career stage eligibility requirement based on the following family or medical leave circumstances: childbirth; adoption; personal serious illness; primary caregiver of a person with a health condition, and any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the spouse, child, or parent of the employee is engaged in military service. Allowances for other extenuating circumstances not covered in the above examples (i.e., economic hardship, other career breaks, etc.) can also be considered. 

  • 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.
Lava flowing in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

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.

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Suggestions for nomination and support letters

All letters should focus on the impact, novelty, creativity, depth, and breadth of the nominee’s research rather than quantitative metrics such as the number of publications or H-factor or biographical facts that are listed in the nominee’s CV. Nominators and supporters should provide a short description of how they know the nominee and his/her work and provide a personal perspective on how the nominee compares with other early career scientists in a broad field. Letters should include an evaluation of:

  • The nominee’s stature
  • The nominee’s impact on mentoring and teaching
  • The nominee’s participation in high-level committees or outreach activities

Nominators and supports should include their own credentials or associations with scientific organizations such as AGU Fellow or member of the National Academies.

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Past recipients

Name Year of honor
 Kyle C. Armour 2020
 Sarah M. Hörst 2020 
 Brandon Schmandt 2020
 Yoshihide Wada 2020
 Kelly Wrighton 2020 
Amir AghaKouchak 2019
Anton Artemyev 2019
Emily V. Fischer 2019
Francis A. Macdonald 2019
Erik van Sebille 2019
Caroline C. Ummenhofer 2018
Drew Lawson Turner 2018
Isaac R. Santos 2018
Walter W. Immerzeel 2018
Steven J. Davis 2018
Tiffany A. Shaw 2017
Wen Li 2017
Yan Lavallée 2017
Michael P. Lamb 2017
Robert E. Kopp 2017
Toshi Nishimura 2016
Gabriele Villarini 2016
Appy Sluijs 2016
Maureen D. Long 2016
Andy Hooper 2016
Paul Cassak 2015
Colette L. Heald 2015
Katharine Maher 2015
Bethany L. Ehlmann 2015
Matthew G. Jackson 2015
Jessica Tierney 2014
David Shuster 2014
J. Taylor Perron 2014
Christian Frankenberg 2014
Rajdeep Dasgupta 2014
Sonia I. Seneviratne 2013
Motohiko Murakami 2013
Jesse Kroll 2013
Josef Dufek 2012
David Richard Shelly 2012
Gabriel J. Bowen 2012
Tanja Bosak 2011
Nicolas Dauphas 2011
Arlene Fiore 2011
Adam Maloof 2011
Christian Schoof 2011
David B. Lobell 2010
Rosalind E. Rickaby 2010
Jasper A. Vrugt 2010
Peter J. Huybers 2009
Miaki Ishii 2009
Benjamin P. Weiss 2009
James Badro 2008
Emily E. Brodsky 2008
Diane E. Pataki 2008
Amy C. Clement 2007
Jeanne Hardebeck 2007
Francis Nimmo 2007
Jun Korenaga 2006
Jerry Goldstein 2006
Daniel J. Frost 2006
Paul Asimow 2005
A. Hope Jahren 2005
James T. Randerson 2005
Robin M. Canup 2004
Daniel Sigman 2004
David W. J. Thompson 2004
Kurt M. Cuffey 2003
Guido Salvucci 2003
Lianxing Wen 2003
John M. Eiler 2002
George Katul 2002
Michael Manga 2002
Vassilis Angelopoulos 2001
Daniel P. Schrag 2001
Azadeh Tabazadeh 2001
John H. Woodhouse 2001
Scott Doney 2000
Erik Hauri 2000
Quentin Williams 2000
Jeroen Tromp 1999
Rainer Hollerbach 1999
Kenneth A. Farley 1999
Tuija I. Pulkkinen 1998
Lars P. Stixrude 1998
Edouard Bard 1997
Marc Parlange 1997
Robert van der Hilst 1997
David Bercovici 1996
Dara Entekhabi 1996
David Roy Hanson 1996
Stephen Fuselier 1995
Jonathan I. Lunine 1995
Jason Phipps Morgan 1995
John E. Vidale 1994
Jeremy Bloxham 1994
Daniel J. Jacob 1994
Michael Gurnis 1993
David J. McComas 1993
Margaret A. Tolbert 1993
Eric Kunze 1992
David G. Sibeck 1992
Terry C. Wallace 1992
Thomas A. Herring 1991
Roderic L. Jones 1991
Thorne Lay 1991
Steven M. Gorelick 1990
Paul Segall 1990
Ellen M. Druffel 1990
Richard G. Gordon 1989
Seth A. Stein 1989
William R. Young 1989
Douglas R. MacAyeal 1988
Kevin B. Quest 1988
Marcia McNutt 1988
J. Leslie Smith 1987
Toshio Terasawa 1987
Mary Lou Zoback 1987
Bradford H. Hager 1986
Edward M. Stolper 1986
Robert A. Weller 1986
William H. Matthaeus 1985
Susan Solomon 1985
John M. Wahr 1985
Mary K. Hudson 1984
Raymond Jeanloz 1984
John H. Woodhouse 1984
William L. Chameides 1983
Donald J. DePaolo 1983
Thomas H. Jordan 1983
Rafael Luis Bras 1982
Donald W. Forsyth 1982
Steven C. Wofsy 1982
Ronald G. Prinn 1981
David J. Southwood 1981
Donald J. Weidner 1981
Lawrence Grossman 1980
Thomas Westfall Hill 1980
Norman H. Sleep 1980
Ralph J. Cicerone 1979
Michael C. Kelley 1979
R. Keith O’Nions 1979
John M. Edmond 1978
Thomas E. Holzer 1978
Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe 1977
Christopher T. Russell 1977
Paul G. Richards 1977
Kurt Lambeck 1976
Robert L. Parker 1976
John S. Lewis 1976
Vytenis M. Vasyliunas 1975
Gerald Schubert 1975
Dan McKenzie 1975
Amos M. Nur 1974
R. Allan Freeze 1973
John Michael Wallace 1972
Carl I. Wunsch 1971
Lynn R. Sykes 1970
Richard S. Lindzen 1969
Michael B. McElroy 1968
Manik Talwani 1967
Don L. Anderson 1966
Gordon J.F. MacDonald 1965
Klaus F. Hasselmann 1964
Alexander J. Dessler 1963
James N. Brune 1962


Honors Contacts

AGU Staff Headshot Moore

Artesha Moore

Vice President, Affiliation, Engagement & Membership

202-777-7530 | [email protected]

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Leah Bland

Program Manager, Honors

202-777-7389 | [email protected]

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Antonio Covington

Program Specialist, Section Awards and Lectures

202-777-7484 | [email protected]