Robert E. Horton Medal

Information on the Horton Medal

The Robert E. Horton Medal is given annually to one honoree in recognition of outstanding contributions to hydrology. Established in 1974, the Horton Medal is named in honor of Robert E. Horton, who made significant contributions to the study of the hydrologic cycle. Medal recipients typically work in one of the following disciplines: biogeosciences, cryosphere, Earth and planetary surface processes, hydrology, nonlinear geophysics and near surface geophysics.

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Award Benefits

AGU is proud to recognize our honorees. Recipients of the Robert Horton Medal will receive an engraved medal, as well as the following benefits with the honor:

  • 1
    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)
  • 2
    Recognition in Eos
  • 3
    Recognition at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year
  • 4
    Four complimentary hotel nights at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year
  • 5
    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 committee members, review AGU’s Honors Conflict of Interest Policy.

  • 1

    Nominees: The nominee should be a senior scientist, but is not required to be an active AGU member. They should 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.

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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. 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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Horton medalists are evaluated by the following four criteria: scientific excellence, scientific impact, broader impact, and reputation and leadership. Specific criteria include:

  • 1
    The scientific excellence of the candidate’s body of work over a sustained period of time (this medal is for lifetime achievement) and the publications that have resulted, as well as the insights gained (including contributions across the earth and space sciences).
  • 2
    How the candidate’s work has made a significant impact on his/her field overall, and/or to its growth, through influencing current and future research—articulate these contributions and their importance in a way that can be understood by peers and those outside their research field
  • 3
    Who has benefitted from the work, and the candidate’s recognitions and notable service to his/her field, aligning these with AGU’s mission and vision.
  • 4
    The nominee’s international reputation in his/her field.
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Past recipients



Year of honor

Rien van Genuchten  2020 

S. Majid Hassanizadeh


Dennis P. Lettenmaier


Eric F. Wood


Thomas Dunne


Günter Blöschl


W. James Shuttleworth


Soroosh Sorooshian


Keith Beven


Murugesu Sivapalan


Jacob Bear


William E. Dietrich


Vijay K. Gupta


Rafael L. Bras


Thomas Schmugge


Gedeon Dagan


Garrison Sposito


Shlomo P. Neuman


Jean-Yves Parlange


Donald R. Nielsen


M. Gordon Wolman


Wilfried H. Brutsaert


Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe


John D. Bredehoeft


Mark Meier


Don Kirkham


Mikhail I. Budyko


Luna B. Leopold


Paul A. Witherspoon


Peter S. Eagleson


Abel Wolman


Charles V. Theis


John R. Philip


William C. Ackermann


Harold A. Thomas, Jr.


Walter B. Langbein


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]