Joanne Simpson Medal
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Career Stage
Middle Career
Award Type
Union Medal
Of Note
Confers Union Fellowship;
Peer OR self-nomination permitted
Submission Window
17 January - 1 March
Established 2016

Recognizing Middle Career Scientists for Significant Contributions to Earth and Space Science

The Joanne Simpson Medal is given annually to two to three middle career honorees in recognition of their significant contributions to Earth and space science. The medal recognizes exceptional middle career scientists who have made transformative scientific advances or breakthrough in the Earth and space sciences, have demonstrated strong leadership, and provided outstanding service to science and society. Recipients of this award may work across any Earth and space science discipline.

This medal is named in honor of Joanne Simpson, who was the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in meteorology and during her career made fundamental contributions to modern research on tropical clouds and hurricanes.

Honor Benefits
Recipients receive the following:

  • An engraved medal
  • Induction into the AGU College of Fellows (if the honoree has been an AGU member for three consecutive years and is not already a Fellow with exceptions allowed in cases of financial hardship as determined by AGU)
  • Recognition at AGU's annual meeting the year the honor is awarded
  • Four hotel nights and two tickets to the Honors Banquet at AGU's annual meeting the year the honor is awarded

Evaluation Criteria

A successful nomination package will address the following areas:

What are the scientific contributions of the candidate’s body of work through the introduction of new ideas and data collection efforts and/or development of new analytical methods and/or approaches for synthesis across Earth and space science? What publications have resulted and what insights have been gained?


Answer how the candidate’s work has made a significant impact on their field overall and 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.


Evaluate who has benefited from the work, the candidate’s recognitions and notable service to their, and how they align to AGU's mission and vision.


Evaluate whether the candidate’s service, collaboration and leadership have immeasurably aided the work of science or non-profit organizations, government agencies, institutions, and external committees.


The nominee must be a middle career scientist within 20 years of receiving their Ph.D. or highest equivalent terminal degree.

Read Career Stage Policy
Nominators/co-nominators must be active AGU members.
All Parties
Must be in compliance with AGU's conflict of interest and professional conduct policies.
Read AGU's Ethics Policies