Athelstan Spilhaus Award
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Career Stage
Early Career
Middle Career
Award Type
Union Award
Of Note
Peer OR self-nomination permitted
Submission Window
17 January -1 March
Established 2006

Recognizing Public Engagement with Earth and Space Sciences

The Athelstan Spilhaus Award is given annually to an honoree in recognition of their enhancement of the public's engagement with Earth and space sciences through devoting portions of their career conveying to the general public the excitement, significance, and beauty of Earth and space science.

Athelstan F. Spilhaus, Sr. was a geophysicist and meteorologist who made innovative contributions to science, education, and public service. As a scientist and cartoonist, Spilhaus enthusiastically communicated with non-scientists through an informative science center at the 1961 World’s Fair in Seattle, as well as a long-running science cartoon featured in approximately 100 newspapers spanning the United States.

Honor Benefits
Recipients receive the following:

  • An engraved award
  • Recognition at AGU's annual meeting the year the honor is awarded
  • Two tickets to the Honors Banquet at AGU's annual meeting the year the honor is awarded

Criteria for a Successful Nomination

  • The quality and impact of the nominee’s work on their field.
  • The extent to which the nominee’s work reaches a broad or traditionally underrepresented audience.
  • The originality/innovative nature of the nominee’s work.


The nominee must be an early-career, middle-career or experienced scientist.
Read Career Stage Policy
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