Marguerite T. Williams Award
Congratulations 2023 Section Award and Lecture Honorees!
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Career Stage
Middle Career
Award Type
Section Award
Of Note
Peer nomination required
Submission Window
17 January - 27 March
Established 2020

Recognizing Mid-Career Research and Community-building in the Earth and Planetary Surface Processes Field

The Marguerite T. Williams Award is presented annually and recognizes significant contributions to research and community-building by a mid-career scientist in the field of earth and planetary surface processes. Marguerite T. Williams was a black woman who, by receiving her PhD in Geology in 1942, pioneered to broaden participation in STEM. Dr. Williams was already mid-career when she returned to school to earn higher degrees in geology, finishing her PhD in 1942 at the age of 47. Dr. Williams devoted her career to teaching, and she faced and overcame immeasurable barriers in her education and career, underscoring the enormity of her accomplishments.

Honor Benefits
Recipients receive the following:

  • An award certificate
  • Recognition in Eos
  • Recognition at AGU's annual meeting

Criteria for a Successful Nomination

Nominees are evaluated on the following:

The successful nominee’s body of publications or other scholarly output demonstrates the introduction of new ideas and data collection efforts or the development of new analytical methods or novel approaches to synthesis that integrate Earth and life sciences. “Life sciences” is defined broadly, ranging from biochemical mechanisms to ecology to life’s origin and evolution.


Evidence for significant or sustained contributions to EPSP community building may include one or more of the following:

  • Contributions towards broadening the EPSP community through the sustained mentorship of students and/or early career scientists
  • Broad reach in scientific communication, which may include but is not limited to K-12 and broader community outreach, development and/or sharing of educational tools, the organization of conferences, panels, and workshops, and contributions to policy statements, blogs, or other non-technical science writing. 
  • Evidence of efforts to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion within the EPSP community or at a scientist’s home institution and/or efforts to improve accessibility and community climate.
  • Exceeding standard service in peer review or panel participation, editorships or assistant editorships, or committee and leadership roles.
  • Commitment to FAIR data principles, development and/or sharing of open-source software and code

Evidence of significant contributions to research may include:

  • At least one contribution that significantly advanced the field of EPSP-related studies
  • Collective contributions that have influenced the field, for example through: the development of new tools or techniques for understanding surface processes and the evolution of planetary surfaces; discovery of new links between surface processes and their drivers; interdisciplinary research that provides new insight into surface processes and landscape evolution; and/or application of surface processes research to sustainability, management, human and/or ecosystem health, and other applications

The successful nominee must be a good citizen of the community as demonstrated by service, teaching, mentoring, collaboration or leadership activities aligned with AGU’s values and mission.


The nominee is not required to be a member of AGU but must be a mid-career scientist within 20 years of receiving their Ph.D.

Read Career Stage Policy

The nominator is not required to be an active AGU member.
All Parties
Must be in compliance with AGU's conflict of interest and professional conduct policies.
Read AGU's Ethics Policies