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Honors and Recognition Committee

Honors and Recognition Committee members (2020-2021)




LaToya Myles

NOAA Air Resources Laboratory


Estella Atekwana

University of Delaware


Liane Benning

GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences


Julio Betancourt

Tesfaye Birke

University of KwaZulu-Natal


John Geissman

University of Texas


Kristie Llera

Southwest Research Institute


Barbara Sherwood Lollar

University of Toronto


Hailong Lui

Shanghai Jiao Tong University


Renata Netto

Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos


Yuhan Rao

Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites North Carolina State


Simon Schneider

University of Potsdam


Sarah K. Vines

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory


Heather Watson

Union College


Artesha Moore


Staff Partner; Vice President Engagement & Membership

Leah Bland


Staff Partner; Program Manager, Honors

Committee Charge

The Honors and Recognition Committee maintains oversight of AGU’s honors and recognition programs at all levels – Union awards, medals, prizes, and fellows, as well as section honors. It conducts, on a regular basis, a periodic review of the program, which includes providing recommendations on improving nomination and selection policies and procedures, upgrading operational policies, reviewing the objectives of the medals, awards, prizes and fellowships to make sure that the program elements are well defined. It makes sure that section honors programs are current, appropriate and balanced. It is charged with reviewing proposals for new recognitions and recommends new recognition opportunities. It creates a community through ritual and celebration ensuring that the Honors Ceremony and related activities are maximally effective to leverage and enhance the external visibility and achievements of the scientist, the science and AGU.

Honors committee charge

Key Initiatives and Duties

The Honors and Recognition Committee ensures that the Honors program recognizes all constituencies and fosters a worldwide network of individuals in Earth and space science who epitomize excellence and cooperation in research, education, and outreach. The committee promotes transparency, allowing broad input and recognition beyond disciplinary awards, promoting diversity and inclusion to ensure that all AGU awards are recognizing underrepresented groups at appropriate levels. Duties include:

  • 1
    Recommend, implement, and evaluate strategies used to increase diversity of nominees and nominations.
  • 2
    Promote and develop new awards to enhance and support interdisciplinary collaboration and recognition.
  • 3
    Examine and report on program data to determine whether the number and quality of AGU honors nominees is competitive.
  • 4
    Provide strategies, resources, and support to Sections Honors Nominating Committees to strengthen and promote their role in AGU Honors.
  • 5
    Partner with staff to provide training to all honors selection committees on policies, processes and program elements.
  • 6
    Partner with leaders, staff and other societies to resolve common issues among scientific communities’ rewards and recognition programs.
  • 7
    Develop opportunities and mechanisms to leverage member accomplishments and honors.
  • 8
    Report on progress to Council twice per year, or more frequently as required.

Honors Selection Committees

Every honor within AGU’s honors program, including Union awards, medals, and prizes, Fellows, and section honors, has a selection committee—some section honors share committees. Each selection committee is responsible for reviewing honors nominations and submissions and selecting the winner. Selection committees operate on an annual or biannual basis, depending on the award.

Honors selection committee