Peter S. Eagleson Hydrologic Sciences Award
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Career Stage
Award Type
Section Award
Of Note
Peer nomination required
Submission Window
17 January - 1 March
Established 1956

Recognizing Senior Scientists in Hydrology

The Peter S. Eagleson Hydrologic Sciences Award formerly known as the Hydrologic Sciences Award and the Robert E. Horton Award from 1956 to 1998, is presented annually and recognizes outstanding contributions to the science of hydrology over the course of the awardees’ careers. Successful nominees are senior scientists, with an emphasis on their contributions over the past five years.

Professor Peter S. Eagleson was a pioneer in the field of hydrology, transforming it from an engineering specialty with local application into the global-scale study of the water cycle. His 1970 book, titled Dynamic Hydrology provided radically new perspective on the movement and storage of water in the environment. The water cycle interface with the climate system and biogeochemical cycles and its interactions with the biosphere were hallmarks of his new vision. In a series of seven papers under the main title Climate, Soil, and Vegetation in a single issue of Water Resources Research he demonstrated the potential of this new thinking for solving some of the long-standing disciplinary and interdisciplinary challenges. In 1991 the National Research Council published Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences as the report of a committee chaired by Professor Eagleson. This report recommended a new vision for the field of study that built on his pioneering ideas.

Following his retirement from MIT, Professor Eagleson continued producing inspiring new ideas. He published two books: Ecohydrology (2002) and Range and Richness of Vascular Land Plants (2009) that ushered in yet another transformation of the discipline by bridging the fields of hydrology and ecology.

He served as the president of the American Geophysical Union from 1986 to 1988. In 1992, he was MIT Killian Award lecturer, the Institute’s highest faculty honor.

Honor Benefits
Recipients receive the following:

  • An award certificate
  • Recognition in Eos
  • Recognition at AGU's annual meeting the year the honor is awarded
  • Registration to AGU's annual meeting the year the honor is awarded
  • Ticket to the Hydrology section luncheon that occurs at AGU's annual meeting the year the honor is awarded

About the Hydrology Section

The Hydrology Section is one of twenty-five sections in the American Geophysical Union. Its members are concerned with the cycling of continental water (solid, liquid and vapor) at all scales, and with physical, chemical and biological processes driven by that cycling. Of AGU's almost 60,000 members, about 7000 list their primary affiliation with the hydrology section.


The nominee must be:
  • an active AGU member
  • an experienced senior scientist who is an established leader in their field
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