To be elected a Union Fellow is a tribute to those AGU members who have made exceptional contributions to Earth and space sciences as valued by their peers and vetted by section and focus group committees. Eligible Fellows nominees must have attained acknowledged eminence in the Earth and space sciences. Primary criteria for evaluation in scientific eminence are: (1) breakthrough or discovery; (2) innovation in disciplinary science, cross-disciplinary science, instrument development, or methods development; and/or (3) sustained scientific impact.

Nominees are initially reviewed by their primary section or focus group affiliation and, upon a nominator’s request, up to three additional section/focus group affiliations. Based on primary membership totals, each Section/Focus Group Fellows Committee is allocated a number of candidates to move forward for final review and consideration by a Committee of Fellows. This honor may be bestowed on only 0.1% of the membership in any given year.


  • AGU Fellows medallion
  • AGU Fellows certificate
  • AGU Fellows lapel pin
  • Recognition in Eos and on the AGU website
  • Recognition at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year
  • Two complimentary tickets to the Honors Banquet, held at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year

Recipients of AGU Union medals and Ambassador awards are automatically conferred a Fellow if they are not already an elected AGU Fellow.