Nomination Process

Established in 1962, the Fellows program recognizes AGU members who have made exceptional contributions to Earth and space sciences as valued by their peers and vetted by a committee of Fellows. The Fellows program serves to meet the need of identifying authorities who could advise, upon request, the various government agencies and other organizations outside the Earth and space sciences. In addition, the program aims to motivate members to achieve excellence in research and thereby enhance the prestige of AGU.

Originally suggested by the AGU Executive Committee of 1960, the Membership Committee sought the counsel of “elder AGU statesmen” including Walter H. Bucher, Leason H. Adams, W. D. Lambert, Maurice Ewing, and Joseph Kaplan. The first class of elected AGU Fellows was announced in December 1962.

We will open the nomination cycle on 15 January 2017. The last day to submit a Fellows nomination will be 15 March 2017, 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time). Newly elected Fellows and their nominators will be notified in late-July. Additionally, newly elected Fellows will be announced in Eos in late-July or early-August 2016. Newly elected Fellows will be honored during the upcoming AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, California.

AGU policy states that “the number of Fellows elected each year shall not exceed 0.1% of the total membership.” Thus, one Fellow is elected for every 1000 AGU members. The number of Fellows elected is based on the total membership at the end of the previous year. In addition, approximately three to five AGU members are conferred as Fellows annually.

The nominee’s primary section or focus group affiliation will automatically review the nomination package. Also, nominators can select an additional three section or focus group affiliations to review the package as well. Section and Focus Group Fellows committees can review a nominee’s secondary affiliations upon request.

Nominations are forwarded to Section and Focus Group Fellows Selection committees. These discipline- and problem-oriented groups review the candidates affiliated with their group and submit to the Union Fellows Selection Committee the names of those who, in their judgment, are their best candidates from among those nominations. They are permitted to submit up to 0.2 percent of the membership of the group they represent. Section and Focus Group Fellows Selection committees submit a final list, ranking the allotted number of nominees they are permitted to move forward for review by the Union Fellows Selection Committee.

Eligible nominations are forwarded to Section and Focus Group Fellows committees based on the nominee’s primary affiliation and any affiliations selected by the nominator. Committees review their respective candidates and submit to the Union Fellows Selection Committee the names of those who, in their judgment, are their best candidates from among those nominations. They are permitted to submit up to 0.2 percent of the membership of the group they represent. Thus, the Union Fellows Selection Committee receives twice the number to be elected to review, consider carefully, and make a final decision. They are supplied with the Section and Focus Group Fellows committees’ nominee rankings; recommendations from each Section and Focus Group Fellows Committee, and detailed information about each ranked nominee.

The Union Fellows Selection Committee dedicates months of its time reviewing every nomination submitted by Section and Focus Group Fellows committees. On the basis of their diverse scientific backgrounds and knowledge, committee members present or support the case of an allotted number of proposed Fellows at a confidential Union Fellows Selection Committee meeting, which will be held in July at AGU headquarters. At this meeting, there are thorough discussions, and in cases where there are significant differences of opinion, secret ballots are cast. No one is elected without receiving a majority of the committee’s votes.