Charles A. Whitten Medal

Basic Information


Nomination Process & Requirements


Whitten Medal Committee


Nominations for the Whitten Medal will open on 15 January 2020.

The Charles A. Whitten Medal is given in even-numbered years to one honoree in recognition for “outstanding achievement in research on the form and dynamics of the Earth and planets.”

Established in 1984, the Whitten Medal is named in honor of Charles A. Whitten, who has made fundamental contributions to the research of crustal movements. Whitten formerly served as an AGU section president for of the Geodesy section (1964–1968) and AGU General Secretary (1968–1974). Whitten was the first recipient of this medal.

Charles Whitten was a geodesist with the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey who made outstanding contributions to the geodetic sciences and the work of the American Geophysical Union. He was the best known American geodesist of his day, and his kindness to his colleagues and devotion to his profession are legendary.

Charles Whitten Biography

• Engraved medal
• AGU Conferred Fellow (if honoree is not already an AGU Fellow, and has been an AGU member for three consecutive years at the time of their award, with exceptions allowed in cases of financial hardship)
• Recognition in Eos
• Recognition at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year
•Four complimentary hotel nights at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year
•Two complimentary tickets to the Honors Banquet at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year


For outstanding achievement in research on the form and dynamics of the Earth and planets.

AGU Section Affiliation(s): Geodesy (G); Nonlinear Geophysics (NG); Planetary Sciences (PS); Seismology (S); Techtonophysics (T)

Nomination Process & Requirements

Nomination Eligibility:



  • Active AGU membership is required.
  • Compliance with AGU Conflict of Interest Policy.
  • Duplicate nominations for one individual will not be accepted. However, one co-nominator is permitted (but not required) per nomination.


Nomination Requirements:

Two or more nomination packages for a single candidate will not be considered. If separate packages are received, the nominators will be asked to combine them.

Your nomination package should contain the following files, which should be no more than two (2) pages in length per document:

  1. Nomination letter with one-sentence citation. Letterhead stationary is preferred, and should include the nominator’s name, title, institution and contact information. The citation should appear at either the beginning or end of the nomination letter and be no more than 150 characters.
  2. Nominee’s curriculum vitae (CV). Please include all of following information for the candidate: name; mailing and email address; history of employment; degrees; research experience; honors; memberships, and service to the community through committee work, advisory boards, etc.
  3. Nominee’s selected bibliography. Briefly state the total number and types of publications and specify the number published in AGU publications. For example: Jane Doe is the author of 92 publications, 86 in peer-reviewed scientific journals, 14 of which have been published in AGU journals and books. The following selected list best supports Jane’s nomination for the Whitten Medal.
  4. 3 letters of support (total does not include nomination letter). Letterhead stationary is preferred. Supporter’s name, title, institution, and contact information are required.

Submission Process

Nominations open: 15 January 2020
Nominations close: 15 March 2020

Nominations for the Whitten Medal must be submitted through the online submission system.

Nomination packages submitted online must be complete at the time of submission. Please note that only complete packages will be forwarded to the Whitten Medal Committee for review.

For detailed information on nomination requirements, please view the AGU Union Awards, Medals and Prize frequently asked questions (FAQ) section. For additional questions, contact the Honors Team at