Nomination Process & Requirements
The Waldo E. Smith Award is given in even-numbered years to one honoree in recognition for “extraordinary service to geophysics.”
The Smith Award was originally established in 1982 as the Waldo E. Smith Medal, named in honor of Waldo E. Smith, whose dutiful efforts and service developed AGU into a vibrant, growing organization. In June 2012, the Council agreed to the Honors & Recognition Committee’s recommendation to reclassify the Waldo E. Smith Medal to a Union Award following the approved Union-wide criteria between a medal and an award.
This award honors individuals who have played unique leadership roles in such diverse areas as scientific associations, education, legislation, research, public understanding of science, management, and philanthropy, and whose accomplishments have greatly strengthened and helped advance the geophysical sciences.
To submit a nomination for the Smith Award, click here.
• Engraved award
• Recognition in Eos
• Recognition 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
Unique leadership roles in such diverse areas as scientific associations, education, legislation, research, public understanding of science, management and philanthropy, and whose accomplishments have greatly strengthened and helped advance the geophysical sciences. It is a lifetime achievement award.
Career level: Senior Scientist
Nominee eligibility: (NEW) Active AGU membership is not required
Nominator eligibility: (NEW) Active AGU membership is required
Conferred Fellowship: No
Sections/Focus Groups: All (interdisciplinary)
Nomination Process & Requirements
1. Eligible Nominee. (NEW) Active AGU membership is not required.
2. Eligible Nominator. (NEW) Active AGU membership is required.
3. Eligible Supporters. Active AGU membership is not required.
4. Ineligible Nominees. The following individuals and/or groups are not eligible to be candidates for the Smith Award during their terms of service:
5. Relationship to a Smith Award Nominee. AGU policy on the relationship to a nominee is applicable to committee members, nominators, and supporters. The following relationships need to be identified and communicated to the Smith Award Committee, but will not disqualify individuals from participating in the nomination or committee review process:
- Current dean, departmental chair, supervisor, supervisee, laboratory director, an individual with whom one has a current business or financial relationship (e.g., business partner, employer, employee);
- Research collaborator or co-author within the last three years; and/or
- An individual working at the same institution or having accepted a position at the same institution.
Individuals with the following relationships are disqualified from participating in the Smith Award nomination or committee review process (i.e., , nominatorsupporter, or committee member):
- A previous graduate (Masters or Ph.D.) and/or postdoctoral advisor, or postdoctoral fellow may not write a nomination letter but may write a supporting letter after five years of terminating their relationship with the nominee beginning on 1 January after the year the relationship was terminated.
- A former doctoral or graduate student, or a former postdoctoral fellow may not write a nomination letter for a former advisor, but may write a supporting letter after five years of terminating their relationship with the nominee beginning on 1 January after the year the relationship was terminated. The only exception to this policy is that this restriction does not apply to early career awards from sections and focus groups.
- Chairs and members of the Smith Award selection committee are conflicted with the above-mentioned mentor-mentee relationships and should recuse themselves from participating in the deliberation, evaluation, and voting process for that particular nominee.
Termination of a relationship is defined as follows:
- nominee no longer being paid by supporter
- nominee no longer supported under the same grant or contract
- Family member, spouse, or partner;
- AGU President;
- AGU President-elect;
- Council Leadership Team members;
- Honors and Recognition Committee members;
- Smith Award Committee members; and
- All full-time AGU staff
For more details, please review the AGU conflict of interest policy.
6. Additional Conflicts. Members of the Smith Award Committee may, for other reasons, determine that they have conflicts – or potential conflicts – that require elimination from service and then act on that determination if they believe that service could affect the fairness of the selection process.
Your nomination package should contain the following files, which should be no more than two (2) pages in length per document:
- Nomination letter with one-sentence citation (i.e., citation should be 150 characters or less). Letterhead stationary is preferred. Nominator’s name, title, institution, and contact information are required.;
- Nominee’s curriculum vitae. List the candidate’s (1) name, (2) mailing and e-mail address, (3) history of employment, (4) degrees, (5) research experience, (6) honors, (7) memberships, and (8) service to the community through committee work, advisory boards, etc.
- Nominee’s selected bibliography. Briefly state the total number and types of publications and specifying 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.
- 3 letters of support (total does not include nomination letter). Letterhead stationary is preferred. Supporter’s name, title, institution, and contact information are required.
SUBMISSIONS SENT VIA POSTAL OR COURIER DELIVERY ONLY: Nomination cover sheet – All packages sent via mail or courier delivery should include a completed cover sheet. (The online submission system will generate a cover sheet for nominators.)
Please note that only complete packages will be forwarded to the Smith Award Committee for review. For detailed information on nomination requirements, please view the AGU Union Awards, Medals and Prize frequently asked questions (FAQ) section.
Smith Award nominations can be submitted (1) online or (2) by regular mail delivery. However, to expedite the submission process, please use the online submission system. If you have submitted a package online, then please do not send a printed version to AGU headquarters.
To submit a nomination by regular mail delivery, please make sure to include the nomination cover sheet and mail to: American Geophysical Union, Attn: Honors Program, Awards Selection Committee, 2000 Florida Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20009