Piers J. Sellers Global Environmental Change Mid-Career Award

Basic Information

Piers J. Sellers (11 April 1955 - 23 December 2016), for whom the proposed award is named, pioneered the study of global land surface/leaf carbon, was an accomplished astronaut, an outstanding communicator of global environmental science to the public, an AGU Fellow and a member of its Global Environmental Change Section.  He developed one of the earliest terrestrial vegetation/carbon models and served as a leader of both large interdisciplinary international ecosystem-climate field campaigns and the largest NASA Earth Observing System flagship satellite mission (TERRA). In 1997 while in his early 40s he left his research position to join the NASA astronaut corps after having already been elected an AGU fellow. As an astronaut, in 2006 he set the record of the longest space walk and flew on three space shuttle missions. He also served as chief of the space station branch in the astronaut office. In 2011, Sellers retired from the NASA Astronaut Corps and returned to the Goddard Space Flight Center as a high-level administrator.  He has devoted his time and energy to public outreach, promoting Environmental Sciences and Earth Observing Systems, through countless public lectures and as a frequent contributor to newspapers, such as the New York Times. Today, many environmental change scientists continue to benefit from the results of his pioneering work and leadership in Global Environmental Science during his early and mid-career.  He represents a truly outstanding role model for GEC mid-career scientists.


In recognition of a scientist or team of mid-career scientists for outstanding contributions in research, educational or societal impacts in the area of global environmental change, especially through interdisciplinary approaches.


  • Award certificate
  • Announcement in Eos
  • Invitation and Complimentary ticket to attend the GEC dinner event during the AGU Fall Meeting where the award will be presented
  • Recognition at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year

FREQUENCY: Presented annually