Hydrology Section: Now Accepting Honor Nominations

Posted 01/20/18 by jaivime in News

Dear Hydrology Section,

As promised at the Hydrology Section Business Meeting in New Orleans and in the July newsletter, here are the new nomination guidelines for the Hydrology Section Awards for 2018. These guidelines pertain only to the Hydrology section awards: Walter Langbein LecturePaul A. Witherspoon LectureEarly Career Award, and the Hydrological Sciences AwardUnion awards, medals and prizes and Union Fellows honors are overseen by the Union, not the Hydrology section.

The objective of the new process is to increase the number of excellent nominations for deserving and diverse candidates across our hydrology community. Our expectation is that a streamlined nomination process will generate more nominations. As always, anyone can submit a nomination. I hope that you will consider someone you think is deserving. I hope that each technical committee will identify at least 1 person for each award, and that past awardees and Fellows will consider taking the time to nominate an outstanding junior or senior colleague.

And it is simple!

How to submit a nomination?
Making a nomination is a two-part process:

  1. Nominators submit their 1-page nomination letter to the AGU submission site by March 15, 2018. Easy step-by-step instructions can be found in this quick video tutorial. Each award committee chair will meet with their committee members within 1-2 weeks of the submission deadline to develop a shortlist (no more than 5 nominations) for more in-depth consideration.
  2. Once selection committees identify the shortlist of nominations, the nominator will be notified to begin the process of securing the required support letters. Nominators will be responsible for uploading the letters to the AGU submission site by the April 15 deadline.

What else is needed along with the 1-page nomination?
The 1-page nomination letter must be accompanied by the nominee’s full CV, as well as the contact information of 3 potential writers of letters of support. Nominators should contact the supporters to ensure that, all 3 letter writers can accommodate the April 15 deadline.

Who can submit a nomination for these awards?
Anyone can be a nominator. While this has always been the case, there continues to be some confusion in this regard. All are encouraged to nominate a deserving candidate. I emphasize that this is regardless of rank, age, country of origin or any other possible factor.

If our hopes are realized, 2018 will see many more nomination submission. However, a compelling nomination will be necessary to make it to the next round. Below are snippets of very useful material from AGU on how to craft a compelling nomination letter:

  • Read the criteria for each honor and award carefully. Is your nominee right for the award? Intent, criteria and required nomination components for all AGU honors can be found on the Hydrology Section website. You can also ask the committee chair or any committee member regarding the award you are thinking of nominating someone for, to get further information.
  • Assure that your letter addresses why the candidate is deserving of the award. Does your nomination address the specific criteria for this award? All nomination letters should explicitly address the selection criteria and explain the importance of the science/accomplishments relevant to the award and assure the nomination materials are tailored to the award. Include the following relevant elements, with an emphasis on each of the specific criteria and goals of the award, e.g. science, specific papers that changed the field; service, unique impact/AGU service; teaching/mentoring or outreach.
  • Provide a complete overview of your nominee and emphasize the unique elements of his/her accomplishments that make your nomination stand out from others.
    • Focus on the science/service/education achievements (depending on goal of the award), the impact, novelty, creativity, depth and breadth of the nominee’s research rather than quantitative metrics (number of publications, h-factor, etc.) and biographical facts (education, employment history, awards) that are listed in the nominee’s CV.
    • Mention other accolades. Distinguish and highlight the role of the nominee (is the nominee a motivator/leader/implementer?).
    • Mention relationships to co-workers (students, postdoc, mentor, etc.). If the nominee has a large research group, highlight the intellectual contributions made by the individual to the work. Also, mention the success of coworkers the nominee has influenced (students, postdocs, and adjunct faculty).
    • For senior awards, focus on transformational science documented by specific publications and how they might have changed the course of research in the field. Link to specific papers in a bibliography or on the CV and discuss why they are important. Always support with evidence for each criterion.
    • Emphasize service to AGU and the science community and contribution to education. These can be important tie breakers.
    • Check the list of previous winners and identify what they have in common with your nominee.
  • Submit a concise, well-written 1-page letter
    • Follow the nomination requirements and include in addition to the 1-page letter the nominee’s CV, names of the 3 letter writers, google citation and H-index info.
    • Avoid the phrase “I know of no one else more deserving of this award.”
  • If at first you don’t succeed…. resubmit! Solicit feedback from the selection committee after the process is complete. As long as your nominee meets the criteria of the honor, review and update the submission for the following cycle and resubmit.

Other Details
All nominations must be submitted on the nomination submission site. On March 15 AGU will send the respective award chairs an exported report of all nominations that have been submitted along with the individual nomination packages. This will be done through a secured drop file. Once the award chairs have informed AGU of the nomination packages they wish to move forward, AGU will allow the respective nominators access to update the submission and submit supporting letters by April 15, after which the award committee will have full access and can proceed with deliberation and selection. Again, to repeat for full clarity, please view thistutorial video to explain the upload process.


Happy nominating!

Jeffrey McDonnell, Hydrology Section President, AGU