The OS Section of AGU recognizes the professional accomplishments of its members as AGU Fellows and through the Ocean Sciences Award, the Early Career Award, the Voyager Award, the Sverdrup, Rachel Carson and Emiliani Lectures and the Outstanding Student Paper award. In addition, many Ocean Sciences Section members are honored by the Union as Medalists, including most importantly the Maurice Ewing Medal. See the AGU Honors Page or contact the OS Honors and Recognition committee for more information.

Upcoming nomination deadlines


AGU Fellows

Fellows nominations not being solicited until early 2015

Past Fellows from the OS section and Citations
2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004


Harald Ulrik Sverdrup Lecture

(Union Lecture designated by OS Section)

The Harald Ulrik Sverdrup Lecture honors the life and work of geophysicist, Harald Sverdrup.  This Ocean Sciences section named lecture is presented at the AGU Fall Meeting in even numbered years as well as at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in even numbered years.

The Sverdrup Lecture is also a part of the Bowie Lecture series, which was inaugurated in 1989 to commemorate the 50th presentation of the William Bowie medal, which is AGU’s highest honor and named for its first president.  Sverdrup is a past recipient of the William Bowie medal.

The Sverdrup Lecturer is selected for exemplifying Harald Sverdrup’swork with outstanding contributions to the basic science of the atmosphere and the oceans and/or unselfish service promoting cooperation in atmospheric and oceanographic research.

Deadline for nominations: 15 April 2014.

Nomination criteria and procedures

Nominations are submitted online

Past lecturers:

Dennis Hansell, 2014. (watch) “Dissolved Organic Matter in the Ocean Carbon Cycle
Lisa Levin, 2012. (watch) “Deep Margins Under Pressure: Sustaining Biodiversity and Function where Climate Change and Humans Collide
Debbie Steinberg, 2012. “Long-term Changes in the Role of Zooplankton in Ocean Biogeochemical Processes
Charles Eriksen, 2010 (watch). “The Autonomous Revolution: Transforming Ocean Observation with Mobile Platforms
Robert Anderson, 2010. “Wind-Driven Upwelling in the Southern Ocean, Atmospheric CO2, and the End of the Last Ice Age” (abstract unavailable – OS10)
Rana Fine, 2008. “Chlorofluorocarbons: The Oceans’ Inadvertent Canary
Victoria Fabry, 2008. “Ocean Acidification: Hunamkind’s Global Geochemical Experiment  with Uncertain Ecological Consequences
Edouard Bard, 2006. “The Last Deglaciation as a Test Bench for Studying the Mysteries of Ocean Evolution
Barbara Hickey, 2006. “Freshwater Influences on Coastal Productivity and Harmful Algal Blooms” (no abstract)
Alice L. Alldredge, 2004 (webcast – Scroll down to Wednesday). “Marine Snow and Gels: Hot Spots of Biogeochemical Cycling, Biological Activity, and Sedimentation in the Sea
Lawrence Mysak, 2004. “The Oceans and Climate: Earth System Models and Their Application to Abrupt and Not-so-abrupt Changes” (no abstract)
William Jenkins, 2002. “What Oceanographers are Learning From Transient Tracers
Jorge Sarmiento, 2002. “The Ocean Carbon Cycle: How Well Do We Understand It?”
Cindy Lee, 2000. “Particle Fluxes in the Sea” (no abstract)
Michael J. McPhaden, 1998. “The 1997-98 El Nino in Review: Lessons and Challenges for Climate Research” (OS32-F)
Paul Quay, 1997. “Is a Balanced Carbon Budget Measurable in the Surface Ocean?” (OS42-D)
Michael S. McCartney, 1996. “The North Atlantic Ocean in Climate and Climate Change” (FM96)
Margaret Delaney, 1995. “Paleoceanography: State of Art and the Future” OS96)
Kenneth S. Johnson, 1994. “The Iron Experiment: Advances in Instrumentation and a New Class of Ocean Experiments ” (FM94)
Russ Davis, 1994. “In Situ Observation of Ocean Climate” (OS94)
Mark Cane, 1993. “Progress in Predicting El Nino and the Southern Oscillation” (FM93)
Eric Kunze, 1992. “Finescale Ocean Processes” (FM92)


Rachel Carson Lecture

The Rachel Carson Lecture honors the life and work of marine biologist Rachel Carson. The person chosen to present the lecture is a female scientist who exemplifies Rachel Carson’s work with cutting-edge ocean science, especially science relevant to societal concerns. This Ocean Sciences section named lecture is presented annually during the AGU Fall Meeting, held in San Francisco, Calif.

Deadline for nominations: 15 April 2014.

Nomination criteria and procedures

Nominations are submitted online

Past lecturers:

Adina Paytan, 2013. “Addressing Global Environmental Challenges through Interdisciplinary Biogeochemical Research” (To view the abstract go here, enter “OS23B-01″ into the search box and scroll down to Tuesday and click “view presentation”)
Nancy Rabalais, 2012. “Significance and insignificance of the 2011 Mississippi Flood to Surrounding Waters
Joanie Kleypas, 2009. “Ocean Acidification and Coral Reef Ecosystems: A Simple Concept with Complex Findings
Mary Silver, 2008 (webcast – look under 28 May). “Algal Toxins in the Deep Blue Sea: an Environmental Concern?
M. Pilar Cornejo R. de Grunauer, 2007. “Crossing the Threshold: From Climate to its Human Dimensions” (abstract unavailable – JA07 session OS44B)
Mimi Koehl, 2006. “Hydrodynamics on the Scales of Biological Processes” (abstract unavailable – JA06 session OS24A)
Meg Tivey, 2005 (webcast). “Seafloor Hydrothermal Vents and Their Impact on the Composition of the Ocean Crust, Ocean Chemistry, and Biological Activity in the Deep Sea“.
Ann Gargett, 2004. “Beyond Correlations: The Search for Mechanisms Underlying Coupled Climate/Ecosystem Variability in the Oceans
Judith McKenzie, 2003. “The Search for Life within the Subseafloor Ocean: A Journey to ‘The Edge of the Sea‘”
Jane Lubchenco, 2002 (webcast). “Seas the Day: Learning to Navigate Uncharted Waters
Susan Lozier, 2001. “Pathways and Climate of the Deep North Atlantic“.
Cindy Van Dover, 2000. “Beyond The Edge of the Sea: Volcanoes and Life in the Deep Ocean
Sharon Smith, 1999. “The Sea of the Zanj: The Ocean’s Response to Monsoon Winds” (abstract unavailable – SM99 session OS41B)
Penny Chisholm, 1998. “Relating Structure and Function in Marine Ecosytems”. (abstract unavailable – SM98 session OS22C)


Cesare Emiliani Lecture

This annual lecture at the Fall AGU meeting honors the memory of Cesare Emiliani and is organized by the Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology Focus Group and the Ocean Sciences section. It recognizes individuals who have made outstanding scientific contributions to our understanding of past oceans and climates.

Past awardees: (There is another version of this list on the P&P site. And another list here.)

Howard Spero, 2013. “The Paleoceanography Frontier: Proxies, New Technologies and Novel Questions”
Richard Zeebe, 2012. “No future without a past” or “History will teach us nothing?
Harry Elderfeld, 2011 (watch). “What a Single Celled Organism Can Tell Us About Climate History: A Status Report On Paleocean Proxies With Examples“.
D. A. Hodell, 2010 (watch). “Abrupt climate change during the Last Ice Age from the perspective of 17°N, 90°W”.
Delia Oppo, 2009 (watch). “Tropical Climate: Insights from Sediment and Modeling Studies”.
Christina Ravelo, 2008 (webcast – scroll down to Tuesday). “Lessons from the Pliocene Warm Period and the Onset of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation”.
David Lea, 2007 (webcast – scroll down to find). “Changes in Attitude on Equatorial Latitudes: Tropical Climate Evolution During the Ice Ages”.
Jim Zachos, 2006 (webcast – scroll down to find). “Tempo and Magnitude of Greenhouse Warming and Ocean Acidification at the
Paleocene-Eocene Boundary
Maureen Raymo, 2005 (webcast – scroll down to find). “On Glaciations and Their Causes”.
Lonnie G. Thompson, 2004 (Webcast page – Scroll down to Wednesday). “Tropical Ice Core Evidence for Rapid Holocene Climate Change and Asynchronous Glaciation
William F. Ruddiman, 2003. “The Anthropogenic Era Began Thousands of Years Ago
Richard Alley, 2002 (watch). “Prepare Immediately for Whatever is Going to Happen Next: A Paleoclimatic View of the Future”.
Wallace S. Broecker, 2001 (watch). “Reconstructions of the CO3 Ion Distribution in the Glacial Deep Ocean”.
James P. Kennett, 2000 (watch). “Role of methaneHydrate in Late Quaternary Climate Change”.
Nicholas J. Shackleton, 1999. “Will Oxygen Isotope Stratigraphy Survive the Next Millennium?” (abstract unavailable – FM99 session OS12F)


Early Career Award

The Early Career Award is given to a member of the Ocean Sciences Section in recognition of significant contributions to and promise in the ocean sciences. The awardee must be in the first eight post-doctoral degree years of their career. One award will be given at the Fall Meeting every other year, beginning in 2002. The award will include a grant for travel to AGU meetings funded by the contributions of members of the Ocean Sciences Section. The award consists of a certificate; travel support, funded by the contributions of AGU Ocean Sciences section members, to attend the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year; and an Eos announcement.

Nominations closed until 2015.

Nomination criteria and procedures

Nominations are submitted online

Past awardeess:

Andrew Thompson, 2013
Baylor Fox-Kemper, 2011
Josh Willis, 2011
Kelly Benoit-Bird, 2008
Andreas Schmittner and Claudia Benitez-Nelson, 2006
Adina Paytan, 2004
Craig Carlson, 2002


Ocean Sciences Award

Established in 1982, the Ocean Sciences Award is presented in alternate years. Initially it was awarded for outstanding service to the ocean sciences. In 2013 the scope of this award was changed to reward outstanding leadership or service to the ocean sciences.

Nominations closed until 2015.

Nomination criteria and procedures

Nominations are submitted online

Past awardees:

Eric Lindstrom, 2013
Jim Swift, 2011
Reiner Schlitzer, 2010
H. Lawrence Clark, 2008
Worth Nowlin, 2006
Bilal Haq, 2004
Previous Awardees (scroll down)

Voyager Award

Established in 2013, the goal of this award is to recognize significant contributions in the ocean sciences within 8 to 20 years post-degree, including, for example, the awardee’s research impact, innovative interdisciplinary work, educational accomplishments (mentoring), societal impact, or other relevant contributions, and to acknowledge that the awardee shows exceptional promise for continued leadership in ocean sciences. It is awarded bi-annually and presented at the Oceans Section Luncheon/Reception of the Fall Meeting every other year.

Nominees must be a member or affiliate of the AGU Ocean Sciences Section.

Nomination criteria and procedures

Nominations are submitted online

Nominations for the 2014 award are due 15 April 2014.

Outstanding Student Paper Award

Fall Meeting 2013 (pdf)
Fall Meeting 2012 (pdf)
Fall Meeting 2011 (pdf)
Fall Meeting 2010 (pdf)
Fall Meeting 2009 (pdf)
Fall Meeting 2008 (pdf)
Joint Assembly 2008 (pdf)


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