Skip to main content

ESA Awards List

ESA Awards

Eminent Ecologist Award

The Eminent Ecologist Award is given to a senior ecologist in recognition of an outstanding body of ecological work or of sustained ecological contributions of extraordinary merit. Recipients receive lifetime membership in the Society. Recent recipients include Robert Holt, Jane Lubchenco, Eric Pianka, Jerry Franklin, and Diana Wall.

To submit an award nomination please select the following link: https://esa-awards.secure-platform.com/a/.

Robert H. MacArthur Award

The Robert H. MacArthur Award is given to an established ecologist in mid-career for meritorious contributions to ecology, in the expectation of continued outstanding ecological research and who generally are within 25 years from PhD.

To submit an award nomination please select the following link: https://esa-awards.secure-platform.com/a/.

Eugene P. Odum Award for Excellence in Ecology Education

The Eugene P. Odum Award recognizes an ecologist for outstanding work in ecology education. This award was generously endowed by, and named for, the distinguished ecologist Eugene P. Odum. Through teaching, outreach, and mentoring activities, recipients of this award have demonstrated their ability to relate basic ecological principles to human affairs. Nominations recognizing achievements in education at the university, K–12, and public levels are all encouraged. Recent recipients include Ricardo Rozzi, Nathaniel Wheelwright, Bob Pohlad, Carolyn Thomas, and Kathleen Weathers.

To submit an award nomination please select the following link: https://esa-awards.secure-platform.com/a/.

George Mercer Award

The Mercer Award is given for an outstanding ecological research paper published by a younger researcher (the lead author must be 40 years of age or younger at the time of publication). If the award is given for a paper with multiple authors, all authors will receive a plaque, and those 40 years of age or younger at the time of publication will share the monetary prize. Nomination letters should include the birth date(s) of the eligible author(s) and explain the novelty and importance of the paper. The paper must have been published in 2018 or 2019 to be eligible for this year’s award. Recent recipients include Brett Jesmer, Jerod Merkle, Jacob Goheen, Douglas Rasher, Marcelo Ardón, Jennifer Gremer, and Jennifer Williams.

To submit an award nomination please select the following link: https://esa-awards.secure-platform.com/a/.

W.S. Cooper Award

The W. S. Cooper Award is given to honor an outstanding contributor to the fields of geobotany and/or physiographic ecology, the fields in which W. S. Cooper worked. This award is for a single contribution in a scientific publication (single or multiple authored). Recent recipients include Songlin Fei and colleagues, Scott Wing and colleagues, Carissa Brown and Mark Vellend, Etienne Laliberté and colleagues, and Andrew Trant and colleagues.

To submit an award nomination please select the following link: https://esa-awards.secure-platform.com/a/.

Distinguished Service Citation

The Distinguished Service Citation is given to recognize long and distinguished volunteer service to the ESA, to the larger scientific community, and to the larger purpose of ecology in the public welfare. Recent recipients are Charles Canham, Alan Covich, Janet Lanza, Don Strong, Carol Brewer, and Debra Peters.

To submit an award nomination please select the following link: https://esa-awards.secure-platform.com/a/.

Sustainability Science Award

The Sustainability Science Award is given to the authors of a scholarly work that makes the greatest contribution to the emerging science of ecosystem and regional sustainability through the integration of ecological and social sciences. One of the most pressing challenges facing humanity is the sustainability of important ecological, social, and cultural processes in the face of changes in the forces that shape ecosystems and regions. This ESA award is for a single scholarly contribution (book, book chapter, or peer-reviewed journal article) published in the last five years. Recent recipients are Pamela Matson, Fikret Berkes, Margaret Palmer and J.B. Ruhl, and Jianguo Liu and colleagues.

To submit an award nomination please select the following link: https://esa-awards.secure-platform.com/a/.

Innovation in Sustainability Science Award

The Innovation in Sustainability Science Award is given to the authors of a peer-review paper published in the past five years that exemplifies leading edge work on solution pathways to sustainability challenges. The award recognizes that the application of sustainability science is enabled by linking ecological science with advances in other biophysical disciplines, engineering, the social sciences (e.g., economics, anthropology, public policy, governance), and other fields. The award recognizes higher risk ideas that are yet to be fully tested but hold great promise for achieving a sustainable world. Recent recipients are Ariana Sutton-Grier and colleagues, and Ian Donohue and colleagues.

To submit an award nomination please select the following link: https://esa-awards.secure-platform.com/a/.

Commitment to Human Diversity in Ecology

The Commitment to Human Diversity in Ecology Award is in recognition of long-standing contributions of an individual toward increasing the diversity of future ecologists through mentoring, teaching, or outreach. Recent recipients include Maria Miriti, Charles Nilon, Mary McKenna, Frank Day, and Gillian Bowser.

To submit an award nomination please select the following link: https://esa-awards.secure-platform.com/a/.

Robert H. Whittaker Awards

There are two Whittaker Awards, both recognize ecologists who are not U.S. citizens and who reside outside the U.S.

  1. The Whittaker Distinguished Ecologist award is an honorary award that recognizes an ecologist with an earned doctorate and an outstanding record of contributions in ecology.
  2. The Whittaker Travel Award specifically recognizes an outstanding ecologist in a developing country. They can be at any career stage. The Whittaker Travel Award provides funds for travel to the United States for research or to attend the ESA meeting, covering expenses up to $1200.
To submit an award nomination please select the following link: https://esa-awards.secure-platform.com/a/.

Buell & Braun Awards

Murray F. Buell Award and E. Lucy Braun Award

Murray F. Buell had a long and distinguished record of service and accomplishment in the Ecological Society of America. Among other things, he ascribed great importance to the participation of students in meetings and to excellence in the presentation of papers. To honor his selfless dedication to the younger generation of ecologists, the Murray F. Buell Award for Excellence in Ecology is given to a student for the outstanding oral paper presented at the ESA Annual Meeting. Lucy Braun, an eminent plant ecologist and one of the charter members of the Society, studied and mapped the deciduous forest regions of eastern North America and described them in her classic book, The Deciduous Forests of Eastern North America. To honor her, the E. Lucy Braun Award for Excellence in Ecology is given to a student for the outstanding poster presentation at the ESA Annual Meeting.

A candidate for these awards must be an undergraduate, a graduate student, or a recent doctorate not more than 9 months past graduation at the time of the meeting. The paper or poster must be presented as part of the program sponsored by the Ecological Society of America, but the student need not be an ESA member. To be eligible for these awards the student must be the sole or senior author of a contributed talk or poster. Papers and posters will be judged on the significance of ideas, creativity, quality of methodology, validity of conclusions drawn from results, and clarity of presentation. While all students presenting a contributed talk or poster are encouraged to participate, winning papers and posters typically describe fully completed projects. A certificate and a check for $500 will be presented to each recipient at the following ESA Annual Meeting. The student will also receive up to $700 for travel expenses to the Annual Meeting.

Information about how to submit for the 2020 Buell and Braun will be available in early January 2020.
To submit an award nomination please select the following link: https://esa-awards.secure-platform.com/a/.

ESA Fellows Program

ESA designates as Fellows of the Society certain members who have made outstanding contributions to a wide range of fields served by ESA. Such contributions include, but are not restricted to, those that advance or apply ecological knowledge in academics, government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector.

Eligibility criteria

  • Any current regular member of ESA who has been a regular member of ESA for at least five years (not necessarily consecutive) is eligible to be nominated to be an ESA Fellow. For these purposes, a regular member is defined as a nonstudent, dues-paying member.
  • A nominee is expected to have been a member of the profession for at least 15 years. In most cases, this will be interpreted to mean 15 years from Ph.D.
  • Demonstrated excellence of contributions to one or several of the following areas: (1) research and discovery, (2) communication and outreach; education and pedagogy, (3) application of ecology to management and policy.

Nomination procedures

The nomination of an individual to be an ESA Fellow must be made by three members of ESA excluding members of the Fellows Selection Committee. No ESA member can nominate more than two individuals in a year. Nomination packets will be considered for one year, and nominators are strongly encouraged to resubmit updated nominations.

Nominations should be submitted through the online form and will require the following information:

  1. The names of the three nominators
  2. The name of the nominee and year she/he earned a PhD.
  3. A citation of at most 50 words proposed for use if the nominee is selected to be a Fellow. Examples of citations can be found on the ESA Fellows Website, by clicking on any of the past Fellows’ names.
  4. A letter of nomination that describes the nominee’s most significant contributions and her/his impact in the areas of research & discovery, communication & outreach, teaching & pedagogy, and/or application to management & policy. Details regarding the criteria used by the Selection Committee for evaluating significant contributions and impact can be found below.
  5. Up to two additional letters of support may be included to provide detailed insight about a nominee’s professional accomplishments and contributions. These letters can come from anyone, including non-members.
  6. A curriculum vitae of at most four pages. The CV should include evidence of outstanding contributions as outlined under the eligibility criteria and should be organized as follows: education, positions held, awards and honors, 10-15 select publications (and total number), current and recent grants, and select professional activity (including in research & development, communication & outreach, teaching & pedagogy, application to management & policy, and service to the discipline).

Criteria for evaluating significant contributions and impact:

Below are some possible indicators of excellence that the selection committee will consider in selecting Fellows, so nominators and letter writers should speak to these in crafting their letters; these should not be viewed as an exclusive or complete list. Of course, Early Career Fellows and ESA Fellows will be evaluated against standards that are appropriate to their respective career stage.

Indicators of excellence include but are not restricted to the following:

Research and Discovery: Exceptional intellectual contributions (e.g., as described by nominator and letter writers), high quality publications, high impact publications (e.g., high number of citations), high numbers of publications, large numbers of significant grants, evidence of exceptional leadership in research (e.g. leadership on major collaborative projects).

Communication/Outreach, Education/Pedagogy: Creation of media for the public that effectively communicates science, significant engagement with stakeholder groups, organization of citizen science efforts, legislative testimony, large numbers of graduate students and postdocs mentored, placement of graduate students and postdocs in competitive positions, high quantity of undergraduate students mentored, high quality of undergraduate student mentorship (e.g., publication/professional meeting attendance with undergraduates), leadership in training/mentoring (e.g., at a programmatic level), significant grants related to communication/outreach or education/pedagogy, leadership in communication/outreach or education/pedagogy, leadership in producing national and international reports, exceptional service to the discipline (e.g., editorships, holding executive positions in societies).

Application to Management/Policy: Significant development and codification of policy or management strategies; outstanding work within agencies, NGOs, or the private sector to effect policy or management change; significant and outstanding service on advisory boards to agencies (e.g., state, federal), NGOs, or businesses; other evidence of contributions to the application of ecology to management or policy.

Finally, please confirm that your nominee is a current member of ESA; we have had to reject some very worthy candidates because they are not current members of ESA and therefore not eligible to be ESA Fellows

ESA Early Career Fellows Program

Call for Nominations

ESA designates an Early Career Fellow of the Society as certain early career members (typically chosen within 8 years of receiving the Ph.D.) who have begun making and show promise of continuing to make outstanding contributions to a wide range of fields served by ESA. Such contributions include, but are not restricted to, those that advance or apply ecological knowledge in academics, government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector.

Eligibility criteria

Any current nonstudent member of ESA who has been a member of ESA for at least two years (not necessarily consecutive and including student membership) is eligible to be nominated to be an ESA Early Career Fellow.

  • A nominee is expected to be early in their career. In most cases, this will be interpreted to mean no fewer than 3 years and no more than eight years from Ph.D. (or other terminal degree) at the time of selection.
  • Demonstrated excellence and potential for future excellence of contributions to one or several of the following areas: (1) research and discovery, (2) communication and outreach; education and pedagogy, (3) application of ecology to management and policy.

Nomination procedures

The nomination of an individual to be an ESA Early Fellow must be made by three members of ESA excluding members of the Fellows Selection Committee. No ESA member can nominate more than two individuals in a year. Nomination packets will be considered for one year, and nominators are strongly encouraged to resubmit updated nominations.

Nominations should be submitted through the online form and will require the following information:

  1. The names of the three nominators
  2. A citation of at most 50 words proposed for use if the nominee is selected to be an Early Career Fellow. Examples of citations can be found on the ESA Fellows Website, by clicking on any of the past Fellows’ names.
  3. A letter of nomination that describes the nominee’s most significant contributions and her/his impact in the areas of research & discovery, communication & outreach, teaching & pedagogy, and/or application to management & policy. Details regarding the criteria used by the Selection Committee for evaluating significant contributions and impact can be found below.
  4. Up to two additional letters of support may be included to provide detailed insight about a nominee’s professional accomplishments and contributions. These letters can come from anyone, including non-members.
  5. A curriculum vitae of at most four pages. The CV should include evidence of outstanding contributions as outlined under the eligibility criteria and should be organized as follows: education, positions held, awards and honors, 10-15 select publications (and total number), current and recent grants, and select professional activity (including in research & development, communication and outreach, teaching and pedagogy, application to management & policy, and service to the discipline).

Criteria for evaluating significant contributions and impact:

Below are some possible indicators of excellence that the selection committee will consider in selecting Fellows, so nominators and letter writers should speak to these in crafting their letters; these should not be viewed as an exclusive or complete list. Of course, Early Career Fellows and ESA Fellows will be evaluated against standards that are appropriate to their respective career stage.

Indicators of excellence include but are not restricted to the following:

Research and Discovery: Exceptional intellectual contributions (e.g., as described by nominator and letter writers), high quality publications, high impact publications (e.g., high number of citations), high numbers of publications, large numbers of significant grants, evidence of exceptional leadership in research (e.g. leadership on major collaborative projects).

Communication/Outreach, Education/Pedagogy: Creation of media for the public that effectively communicates science, significant engagement with stakeholder groups, organization of citizen science efforts, legislative testimony, large numbers of graduate students and postdocs mentored, placement of graduate students and postdocs in competitive positions, high quantity of undergraduate students mentored, high quality of undergraduate student mentorship (e.g., publication/professional meeting attendance with undergraduates), leadership in training/mentoring (e.g., at a programmatic level), significant grants related to communication/outreach or education/pedagogy, leadership in communication/outreach or education/pedagogy, leadership in producing national and international reports, exceptional service to the discipline (e.g., editorships, holding executive positions in societies).

Application to Management/Policy: Significant development and codification of policy or management strategies; outstanding work within agencies, NGOs, or the private sector to effect policy or management change; significant and outstanding service on advisory boards to agencies (e.g., state, federal), NGOs, or businesses; other evidence of contributions to the application of ecology to management or policy.

Finally, please confirm that your nominee is a current member of ESA; we have had to reject some very worthy candidates because they are not current members of ESA and therefore not eligible to be ESA Early Career Fellows

To submit an award nomination please select the following link: https://esa-awards.secure-platform.com/a/.

Forrest Shreve Awards

Applicants for the Forrest Shreve Award should send a proposal (not to exceed one page) describing the proposed research, specifying the research location and explaining how the award would further the proposed research, with a C.V. and a short proposed budget describing how the money will be spent if awarded. A letter of reference should be submitted separately by a research supervisor or an appropriate referee familiar with their work. Graduate and undergraduate students are eligible, as long as they are currently enrolled in a degree program and are members of the ESA.

An award given annually of $1000-2000 is available to support research in the hot deserts of North America: Sonoran, Mojave, Chihuahuan, and Vizcaino. Projects should be clearly ecological and should increase our understanding of the patterns and processes of deserts and/or desert organisms. Proposals will be ranked based on the importance of the project to understanding desert ecology, feasibility, experimental design and innovation.

To submit an award nomination please select the following link: https://esa-awards.secure-platform.com/a/.
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!