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The Ecological Society of America presents a variety of awards to worthy recipients each year; chapters and sections have also created recognition opportunities.
This page provides access to historic information on winners of the following awards. For complete information on ESA Awards and how to submit nominations, please visit the main awards page.

Choose the link to view a comprehensive list of all past award winners.

  • George Mercer Award, established in 1948, given for the outstanding ecological research paper published within the past two years by a younger researcherOdum2011
  • Eminent Ecologist Award, given annually since 1953 to a senior ecologist in recognition of an outstanding body of ecological work or of sustained ecological contributions of extraordinary merit
  • Distinguished Service Citation, begun in 1975 to recognize long and distinguished service to the Society, the scientific community, and ecology in the public welfare
  • Murray F. Buell Award, initiated 1977 to recognize the outstanding oral presentation by a student at the annual meeting
  • Robert H. MacArthur Award, established 1983 to honor an ecologist in mid-career for meritorious contributions to research
  • Honorary Membership, since 1985 has honored ecologists from outside North America who have made exceptional contributions to ecology
  • William S. Cooper Award, created in 1985, recognizes outstanding contributors to the fields of geobotany and/or physiographic ecology
  • E. Lucy Braun Award, 1988 on, honors the student who presents the outstanding poster presentation at the annual meeting
  • Corporate Award, beginning in 1988, given to a corporation, business, or individual that has demonstrated accomplishments in incorporating sound ecological concepts, knowledge, and/or practices into its planning and operating procedures.
  • Eugene P. Odum Award for Excellence in Ecological Education, since 2000, honors outstanding work in outreach, mentoring, and other ecology education
  • Sustainability Science Awards, initiated in 2004 and 2015, recognize authors of outstanding recent papers in the emerging science of ecosystem and regional sustainability through the integration of ecological and social sciences
  • Commitment to Human Diversity in Ecology Award (formerly the Diversity Award), first awarded in 2010, provides recognition of long-standing contributions of an individual towards increasing the diversity of future ecologists through mentoring, teaching, or outreach.
  • Robert H. Whittaker Distinguished Ecologist Award, initiated in 2015, recognizes an ecologist with an earned doctorate and an outstanding record of contributions in ecology who is not a U.S. citizen and who resides outside the United States.

In addition to the above awards, ESA names Fellows (since 2012) and Early Career Fellows (since 2013). Fellows of the Society include certain members who have made outstanding contributions to a wide range of fields served by ESA. Early Career Fellows are selected from 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. Early Career Fellows are designated for five-year periods. In both cases, contributions may include those that advance or apply ecological knowledge in academics, government, non-profit organizations, and the private sector.

Chapter and Section Awards

Many sections and chapters also have awards. At this time, HRC is not tracking section and chapter awards, but old records may be found at awards given by chapters and sections.