Africa Earth and Ocean Sciences Award Committee

AGU’s Honors Program aligns with AGU’s mission, vision, core values and strategic plan. The Africa Awards for Research Excellence in Earth and Space Science honors two early career scientists from the African continent for completing significant work that shows focus and promise of making outstanding contributions to research in Earth and space science. Two awards will be presented yearly during the Honors Ceremony at Fall Meeting – one award will be made in the fields of space science and one will be made in the fields of earth/ocean sciences.


Estella Atekwana, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA


Araya Asfaw, Horn of Africa Regional Environmental Center, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Gail Ashley, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey, USA
Kamazima Lwiza, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY
Musa Manzi, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Sara Stamps, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Staff Partner

Leah Bland

Committee Charge

The committee is charged with selecting the recipient of the Africa Awards for Research Excellence in Earth and Ocean Sciences. Committee members will abide by AGU’s Conflict of Interest Policy, program policies, procedures and guidelines set by the Union. In partnership with the Honors and Recognition Committee and staff, the committee works to ensure that the program is superior in all respects, recognizes all constituents, and fosters a global network of individuals in the Earth and space sciences who epitomize excellence and cooperation in research, education and outreach. The members of the Africa Award Committee will promote excellence and transparency, allowing broad input and recognition beyond disciplinary awards, promoting diversity and commitment to equity so that the Africa Award is sufficiently representative of underrepresented groups.

Key Initiatives

  • Select the Africa Award for Research Excellence in Earth/Ocean Sciences recipient.
  • Review data from Africa Award selection processes for the past years to determine if the program is operating maximally in terms of the relevant goals of the Union’s strategic plan.
  • Examine and report on program data to determine whether the number and quality of AGU Africa Award nominations is sufficiently high for vigorous competition.
  • Recommend and implement strategies and initiatives on diversity and evaluate processes that are currently being implemented to increase nominations.
  • Partner with AGU leaders, staff and other societies to resolve common issues among scientific communities’ rewards and recognition programs.
  • Participate in training, orientations and workshops conducted by the Honors and Recognition Committee to be fully informed of policies, processes and program requirements and guidelines.
  • Understand and commit to AGU’s Conflict of Interest policy and process.
  • Provide input and recommendations to the Honors and Recognition Committee on policies and processes and program improvements.

Timeline and Commitment

  • The work of this committee is done primarily through the online submission and review system, by telephone conference calls and email.

Questions about this committee can be directed to Leah Bland (