Smith Award Committee

AGU’s Honors Program aligns with AGU’s mission, vision, core values and strategic plan. The Smith Award is given in even-numbered years to one honoree for unique leadership roles in such diverse areas as scientific associations, education, legislation, research, public understanding of science, management and philanthropy, and whose accomplishments have greatly strengthened and helped advance the geophysical sciences.


Heather Watson, Union College, Schenectady, NY


Sunanda Basu, Boston College, Newton, Massachusetts
Dennis Corwin, USDA-ARS, U.S. Salinity Laboratory, Riverside, CA
Ashanti Johnson, Institute for Broadening Participation, Cedar Hill, Texas
Tulasi Parashar, University of Delaware, Newark, DE

Staff Partner

Leah Bland

Committee Charge

The committee is charged with selecting the recipient of the Smith Award. 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 Smith Award Committee will promote excellence and transparency, allowing broad input and recognition beyond disciplinary awards, promoting diversity and commitment to equity so that the Smith Award is sufficiently representative of underrepresented groups.

Key Initiatives 

  • Select the Smith Award recipient.
  • Review data from Smith 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 Smith 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 (