Hess Medal Committee



Vicki Hansen, University of Minnesota, Duluth, Minnesota, USA


Michael Brown, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA
Donald Depaolo, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
Maureen D. Long, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Bernard Wood, University of Oxford, UK


Leah Bland

AGU’s Honors Program aligns with AGU’s mission, vision, core values and strategic plan. The Hess Medal is given annually to one honoree for outstanding achievements in research on the constitution and evolution of the Earth and other planets.


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


  • Select the Hess medalists.
  • Review data from Hess Medal 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 Hess Medal 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.


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