TOS Honors Selection Committee


The TOS Honors Selection Committee is responsible for reviewing nominations and selecting recipients for the TOS Honors Program.


PURPOSE. The Selection Committee is responsible for reviewing nominations and selecting recipients for the honors listed below:
• Fellows
• Walter Munk Medal
• Wallace Broecker Medal
• Mary Sears Medal
• Nils Gunnar Jerlov Medal
• Early Career Award
• Mentoring Award
• Ocean Observing Team Award

SCOPE. The Selection Committee will review and jointly select, in accordance with established guidelines, the recipients for each honor.

AUTHORITY. The Selection Committee selects the recipients of each honor and provides a report listing all recipients to the TOS president for further action. The TOS Honors Selection Committee Procedure regulates the detailed selection process.

REPORTING AND DELIVERABLES. The Selection Committee will prepare a memo to the TOS President listing the individual(s) selected to receive each honor. The Selection Committee will inform the non successful nominators.


The TOS Honors Selection Committee is composed of the chair (TOS past-president) plus 6 TOS members (one of whom is an early career member) with staggered 3-year terms (3 groups of 2 members). New committee members will be selected by the TOS Council. A member of the TOS Ethics Committee and the TOS JEDI committee can serve as ex-officio members of this committee as observers without voting rights. Members of the Selection Committee are not eligible to be nominated for TOS Honors, and may not nominate or submit letters of support for nominations while serving on the committee. See current members below:

Andone Lavery (Chair)
• Gregory Cutter
• Anna Michel
• Jun Nishioki
• Tatiana Rynearson
• Keshav J Raja
• Dennis Hansell

Interested in joining the committee? Scroll down to the “JOINING THE COMMITTEE” section and learn more.


The Selection Committee will meet in the last quarter of each year by online conference to review and discuss nominations. A quorum consists of four committee members, but all members of the Selection Committee are expected to vote on final selections for each honor. A conflict of interest form will be completed by each member before the first meeting. The TOS Executive Director will work with the Committee chair to produce an agenda for each call to be distributed one week before the call. The TOS Executive Director will take minutes of each call, will send them to the chair for verification, and will then share them with all committee members. Discussions among committee members are to remain confidential. Members will communicate by email as needed.


The TOS Values Statement guides Council and Committee activities, and all members abide by the TOS Policy on Professional Integrity, Ethics, and Conduct. All meetings are conducted adhering to “rules of engagement” detailed below.


In addition to the formal TOS Policy, members of this group abide by the following “rules of engagement” (inspired by suggestions from Unlearning Racism in Geoscience deliverables and the Inclusive Scientific Meetings guide prepared by 500 Women Scientists).

1. We strive to dismantle imbalances of power and privilege during our interactions. Such examples include, but are not limited to, imbalanced dynamics that may occur between:

a. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and white committee members
b. Late and early career committee members
c. Those that are comfortable expressing their opinions and those that are not
d. People of different genders and gender identities
e. Members facing audio/visual/mobility challenges and those who do not

2. We strive not to invalidate anyone else’s story with our own spin.

3. We assume that everyone has good intentions and yet that they can still unintentionally hurt others with their statements.

4. During meetings, we strive to be conscious of body language and non-verbal responses that may indicate feelings of disrespect or harm, and we strive to create welcoming and accessible synchronous and asynchronous meeting spaces so that committee members can contribute fully and to the best of their abilities.

5. We recognize and respect that stories, opinions and reflections shared in committee meetings can be very personal and make individuals vulnerable.

6. We agree to maintain confidentiality to protect and value every committee member’s vulnerability. All stories and opinions shared during committee meetings and deliberations cannot be shared, posted, or copied outside the committee without permission by the person who shared the story or opinion.

7. We strive to create a culture of independent decision-making and respectful dissent. To this end, committee members are encouraged to respectfully challenge assumptions and ideas without personal attack, and communicate without being defensive.

8. We are open to being held accountable to our actions and words.

9. We agree that openly and passively aggressive interactions have no place in this committee. This applies to all modes of communication – in person, virtual meetings, email, Slack, etc. Examples include sarcasm, feigned surprise, speaking over others, centering whiteness, or other similar harmful behavior. Anyone engaging in such behavior will be respectfully, but firmly, counseled by any committee member to desist, regroup, and reflect. We agree to pause and address such warning signs.

10. We strive to speak from our own experiences instead of generalizing (i.e. “I” instead of “they”, “we”, “you”)

11. We will strive to listen actively and respect others when they are talking; and to ensure that all individuals have an opportunity to have their voice heard.

12. While we will strive to agree, we recognize that the goal is not agreement, but rather to gain a deeper understanding together.

13. We will remind ourselves of these ground rules at the start of each year.


The Oceanography Society provides opportunities for members to gain valuable leadership experience while supporting the society’s mission and values by appointment to the TOS Honors Selection Committee. Committee members are appointed, and terms of service vary according to each group.

The self-nomination process for Committee appointments begins in the summer. Review and election/selection occurs in the fall. The terms of committee members begin on January 1 of each year; rotation is staggered to provide continuity.

All TOS members are eligible to nominate themselves for consideration for committee positions. Persons who are not TOS members are eligible with the understanding that if appointed, they must become a TOS member.

Applications will be scored according to the evaluation rubric.

Apply online to be considered for selection.

Current committee chairs and members review and score applicants according to the evaluation rubric. Committee chairs send a ranked list of persons to the Council for approval, and the Council issues invitations to new committee members.

Please contact Jenny Ramarui, TOS Executive Director.

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