Mary Sears Medal

Awarded in Recognition of Extraordinary Accomplishments and Novel Insights in the Areas of Biological Oceanography, Marine Biology, or Marine Ecology


The nomination period is from mid-July through October 31, 2021. The lead nominator serves as the point of contact. All nominations must be submitted through the online system.

When putting together the nomination package, please first review the following criteria that must be met for a nominee to be considered for selection for the Sears Medal:

  • Sustained (>10 years since first publication), impactful and innovative and/or transformative contributions to original research in the areas of biological oceanography and marine biology

In addition, one of the following secondary criteria must be met to be selected for the Sears Medal:

  • Outstanding and wide-ranging contributions in the educating and mentoring of students and early career scientists 
  • Significant interdisciplinary research in ocean science and/or collaborative research with the wider science community





The nomination letter can be a maximum of three pages and must include:

  • Supporters need not be active members of The Oceanography Society at the time of nomination

Nomination Package

All nominations are submitted through the online submission system and must include the following elements.

1. Citation

This text will appear in news releases and on a certificate presented to the Medalist. The text of this citation should be 200 characters or less.

2. Professional History

  • Nominee’s curriculum vita (five pages maximum) must include the nominee’s name, professional mailing and email addresses, history of education, history of employment, research experiences and major contributions, previous memberships, honors, and service to the community.
  • Nominee’s selected bibliography (five pages maximum) should span the range of important contributions and should document original impacts in the highlighted research areas. Multi-authored publications are permissible, especially those in which students or postdocs appear as lead authors. Novel published contributions to relevant technologies and facilities, and community syntheses or reports are permitted.

3. Nomination Letter

The nomination letter can be a maximum of three pages and must include:

  • The name, title, institution, and contact information for the nominator (and one co-nominator, if applicable).
  • A succinct synthesis of the nominee’s qualifications (a summary of information documented in the supporting letters is appropriate).

4. Supporting Letters 

Three letters of support (in addition to the nomination letter) must be submitted. Letters signed by more than one writer are not permitted. Submission on letterhead is preferred, electronic signatures permitted. Letters must include the supporter’s name, title, institution, and contact information; a statement of relationship to the nominee; and clear justification for the qualifications of the nominee. Each letter must be a maximum of two pages in length.


For more information, or if there are any questions, please write to

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