TOS Fellows Program

Recognizing Individuals Who Have Attained Eminence in Oceanography Through Their Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Oceanography or Its Applications During a Substantial Period of Years


TOS members are encouraged to participate in honoring such individuals by nominating or seconding their election as a TOS Fellow. To be considered this year, the Nominator, who must be a TOS member, should submit a nomination package by October 31, 2019. Important details regarding the nomination package are provided below.

The nominated individual must have been a TOS member for at least the past three years. (TOS members may consult the online membership directory to determine if prospective nominees are TOS members. To access the directory, visit the TOS member login page. Click on “Login” in the menu on the left side of the page and enter your user ID and password. Once in the member area, click on “Membership Directory” on the right side to access the search tool.)

A clear and cogent statement supporting and outlining the Nominee’s outstanding and sustained contributions and devotion to the broad field of oceanography is essential and should be included in the Nominee’s Professional History.

A completed nomination package includes:

  • A three-page (maximum) nominating letter
  • A minimum of three and a maximum of five supporting letters, each of which is two pages or less in length
  • A document outlining the candidate’s professional history
  • A citation, preferably six to twelve words in length, but not exceeding twenty words

At least two of the supporting letters must be from outside the Nominee’s own institution or organization. Seconding letters may come from any individual or group of individuals who are knowledgeable about the Nominee’s accomplishments. The Nominator must indicate how many seconding letters will be provided with his or her contact information and, where possible, e-mail addresses for each individual providing supporting letters. Responsibility for assuring that the letters are submitted on time remains with the Nominator.

All documents related to the nomination, including the nominating and supporting letters and the professional history should be submitted electronically to: (Subject: Chair, Fellows Committee). When all of the required documents are received by the TOS Executive Director, they will be forwarded to the Fellows Committee. The supporting letters are to be attached to e-mail forwarding the nominating letter, or they may be e-mailed separately (in either MS Word or PDF format).

Nominating and Seconding Letters

The nominating letter should discuss why election of the Nominee to Fellow is appropriate and must propose a brief citation for the Nominee. If the Nominee is advanced to Fellow, the citation will be published in Oceanography. The citation should be preferably six to twelve words in length, but it must not exceed twenty words.

Suggestions for topics that might be considered for a nominating or seconding letter:

  1. Description of the Nominee’s contributions to a particular sub-field of oceanography in terms that are understandable to a reader whose expertise lies in another area
  2. Explanation of what new knowledge about oceanography is now available because of the legacy left by the Nominee
  3. Description of specific examples and background on how the Nominee’s career activities have advanced ocean sciences
  4. Description of the Nominee’s impact on the field by the development of policies, laws, regulations, devices, theories, programs, applications, or technologies leading to advances in our protection or understanding of the oceans
  5. Evidence of professional contributions such as consulting, service to the community, teaching, supervision of theses, management of significant national or international oceanographic programs, laboratories, or institutions
  6. Information that may be pertinent to the Candidate’s accomplishments such as honors and awards from TOS or other professional groups or societies focusing on oceanography

Topics that are discouraged for inclusion in a nominating or seconding letter:

  1. Generalized statements such as “… has provided leadership in …”
  2. Discussion of the Candidate’s general personality
  3. Personal information, such as details about the Candidate’s spouse, children, home, ethnicity, etc.

Candidate’s Professional History

Nominators should also summarize the Candidate’s professional history (i.e., provide a summary CV or résumé) in a document no more than five pages in length (minimum 12 point font), to be submitted electronically, in the format specified below, along with the nominating and supporting letters. It should include, but not necessarily be limited to the following:

  1. Name and professional address, phone, and e-mail of the Nominee
  2. The Nominee’s educational background, including degrees, awarding institutions, and dates
  3. Approximate year the Nominee became professionally involved in oceanography and the positions held (if desired, may be limited to the three most recent)
  4. Major professional achievements, honors, and awards
  5. The Nominee’s most important contributions to ocean sciences, including, but not limited to: the advancement of basic or applied ocean research; dissemination of knowledge concerning the sea; efforts to promote a broader understanding of oceanography; education of ocean scientists, technologists, and engineers; advancement of technology for use in the ocean; promotion of public understanding of developments in the field of oceanography; and the relationship of ocean research to scientific research in general
  6. Most significant professional activities, committee memberships, offices held in TOS and other ocean science related organizations, and other significant contributions
  7. If appropriate to the positions held, a list of the Candidate’s five most important publications
  8. A clear and cogent statement supporting and outlining the Nominee’s outstanding and sustained contributions and devotion to the broad field of oceanography

The Committee explicitly recognizes that many of the Candidates for TOS Fellow will have extensive and often lengthy Professional Histories that cannot be easily fit within a five-page limit. The Committee considers it desirable that the Nominators use their best professional judgment by selecting and emphasizing information that will, in their opinion, best reflect their Candidate’s impact on the field of oceanography.

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