Excellence in Mentoring Award

This award recognizes the importance of quality mentoring (science, technical or administrative), which benefits the institution as a whole, its junior members and the mentors themselves.

The award recipient will receive a $2,000 cash prize and a certificate. The recipient's name will be engraved on a plaque to be displayed at the Observatory.

Go to the Mentoring Award Committee web site to learn about the committee's charge and see the current membership.


Awardees: Natalie T. Boelman, Biology and Paleo Environment and Gisela Winckler, Geochemistry, LDEO.

Nominees: Xiaoshi Xing, CIESIN; Alessandra Giannini, IRI; Natalie Boelman, Louise Bolge, Wallace Broecker, Steven Goldstein, Robert Newton, Pratigya Polissar, David Walker, Gisela Winckler, LDEO.

Awardee: Daniel Osgood, International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI).

Honorable Mention: Natalie Boelman, Sidney Hemming, Peter Kelemen, Gisele Winckler, LDEO.

Special Mention: Mark Becker, Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN).

Mark Becker, CIESIN; Pietro Ceccato, Daniel  Osgood, IRI;  Michela Biasutti, Natalie Boelman, Louise Bolge, Wallace Broecker, Sidney Hemming, Peter Kelemen, Yochanan Kushnir, Gisela Winckler, LDEO.

Awardee: Bärbel Hönisch, Geochemistry, LDEO.

Nominees: Robert F. Anderson, Louise Bolge, Merry (Yue) Cai, Jean Hanley, Bärbel Hönisch, Susanne Straub, LDEO.

Awardee: Joerg M. Schaefer, Geochemistry, LDEO.

Nominees: Bärbel Hönisch, Joerg M. Schaefer, Catherine Tozer, LDEO.

Awardee: Adam H. Sobel, Ocean and Climate Physics, LDEO.

Nominees: Nick Christie-Blick, Ed Cook, Sidney R. Hemming, Juerg Matter, Naomi Naik, Adam Sobel, Maya Tolstoy, LDEO.


Awardee: Alexey Kaplan, Ocean and Climate Physics, LDEO.

Nominees:  NIcholas Christie-Blick, Alexey Kaplan, Douglas Martinson, Juerg Matter, LDEO.

Awardee: Marc W. Spiegelman, Seismology, Geology and Tectonophysics, LDEO.

Nominees: Beate Liepert, Marc W. Spiegelman, Bruno Tremblay, LDEO.

Awardee: Kevin L. Griffin, Biology and Paleo Environment, LDEO.

Nominees: Bruno Tremblay, Kevin L. Griffin, Marc Spiegelman, LDEO.

Awardee: Robert F. Anderson, Geochemistry, LDEO.

Nominees: Robert F. Anderson, Marc W. Spiegelman, Dale Chayes, Jean Lynch-Stieglitz, Robin Bell, Bruno Tremblay, Kevin L. Griffin, LDEO.

Awardee: Gordon C. Jacoby, Tree Ring Lab, LDEO.

Nominees: Robert F. Anderson, Gordon C. Jacoby, Marc W. Spigelman, Jean Lynch-Stieglitz, Bill Ryan, Robin Bell, Marc Levy, LDEO.

Awardee: Sidney R. Hemming, Geochemistry, LDEO.

Nominees: Robert F. Anderson, Robin Bell, Mark Cane, Peter DeMenocal, Sidney R. Hemming, Alexey Kaplan,       Bill Menke, Bill Ryan, Chris Scholz, Marc W. Spiegelman, Martin Visbeck, LDEO.


I. Selection Criterion

The sole criterion for the award is excellence in mentoring. The following are just some of the qualities that can contribute to good mentoring. A candidate need not have all of these qualities to be considered an excellent mentor.

  • provides intellectual leadership, by acting as an advisor or guide in research

  • develops an effective environment for research and scholarship

  • fosters the development of talents, for example research skills, teaching ability, presentation and writing skills, time management skills or the preparation of grant and fellowship applications

  • fosters the development of technical skills and provides crucial support and guidance for acquiring expertise in a specialized research environment, such as the laboratory, in the field, and on research cruises, etc.

  • acts as a successful professional role model

  • acts as an advocate and guide in administrative matters

  • promotes young scientists within the broader research community and helps young scientists develop a network of professional colleagues

  • advises young scientists regarding career options, including both academic and alternative career choices, and alerts young scientists to opportunities to enrich their careers

  • is supportive on both a professional and personal level

  • involves young scientists in the full range of the scientific process, from defining a problem to reporting results.

II. Selection Process

Nominators should submit a letter of nomination (not to exceed 2 pages) describing how the nominee has been instrumental in supporting, encouraging and promoting their professional development. Nominators are encouraged to cite as many specific examples as possible.  Renominations are encouraged.

Nominators are encouraged to solicit letters in support of the nomination from members of the Observatory who have been directly mentored by the nominee within the last two years.  The nominator may also solicit letters of support from persons outside the Observatory who, within the past two years, were mentored by the nominee while in residence at the Observatory. Letters of support should not exceed 2 pages each. Letters of support containing substantive statements about the nominee's mentoring abilities and style (see section I) will be most helpful to the selection committee. Letters of support are not required for full consideration of a nominee, but will likely strengthen his or her case.

All materials will be confidential. The selection committee will evaluate the submitted letters and provide the Observatory Director with a recommendation of one individual to receive the award.  All nominees will be recognized at the award ceremony.

III. Eligibility


All members of the Observatory with at least 5 years of service (not including time as a graduate student) are eligible for the award. Past recipients of the award are eligible for renomination after 5 years.


All members of the Observatory may submit nominations. Nominations may also be submitted by persons outside the Observatory who were members of the Observatory within the past two years. The nominator must have been directly mentored by the nominee, but the nominee need not be the nominator's principal mentor. Each person may submit one nomination per year. There is no limit on the number of supporting letters an individual may submit.

Letters of nomination and letters of support will be kept on file for one year.   If renominated, letters of support will be reused by default unless withdrawn or replaced by the author.  If renominated by a different nominator, letters of nomination will be treated as letters of support.

Members of the selection committee may not submit nominations or supporting letters and are ineligible for the award during their time of service on the committee.

IV. The Award Selection Committee

The selection committee is composed of 2 members of the LDEO Scientific Staff, 1 Postdoc, 2 Graduate Students, 1 representative from CIESIN, 1 representative from IRI, and award recipients from each of the previous two years. To see this year's committee membership and learn more about the committee's charge, go to the Mentoring Award Committee web site.