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.

Past Awardees:

Year: 2013
Awardee: Bärbel Hönisch, Geochemistry

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

Year: 2012
Awardee: Joerg M. Schaefer, Geochemistry

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

Year: 2010
Awardee: Adam H. Sobel, Ocean and Climate Physics

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

Year: 2009
Awardee: Alexey Kaplan, Ocean and Climate Physics

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

Year: 2005
Awardee: Marc W. Spiegelman, Seismology, Geology and Tectonophysics

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

Year: 2004
Awardee: Kevin L. Griffin, Biology and Paleo Environmen

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

Year: 2003
Awardee: Robert F. Anderson, Geochemistry

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

Year: 2002
Awardee: Gordon C. Jacoby, Tree Ring Lab

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

Year: 2001
Awardee: Sidney R. Hemming, Geochemistry

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.


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 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.