AESS Annual Awards

AESS will recognize members’ achievements annually by making awards in three categories: the Freudenburg Lifetime Achievement Award, the Early Career Award, and Student Paper Award.  AESS awards recognize excellence in achievement, engagement, and mentorship in the environmental, social and/or physical environmental sciences, with a special emphasis on building community and fostering diversity in related professions and practice.  While the awards remain selective, there may be more than one recipient in each award category, at the discretion of the AESS Board of Directors.

Submission Guidelines

The 2022 awards nominations period is open through March 28, 2022.

Circle of Fellows

The AESS “Circle of Fellows” program is intended to support professional development and mentoring in the environmental studies and sciences for scholars/practitioners early in their careers (typically no more than 7 years past the terminal degree). Any active AESS member who meets the criteria is eligible to be considered. Early Career Awardees are automatically inducted.

Freudeuburg Awards

The Lifetime Achievement Award seeks to recognize and advance the spirit of AESS co-founder, the late Professor William R. Freudenburg, whose seminal work in risk perception, social disruption and the causes of environmental degradation helped to shape our contemporary discipline. Through this award, AESS honors members of the profession who have also devoted their lives to strengthening our field by mentoring the next generation of environmental scientists and activists, by fostering disciplinary and human diversity in environmental science and studies, and by engaging in outreach to critical decision makers and the public.

Early Career Awards

The AESS Early Career Award recognizes outstanding accomplishments and promising future potential for research, policy, or activism in any field of environmental science and studies.  Through this award, AESS honors individuals who are early in their careers, but have made significant contributions to knowledge, community and diversity in environmental studies and science.

Student Paper Awards

This award recognizes the potential in graduate student research to create new insights and impact in environmental science and studies, and to engage with environmental policy, practice, and education.

Award Nominations

Lifetime Achievement

The Award

  • Artwork with the award name inscription
  • Lifetime honorable AESS membership
  • AESS Conference registration (awarded at the conference)
  • Invitation to speak at the AESS annual meeting

Nominees must have:

  • a long record (e.g. 20 years or more) of environmental research, education, and/or outreach accomplishments
  • addressed environmental challenges through trans-disciplinary approaches or collaborations, or by endeavoring to make their work accessible to scholars and practitioners from other disciplinary traditions;
  • inspired and actively guided/mentored a generation of environmental scholars, practitioners, and/or policymakers to enact change.

Nominees might have:

  • an active record of participation and service in AESS demonstrated dedication to service through service in environmental associations, the community, mentoring arrangements, and/or political boards/councils/task forces;

The AESS membership receives an email inviting them to submit nomination(s) via the online form. Nominators for the Freudenburg are asked to submit:

  • 500 words that describe the nominee, with particular emphasis on the award criteria.
  • Nominee’s Curriculum Vitae

The AESS Awards Committee screens the nominations and provides the AESS Board of Directors with its top recommendations. The AESS Board then selects the recipient.

Early Career

The Award

  • Artwork with the award name inscription
  • Lifetime honorable AESS membership
  • AESS Conference registration fee covered
  • Induction into the AESS Circle of Fellows

Nominee must:

  • be “early career,” which is defined as an individual who has been in his/her current field for less than seven years and pre-tenure or job equivalent (typically within 7 years of receiving Ph.D.). Post-doctoral fellows and practitioners are eligible for this award.
  • be an active AESS member.

Nominee might have:

  • made significant contributions to ESS theories, methods, pedagogical approaches, public awareness, policy change, and/or environmental education.
  • demonstrated dedication to service through service in environmental associations, the community, mentoring arrangements, and/or political boards/councils/task forces;
  • demonstrated the potential to address environmental challenges through trans-disciplinary approaches or collaborations, or by endeavoring to make his or her work accessible to scholars and practitioners from other disciplinary traditions;
  • demonstrated the potential to inspire and actively guide/mentor a generation of environmental scholars, practitioners, and/or policymakers to enact change.

The AESS membership receives an email inviting them to submit nomination(s) via the online form. Nominators for the Early Career awards are asked to submit:

  • 500 words that describe the nominee, with particular emphasis on the award criteria.
  • Nominee’s Curriculum Vitae

The AESS Awards Committee screens the nominations and provides the AESS Board of Directors with its top three to five recommendations. The AESS Board then selects the recipient.

Student Paper

The Award

  • Artwork with the award name inscription
  • AESS Conference registration fee covered
  • Original research or review papers (co-)authored by graduate and post-graduate level students in any discipline.
  • Paper may be up to 5000 words (maximum word count strictly enforced)
  • Papers co-authored with advisors or other faculty and professionals will be considered if the student is the lead author with two or fewer co-authors.

Note: Empirical, theoretical, qualitative, or quantitative work is welcomed, and papers that use mixed methods are particularly welcomed. The paper may be a work in progress, but must have methods, results, analysis and some conclusions, even if preliminary.

  • This award is self-nominated.  Students must submit a paper via email for consideration at the conference of the same academic year. Submissions should include a CV and one letter of reference that explains the career trajectory and potential of the student and significance of the submission to environmental studies. Papers will be judged based on the quality and novelty of the methods and results.
  • Send files in pdf format to awardscommittee@aessonline.org.

The AESS Awards Committee evaluates the papers and provides the AESS Board of Directors with its top three to five recommendations. The AESS Board then selects the recipient.