Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Scientific Awards

The Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) recognizes excellence in and service to the fields of coastal and estuarine science, management and education through several scientific and service awards.  The recipients of these awards embody the mission of CERF to advance understanding and wise stewardship of estuarine and coastal ecosystems worldwide by promoting research in estuarine and coastal ecosystems; supporting education of scientists, decision-makers and the public; and facilitating communication among these groups.  Awards are presented every two years in conjunction with the biennial conference. The Distinguished Service Award recipient is selected by the CERF President; all other recipients are selected by award committees.

Help us recognize excellence among our colleagues, mentors, and former students and nominate them for a CERF Scientific Award. The current nomination deadline is March 31, 2017. The procedures for submitting nominations vary slightly by award, please see below nomination procedure instructions. Please note that previous award recipients cannot be re-nominated; however, previous nominees that were not selected may be re-nominated. Nomination packages should be sent to CERF Headquarters with the award name in the subject line.

If you have questions regarding the awards procedure or nominations, please contact the CERF Scientific Awards Committee Co-Chairs, Walter Boynton and Janet Nestlerode, or consult with the chair of the specific award subcommittee (e-mails below).

Previous CERF Award Recipients >>


Cronin Award - Early Achievement | Past Recipients
The Cronin Award is named for Dr. L. Eugene Cronin, Sr., the first president of ERF and a significant contributor to estuarine science and our organization. This award recognizes the significant accomplishments of an estuarine scientist who is in the early stages of his/her career development. The recipient will have shown great promise with work carried out during the first six years past the PhD.

Nomination Procedure:
Send a letter that describes the major highlights of the nominee's qualifications and experiences and a full CV. The letter should not exceed five pages. Please include nominee’s name, title, institutional affiliation, phone numbers and email. In addition, one or two supporting letters (see suggestions under the Odum Award) are encouraged for this award.

Contact: Ken Dunton


Margaret A. Davidson Award - Stewardship | NEWLY Established Award
This award was established to honor Margaret A. Davidson's distinguished career in coastal resource management and her support of the application of science to the wise stewardship of estuaries and coasts. The Davidson award recognizes an individual that demonstrates extraordinary leadership, service, innovation, and commitment to the management of estuarine and coastal systems. Other CERF awards focus on research and education excellence; this award will recognize those who have worked in the estuarine and coastal arena and excelled in management and policy. 

Nomination Procedure:
Send a letter that describes the individual's contributions to the field of coastal and estuarine policy and management, and a full CV. Nominees must have demonstrated at least 10 years of extraordinary leadership, service, innovation, and commitment to the management of estuarine and coastal systems. Career contributions may include application of science toward management and policy activities, translation and outreach of findings to engage with citizens and partners, and promoting stewardship of estuarine and coastal systems. Please include nominee's name, title, institutional affiliation, phone numbers and email. In addition, one or two supporting letters (see suggestions under Odum Award) are encouraged for this award. 

Contact: Tom Bigford


Odum Award - Lifetime Achievement | Past Recipients
The Odum Award is named for the three outstanding ecological scientists in the Odum family: Dr. Howard T. Odum; Dr. Eugene P. Odum; and Dr. William E. Odum, III. It honors an individual whose record of sustained accomplishments has made important contributions to our understanding of estuaries and coastal ecosystems. 

Nomination Procedure:
Send a letter that describes the major highlights of the nominee's qualifications and experiences and a full CV. The letter should not exceed five pages. Please include nominee’s name, title, institutional affiliation, phone numbers and email. Supporting letters from students (former and/or current), colleagues (institutional and/or disciplinary), supervisors (chairs, deans, VPs, presidents) and/or community leaders/members may be included but are not required.  No more than five supporting letters may be submitted.

Contact: Linda Deegan


Pritchard Award - Physical Oceanography Paper | Past Recipients
This award was established to honor Dr. Donald W. Pritchard, whose insightful research on the physical dynamics of coastal systems set the stage for much of the research in physical oceanography that is being conducted today. The Pritchard Award recognizes the author(s) of the best physical oceanography paper published in Estuaries and Coasts within the two-year interval between CERF conferences.

Nomination Procedure:
All physical oceanography papers published in Estuaries and Coasts since the last conference are eligible for this award. No nominations are necessary for this award.

Contact: Neil Ganju


William A. Niering Outstanding Educator Award | Past Recipients
To recognize the central role that education plays in achieving the objectives of our society, the Federation's Governing Board established an award named for a leader in estuarine education, Dr. William A. Niering. The Award is for an individual who has played a particularly important role in education at any level -- from primary school to the graduate level, inside or out of the classroom, or in the education of the general public through outreach activities.

Nomination Procedure:
Nominations must include a supporting letter summarizing the nominee's strengths and noteworthy accomplishments. Please include nominee’s name, title, institutional affiliation, phone numbers and email. Also required are letters from: (a) at least two of the nominee's professional colleagues and (b) four former or current students. 

Contact: Linda Walters

Coastal Stewardship Award - Stewardship (organization)  | NEWLY Established Award
CERF established the Coastal Stewardship Award to honor notable achievements in promoting the wise management of estuarine and coastal systems. This award recognizes specific projects, programs and organizations for their exemplary stewardship activities, including success in management, policy, restoration, and conservation efforts.  CERF appreciates the multiple scales at which impacts may be achieved; accordingly, the Coastal Stewardship Awards are occasional awards and may represent a hierarchy of recognition at CERF biennial conferences.  If given, one or more awards of recognition could be presented biennially in association with the CERF conferences, beginning in 2017.

Nomination Procedure:

Send a letter describing the efforts and demonstrated achievements of the project, program, or organization to promote the wise stewardship of coastal or estuarine systems. Nominees may be any clearly-defined organization (or consortia), including non-profits, governmental agencies, academic institutions, volunteer groups, and the for-profit sector.  In addition, sub-units within an organization may be nominated (e.g., office within an agency; department within an academic institution). The organization may be located anywhere in the world, and of any size. Letters should describe the specific actions and achievements of the staff, volunteers, and members to demonstrate extraordinary leadership, service, innovation, and commitment to the management of estuarine and coastal systems, with an emphasis on application of science, creativity, and successful outcomes. Please include the name of the organization(s), and a contact person’s name, title, institutional affiliation, phone numbers and email. In addition, one or two supporting letters (see suggestions under the Odum Award) are encouraged for this award.

Contact: Robert Twilley