Terms of Reference
Updated: 2 October 2008
Biennially, SCB presents five awards. We give three Distinguished Service Awards for outstanding contributions by an individual or institution to conservation of biodiversity through research or its application in policy, education, or journalism. We also give the Edward T. LaRoe III Memorial Award annually to an individual who has been a leader in translating principles of conservation biology into real-world conservation. Preference is given to individuals who have spent at least part of their career in public service. Finally, we give one Early Career Conservationist Award to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to conservation soon after entering the field, thus helping to highlight and promote individuals who may find this recognition helpful in expanding their positive impact on conservation.
Membership on the committee is open to any member of the Society, but it is usually restructured after each SCB international congress. Awards Committee members help define the policies and procedures for the awards process. Committee members also promote and generate a diverse set of nominations from around the world, making sure that the nominations are complete and submitted before the deadline. Committee members then engage in a discussion about the nominees that culminates with voting around the first week of December. All committee members help select all awardees. The Committee Chair strives for committee members from all 7 SCB Sections and representation of membership at large, coordinates members, promotes communication, and moderates discussions. The Chair also communicates with the Board of Governors about recommendations for awardees, budget issues, and other related matters.
Committee Member Responsibilities and Schedule for Selection Process
- Each Awards Committee member informs Awards Committee Chair of 1-2 nominations that they will bring forward for Distinguished Service Awards. Committee members need to make sure the Chair will have received all materials by the set deadline. This means ensuring each member will bring at least one nominee, guiding the nominator or conducting the process themselves. Preferably one nomination will be by each Committee member and one, facilitated and promoted by each member, from a Society member at large, but not necessarily. In addition to sending the names of candidates they will nominate, members will also send information about individuals who will provide supporting letters.
- Each Awards Committee member completes the nomination(s) of the stated candidates. All nominations and supporting materials must be submitted electronically in a single document, preferably as a PDF, to the Chair. The nomination form is available on the Service Awards page. Please note that it is the responsibility of the committee members to coordinate with the person who might be submitting their second nomination to meet the set deadline.
- The Awards Committee Chair assembles final package comprising short descriptions of award nominees with relevant portions from the recommendation letters and circulates it to the Awards Committee. The LaRoe committee chair does the same.
- Awards Committee members review each nomination and discuss the merits of candidates electronically via email. The specific process of the discussion and voting will depend on the make up and size of the final group of nominees. The Chair will provide details once all nominations have been submitted.
- Committee members cast their final vote for awardees, taking into account conservation merit and service, gender, geographic, and disciplinary diversity in the overall group of awardees. Sometimes it is best to have an initial round of votes to select the top candidates and then proceed to the final vote. This possibility will be notified by Chair.
- Awards Chair forwards short descriptions of recommended awardees to Executive Director of Society for Conservation Biology. The ED posts materials on intranet site and makes site ready for BoG members to review the descriptions and other materials for each recommended awardee.
- Awards Committee Chair coordinates with SCB Executive Director to finalize a date for teleconference discussion by BoG members. BOG members take stock of Committee feedback, and exchange views on the finalists. Board members recommend approval or veto of each proposed awardee. If the board vetoes a name, the Awards Committee can choose to bring forth another name for approval or decide to give out fewer than five awards.
- Results announced to SCB and BOG by Awards Committee Chair.
- Awards Committee Chair sends out notification of their selection to awardees.