Timeline + Info

Nominated Awards

Nominations are sought annually for the following awards:

  • ISTS Lifetime Achievement Award: An annual award honoring an individual(s) who have had a significant impact on sea turtle biology and conservation through the course of their career.
  • Champions Award: This award is presented annually to individuals or communities, governmental or non-governmental organizations that have, in the recent past, carried out outstanding work towards the effective conservation of sea turtles.
  • Ed Drane Award for Volunteerism: This award was established in 2011 in memory of Ed Drane who was Treasurer of the ISTS for more than 20 years. His passion for sea turtles and his commitment to the ISTS were both energizing and inspiring. This award is presented to an individual who is working with sea turtles outside of their professional life.
  • Grassroots Conservation Award: One award is given to a Symposium presentation (poster or oral) that best demonstrates a positive contribution by a grassroots group or individual towards the conservation of marine turtles and/or their habitats. Presentations are judged by 5-6 judges in a process similar to that undertaken for judging the Archie Carr Student Awards.

How do I Nominate?

ISTS Lifetime Achievement Award, Champions Award, and Ed Drane Award for Volunteerism:

Nominations should be completed before the 30th November each year. Note that only current ISTS members are eligible to make nominations for these awards and individuals, communities, or organizations cannot nominate themselves. Past recipients of a specific award are not eligible to be nominated again for that award (see here for a list of previous award recipients).

Grassroots Conservation Award

Eligibility + Nominating Process

  • The presenter and the work being presented should represent either community-based or indigenous community groups/individuals-based activities.
  • The presentation’s primary author must check the Grassroots Conservation Award (GCA) box during abstract submission.
  • The primary author must also send a brief email to the GCA Committee explaining why the work qualifies for the GCA and how their group/organization is having a positive impact on sea turtles and/or their habitats.

The GCA Committee will review the abstracts and evaluate the eligibility of the nominees. Final judging decisions for the award will be made subsequent to viewing the actual oral and/or poster presentations given by candidates during the Symposium. Non-eligible groups/presenters include employees of government institutions, consulting companies, universities, and large national and international NGOs.


Letter of Support

Two letters of support should be completed following the completion of your nomination. These should not be completed by the nominee. Only letters of support for the specific year of nomination will be considered. Letters of support should be provided by individuals with personal experience of the nominee’s research/conservation activities.

A template for a letter of support can be downloaded here. Once complete, they should be emailed to the Award Committee.


Other Awards

For several years, there was a growing feeling that the ISTS should highlight those in our group who have excelled in their efforts for sea turtle biology and conservation. An ISTS awards process, based on that used by the Society for Conservation Biology, was unanimously agreed to by the Board in 2007. In the interim years (2008 and 2009), the Board agreed that the ISTS President would establish a Committee, as authorized in the ISTS By-Laws, to implement an awards program. Nominations are not posted online and remain confidential for the eyes of the Awards Committee only.

An annual award, made by the President, to an individual or community, governmental or non-governmental organization that has made an outstanding achievement to further the mission of the ISTS. The first awards were presented by the ISTS President, Wallace J. Nichols, in 2008 at the 28th Annual Symposium in Loreto, Mexico.

The Archie Carr Award for the best student presentation is given in recognition of excellence in graduate student research. Awards are made for both oral and poster presentations, in the categories of biology and conservation, and the Awards ceremony has become a much anticipated event at the annual symposium. Award winners also receive a cash prize. To be considered for the award, the presentation’s primary student author must check the 'Archie Carr Award' box during abstract submission.

While student Awards were given sporadically prior to 1990, the Awards program was formalized when Dr. Anders Rhodin offered the support of the Chelonian Research Foundation in 1990 and named the Award in honor of Archie Carr. For many years Dr Rhodin chaired the student judging committee, and later served as a judge. Without his vision and commitment, it is unlikely the Awards program would exist in its current form. The ISTS gratefully acknowledges the long years of Dr Rhodin’s service and the support of his foundation.