close-up of a tree frog, Hyla cinera, photo by JD Willson

Ichthyology Teaching Award

Meritorious Teaching Award in Ichthyology

The ASIH and AES announce their co-sponsored Meritorious Teaching Award in Ichthyology, which will be awarded at each year’s Joint Meetings of Ichthyologists & Herpetologists (JMIH). This award recognizes superior teaching effectiveness and mentoring of students in the area of Ichthyology, and provides members of ASIH and AES with the opportunity to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to ichthyological education in either the classroom or mentoring student research endeavors. Winners of the award will be encouraged to become active members or increase their activity and visibility within the the ASIH, AES, or both, which will facilitate the continuity and longevity of the ASIH and AES, not to mention the maintenance of the standards by which future awards are bestowed.

The award recipient will receive 1) a cash prize of US $500.00, 2) recognition in the form of an official letter from ASIH and AES (a copy of the letter will also be forwarded to the chief academic administrator at recipient’s host institution), and 3) a plaque identifying the award, year, and recipient’s name.

Nominations will be solicited in January of each award year through email, announced in societies’ publications, and posted on the societies’ websites and Facebook pages. The deadline for submission of nominations will be with a deadline of 15 April of the same year.

Nominations should be sent to Dr. Michael Pauers (mjpauers [at], Chair of the Ichthyology Education Committee, by 15 April.


Nominations will proceed as follows:

  1. Persons wishing to nominate an individual for the award should submit a letter of nomination that:
    • Describes specific evidence to support the nomination (e.g., teaching modules, lab or field exercises, etc.).
    • Includes names and contact information of at least two peers who are each qualified to review the merits of the nominee.
    • Includes names and contract information of two current or former students or program participants. If students are under 18 years old, the student/participant references should be accompanied by, or attached to, a letter from the appropriate teacher or program coordinator.
  2. The Meritorious Teaching Award in Ichthyology(MTAIch) Selection Committee will solicit appropriate supporting materials, including those indicated in nominating letters (e.g., documentation of other teaching awards, peer and student evaluations, evidence of innovative curriculum development, educational products, etc.).
  3. Letters of nomination should be submitted to the MTAIch Selection Committee Chair by 15 April of each year. This time frame will give the MTAIch Selection Committee adequate opportunity to receive further materials in support of the nominee (as described above).
  4. An individual may receive the award up to two times during their career providing that:
    • The recipient has received the Award on only one prior occasion.
    • At least 6 years has elapsed since the recipient first received the Award.
    • Supporting materials for an individual’s re-nomination include:
      • A description of specific activities, mentoring opportunities, or teaching methods that the individual has adopted since first receiving the Award.
      • Two letters of recommendation from students who did not contribute any supporting materials when the individual first received the Award.
  5. If a nominee does not receive an award, their submission material will be held and reconsidered for up to three successive years. After that, the nominee must wait six years before being eligible again for nomination.
  6. No award will be given in a year when there are no suitable nominees.

Although e-mail copies of nomination letters are acceptable by the deadline, hard copies of letters of nomination with signatures are required before final considerations are rendered by the MTAIch Selection Committee. Please send hard copy nomination letters to:

Mike Pauers
Adjunct Curator of Fishes
Milwaukee Public Museum
Section of Vertebrate Zoology
800 W. Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233

Selection Process

Selection of the award recipient will be made by the MTAIch Selection Committee, a committee composed of members of the ASIH Education and Human Resources Committee and representatives of the AES (selection to be determined by AES); graduate student participation on the selection committee will be encouraged. Selection will be based on the following criteria:

  • Nominees must be current members of ASIH or AES.
  • Current Officers of ASIH or AES, Committee Chairs of ASIH or AES and members of the MTAIch selection committee are not eligible for nomination.
  • Nominees should have a reputation among their peers and students for excellence in educating people about Ichthyology, including, but not limited to, the following:
  • Demonstrated highly effective and innovative teaching in the classroom or in an informal education setting (e.g., zoological parks, aquaria, museums, field stations, environmental centers,
    • Demonstrated highly effective and innovative teaching in the classroom or in an informal education setting (e.g., zoological parks, aquaria, museums, field stations, environmental centers, etc.).
    • Demonstrated superior mentoring of students in Ichthyology, in either research or educational settings.
    • Sustained commitment (e.g., over multiple cohorts of students) to excellence in teaching Ichthyology.

Past Winners

  • 2018: Larry Allen
  • 2017: Ted Pietsch
  • 2016: Don Buth
  • 2015: Gregor Cailliet
  • 2014: Gene Helfman