Student Presenters


In order to encourage student scholarship at annual meetings, the Pacific Division has for over three decades offered Awards of Excellence to students who make superior presentations of their research, either orally or as posters.

To be eligible for an Award of Excellence, the student must be:

  • registered for the Pacific Division meeting in advance of his/her presentation
  • the lead author on the presentation (except where campus policies prohibit)
  • the presenter of the paper or poster
  • presenting the results of their own research

Should the project be the result of a group of students (2 or more) working jointly on the research and making the presentation, all students involved in the presentation must be registered for the meeting in advance of judging to be eligible for a student award. Should a group win an award of excellence, the monetary prize, if any, shall be divided equally among all of the students making the presentation.

The following awards are offered to students at the annual meetings of the AAAS, Pacific Division.


First Place: $150.00 plus an Award Certificate.

Second Place: $100.00 plus an Award Certificate.

Third Place: $50.00 plus an Award Certificate.

Honorable Mention: An Award Certificate.

*First place requires a judging pool of at least 3 competitors. Second place requires a judging pool of at least 6 competitors. Third place requires a judging pool of at least 9 competitors.


Division-wide Awards are given to students whose research and presentations, poster or oral, are judged superior. Ordinarily, the pool of candidates for division-wide awards comes from among the First Place sectional winners. With the exception of the AAAS: Robert I. Larus Travel Award, no student may be awarded more than one Sectional Award and one Division-wide Award. division-wide award winners (except winners of the Larus Travel Award) receive an amount of money to total $250 including the money they are awarded as a sectional winner. Additionally, they recive an Award Certificate for this achievement. Winners of the AAAS: Robert I. Larus Travel Award receive reimbursement for travel and lodging up to $1,000 to attend the AAAS National Meeting the following February in order to present their award-winning paper as a poster.

Laurence M. Klauber Award

Established 1984, Unrestricted
This award was endowed by the family of Laurence M. Klauber, distinguished herpetologist, former President of AAAS, Pacific Division, and former President of San Diego Power and Light Company, to recognize outstanding student contributions.

Geraldine K. Lindsay Award

Established 1985, Natural Sciences
This endowed award was established in the memory of Geraldine K. Lindsay by her husband, George Lindsay, who was a distinguished botanist and former President of the AAAS, Pacific Division. Mrs. Lindsay had a life-long interest in the achievements of young people and sought to encourage their excellence and scholarship.

J. Thomas Dutro, Jr. Award

Established 1997, Geosciences and Allied Fields
In 1997 an annual award in the geosciences was established to recognize outstanding student contributions in honor of J. Thomas Dutro, Jr., distinguished geologist, long-time contributor to the Pacific Division, and former President of the AAAS, Pacific Division.

Best Poster Award

Established 1994, Unrestricted
As a result of the interest in poster presentations at meetings, the difference between oral and poster contributions, and the sense that poster presentations are often at a competitive disadvantage when measured against comparable oral presentations, the Division’s Executive Committee authorized its Awards Committee to initiate a Division-wide award for the best poster presentation given at the annual meeting and where this poster is not also selected to receive one of the awards other Division-wide awards.

Presidents’ Award

Established 1995, Unrestricted
This award was established by contributions from Pacific Division past-presidents to recognize outstanding student contributions.

Rita W. Peterson Award

Established 2002, Science Education
The Rita W. Peterson Award in Science Education was established as the result of a generous donation by Rita W. Peterson, former President of the Pacific Division, to honor an outstanding student presentation in an area of science education research.

AAAS: Robert I. Larus Travel Award

Established 1985, Unrestricted
By action of the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Pacific Division receives one-fourth of the annual income from the investment of the gift from the Robert I. Larus Estate to defray travel and per diem expenses for one or more students to attend the national AAAS meeting in order to present their winning paper in the contributed poster session at that meeting. More recently, the Board of Directors, recognizing the value of bringing student award winners from divisional meetings to the national meeting, made the commitment to fund this award at $1,000 per year.