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2024 Honor Awards Call for Nominations

On behalf of the Director, the Human Resources Office is requesting nominations for the honor awards listed below. These honor awards are a prestigious recognition that can be granted by the Department for career accomplishments, exceptional support of the Department or bureau mission, and bravery.

They are designed to bestow honor on an individual or group of individuals as an official recognition of achievement at all levels of the organization.

The USGS Honor Awards Guide contains the information you will need to submit your award nominations as well as signature requirements needed prior to submission to the Human Resources Office. Additional assistance for writing awards can be found at: Award Samples and Additional Information. It is important to note that for those Honor Awards requiring the DI-451, Recommendation and Approval of Awards, the use of the fillable DI-451 is required along with the citation as a separate document. If the award is not listed on the DI-451, use the Other Awards box and fill in the title of the award.

The awards below are organized according to their deadline date.

Send to
2023 Eugene M. Shoemaker Award for Communications Product Excellence This award recognizes information products that excel in communicating complex scientific concepts to internal or external non-technical audiences. Each year, the Office of Communications and Publishing honors exceptional communications products in the Large Print, Small Print, Webpage or Website, Graphic, Audio/Visual, and Social Media Campaign categories. Winning products meet the needs of the target audience, address a communications need, have a clear and compelling message, use text and imagery to capture the interest and imagination of the audience, use the most effective medium for delivery, and have had demonstrable impact.

February 14, 2024

All information pertaining to the Shoemaker Awards is available on @theCore from the A-Z Index.
USGS Environmental
Achievement Award* (For projects completed in FY23)
This award is for FY23 accomplishments. To find information on this Award go to @theCore and search for Environmental Management on the A-Z Index. March 12, 2024
2023 Shoemaker Lifetime Achievement Award This award is given to honor a scientist who creates excitement and enthusiasm for science among non-scientists. This individual’s impact is apparent — he or she has used effective communication skills to change the way people think about a science issue or has demonstrated the importance and value of sound science in addressing a particular issue. This award recognizes the recipient’s lifetime achievement and contributions to science through effective communication. A committee that includes past Lifetime Achievement award recipients reviews the nominees and selects the winner.

March 15, 2024

All information pertaining to the Shoemaker Awards is available on @theCore from the A-Z Index.
Rufus D. Catchings Diversity Outreach Award This award recognizes outstanding collaboration between a USGS employee or group of employees and a partnering organization to share and encourage interest in science with minority or underserved students. April 16, 2024
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility
(DEIA) Awards
To access the Office of Diversity & Equal
Opportunity website, go to the A-Z Index
on @theCore.
May 31, 2024
Dallas Peck Outstanding Emeriti Award For Emeriti volunteers only;
DI-451 not required
May 31, 2024
James R. Balsley, Jr. Awards
for Excellence in
Details on these awards are available internally
only via the Office of Administration, Office of
Policy and Analysis, or by email to the OPA
staff at
May 31, 2024
Exemplary Act Award Details September 30, 2024
John Wesley Powell Award For private citizens/groups;
DI-451 not required
September 30, 2024
Meritorious Service Award Details September 30, 2024
Unit Award for Excellence
of Service
Details September 30, 2024
Gary L. Hill Watercraft
Safety Award
Details September 30, 2024
Safety Award of Excellence (Individual and Group) Details September 30, 2024
Aviation Award Details September 30, 2024
Citizen’s Award for Bravery Details September 30, 2024
Distinguished Service Award Details September 30, 2024
Valor Award Details September 30, 2024
Excellence in Leadership and
Early Career Excellence in
Leadership Awards
Nomination Process December 31, 2024
USGS Community for Data Integration Leadership and Innovation Award Given every two years, not in 2024. February 15, 2025
Citizen’s Award for Exceptional Service To find information on this award go to @theCore A-Z Index and search for "Community for Data Integration". Once on the SharePoint site, search for "Leadership and Innovation Award" in the top search bar. No deadline
Superior Service Award   No deadline
Non-Departmental Level Aviation Awards (Award for In-Flight Action, Award for Safe Flying, Award for Significant Contribution to Aviation Safety, and Airwards)   No deadline

Please mark your calendars to allow enough time to gather the information you need to write strong nominations, acquire appropriate reviews and signatures, and transmittal by the deadline dates. Special care should be taken to ensure proper formatting, grammar and spelling before the awards are submitted.

Reminder – Anyone retiring or leaving USGS must have their award approved within 6-months of leaving. Please do not wait until someone is about to retire to nominate them for an Honor Award. Approval of the write up is only part of the process—certificates and medals can only be requisitioned and processed once the nomination has been signed by the appropriate signatory (SSA/Director; MSA/Assistant Secretary for Water and Science; DSA/Secretary). We will always do our best to accommodate but cannot realistically ensure the award will be approved and processed in time.

*USGS Environmental Achievement Awards (EAA) that meet DOI EAA criteria and Director’s Office approval will be entered into the DOI EAA Program.

If you have any comments or questions, please contact Arcelia Hererra or Amy Bradley at or via Teams.


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