Purpose: The purpose of this award is to recognize sustained scientific excellence through research, teaching, administration or a combination of the three involving the early life history of fishes. Selection of Recipients: The President of the Early Life History Section (ELHS) shall appoint a selection committee of three members and a chair that are affiliate or full members of ELHS. The tenure of the committee is indefinite, but the President should assure that membership changes frequently enough to represent the diverse views of ELHS. The award may be conferred annually, but no more frequently, and the selection committee may elect not to confer the award if suitable candidates were not recommended.
The committee shall solicit nominees for the award from the ELHS membership by various means, but shall publish a solicitation for nominees in Stages, the newsletter of ELHS. The committee chair shall develop and implement a method for selecting the recipient from among the candidates nominated. After selection has been made the President of ELHS will be notified, and the President shall notify the recipient with a formal letter and a personal telephone call. The name of the selectee shall remain confidential until presentation of the award. The award consists of a certificate mounted in a walnut plaque and travel and related expenses (if needed) to attend the annual meeting to receive the award.
Nominations shall consist of a letter of nomination and a complete curriculum vitae for each candidate. The letter of nomination should come from a colleague familiar with the nominee’s career achievements, and shall be the sole piece of advocacy for the nominee, so it needs to be sufficiently detailed to demonstrate how the nominee meets the criteria for the Ahlstrom Award. The chair of the selection committee shall prepare a brief final report to the executive committee of ELHS along with a short biographical sketch of the recipient with justification for why they are being given the award for the presentation ceremony.
The following guidelines are suggested for selection of recipients:
1. North American residents are the preferred recipients, but the award may be given to any suitable candidate.
2. Membership in the American Fisheries Society is a positive attribute, but is not required. AFS membership could tip the balance between otherwise equally-deserving candidates.
3. Living recipients are preferred, but the award may be given posthumously.
4. The Committee considers not only candidates who, by virtue of their position and personality, are widely known, but may also have labored quietly and are less well-known, but who have made sustained and important contributions.
5. Candidates should be clearly identified with the early life history of fishes in the marine or freshwater environments. Contributions to any discipline within a broad spectrum of activities should be considered appropriate for candidates, including systematics, physiology, ecology, and fishery science.
6. Runner(s)-up for the award for any given year will be considered automatically for the award in the subsequent year. Each year the committee will decide at the time of their deliberations to select the awardee which, if any, remaining candidates will be carried forward to the next year.