Jun. 25, 22

The Flag and Honors Committee invites you to nominate candidates for the 2022 Lowell Thomas Awards.

You may participate by nominating those who are making exceptional contributions in the fields of exploration and scientific research, and who are dedicated to the principles of The Explorers Club as set forth in Articles II and III of the Bylaws.

This year, the Lowell Thomas Awards will celebrate those who exhibit excellence in Conservation Genetics.

The emphasis is on candidates probing the very DNA of life to better understand how it all works, and how migrations, populations, and adaptive genetic mechanisms can be managed to contain or even reverse some of these changes – so we maintain the adaptive genetic potential of the world’s organisms.

The candidate’s work must extend beyond individual achievement to meaningfully contribute to our knowledge of the world. A few example questions addressed by the ideal candidates work would be:

  • How do we make the connections from individual species fitness to population growth rates?
  • Can we better understand the dynamics of genes and how they influence populations?
  • Can we preserve unique species, and what are the bioethics in these considerations?
  • How do conservation geneticists work with traditional conservationists?

We invite nominations from diverse fields of population genetics, evolutionary biology, molecular ecology, systematics and biology to be considered for the Lowell Thomas Award in Conservation Genetics.

Named in honor of famed explorer and broadcast journalists Lowell Thomas, the Lowell Thomas Award is presented at the direction of the President of The Explorers Club to those who have pushed the limits of discovery, knowledge and human endurance, and have excelled in communicating the importance of exploration and the field sciences to the general public.

For a full list of past awardees, please click here.

The Lowell Thomas Award is intended to celebrate excellence and is not solely limited to Explorers Club members. However, you must be an Explorers Club member in good standing to make a nomination.

A valid nomination includes:

  • The name, and contact details for the nominee and nominator
  • A written nomination letter (1-2 pages)
  • At least 1 additional letter in support of the candidate (1-2 pages)
  • A brief bio or online link that includes a biography
  • Please note, we discourage supporting videos, photographs and other media platforms as part of the submission

The deadline for submissions is July 15, 2022 at 6:00 pm EDT.


Please submit your nomination and supporting letter to Dr. Martin Nweeia, Chairman of the Flag & Honors Committee at mnweeia@explorers.org.

The Lowell Thomas Awardees will be celebrated this year in October, in Boston MA. Official save the date and event announcements will be coming soon.



Guidelines for Writing Quality Award Nominations

As an Explorers Club member in good standing, you have the privilege of nominating candidates for Club awards and medals. The Flag and Honors Committee, as part of its mandate, is charged with executing the evaluation process and recommending candidates for all awards to the Board of Directors.

To encourage you to participate in this vital process of recognizing deserving explorers, we have a few suggestions and guidelines to simplify the nomination process.

  1. Read and understand the criteria for judging who receives the award and follow them, as stated above.
  2. Review the nominee’s CV. Identify specific ways in which they meet the criteria. When possible, involve the person you are nominating to get accurate and detailed information.
  3. Organize the letter effectively. Start with a specific statement of why the nominee deserves the award. The justification should be concise, not vague. Summarize the candidate’s qualifications using specific details (numbers, facts, examples, anecdotes) to illustrate your points. Please do not generalize.
  4. Self-nomination is strongly discouraged.

The key to a well-written nomination letter is to provide specific information illustrating that the candidate’s contributions match the award criteria. For example:

  • What did the nominee do?
  • How did they do it?
  • What were the results/impact/benefits?
  • How was the useful/valuable information gathered and then disseminated?

You should recognize that, due to the prestige of this award and the excellence of the nominees, the Club normally receives dozens of nominations each year for very few spots. To ensure that your nominee stands out, you must follow these criteria and suggestions and submit a stellar nomination letter with impressive supporting material. If you don’t, others will!