Nominations of Fellow Members

Nominations of Fellow Members

In 2019, the members of the Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) voted to establish a Fellows membership category. From our Constitution, a Fellow is a member who is being recognized by the Society and its membership as having “rendered conspicuous service or made truly notable contributions to the advancement and diffusion of the knowledge of marine mammal science or the fostering of its practical applications through conservation of marine mammals. Payment of dues to the Society by the Fellow would remain the same as for a normal Full member.”

Nominations for the next group of Fellow Members is currently open. Eligibility and nomination instructions are below.

A nomination for advancement to Fellow is appropriate for any current Full member of the SMM after that individual has been a Full member for a minimum of five years. These years do not have to be contiguous. Please confirm with the nominee that they meet the five-year eligibility criterion prior to submission. Note that current members of the SMM Board (which includes elected officers and committee chairs) are not eligible for consideration for Fellows status.

If you are a current SMM member, you may nominate an eligible SMM member as a Fellow. When the next call for Fellows Nominations are open, if you would like to nominate a member, we ask that you submit a complete dossier, described in detail below, to the Fellows Nomination web page by 20 March 2024. The dossier must be uploaded to the Fellows Nomination web page as a single .pdf document.

Each dossier shall include the following elements.

(1) Letter of Nomination. This letter should provide insight into a nominee’s conspicuous service, notable contributions to the advancement and diffusion of the knowledge of marine mammal science, or the fostering of its practical applications through the conservation of marine mammals. The nominating letter can be no longer than one page (12 pt font).

The Committee will consider the following factors:

(a) service to the Society;

(b) contributions to marine mammal science including activities such as publications and presentations, field work, research and development, or administrative and logistical support; or

(c) contributions to the teaching or dissemination of knowledge of marine mammal science and conservation. Due to the diversity of disciplines and activities of The Society for Marine Mammalogy members, the relative importance of these factors will differ from candidate to candidate. The Fellow candidate would be expected to be exemplary in, and have made substantial contributions to, at least one of these factors (e.g. be in the top 10% of the membership).

(2) Seconding letters. The dossier should also include two seconding letters, one of which must be from a current SMM member. Signed-in SMM members can search for all current members via the SMM Member Directory. Each seconding letter can be no longer than one page (12 pt font).

(3) Complete curriculum vitae of the nominee. The format and length of this document is unrestricted, as we are encouraging nominations of individuals from broadly different backgrounds and the standard CV formats across fields are likely different. Note that only text should be submitted as part of the CV. If audio or video files are relevant provide a link in the documents submitted.

(4) Proposed maximum 20-word citation for the Fellow (e.g., Kenneth S. Norris – for efforts to found the Society and contributions to the process of dolphin echolocation and hearing).

In 2023-2024, nominations will be accepted until March 20, 2024. During the open window, you may submit your nomination here. The open window for Fellow nominations is normally a 3-month (August – November) period every other year.

The dossiers will be received by the committee Co-chairs, the SMM Members-at-Large. Identifying information about the nominator and seconders will be redacted from each dossier to ensure a blind review. During the inaugural Fellows nomination process, the review committee was formed by the entire SMM Board. Future Fellows Committees will be Co-Chaired by the Members-at-Large, who will form a committee of seven members holding Fellow status, and at least one contributing, but not voting student member, with attention paid to diversity of representation. Members will serve staggered, four-year terms. Fellows Committee members may not submit nominations. For more information about the Fellows Committee, please see the General Operating Policies of our SMM governing documents.

If you have any questions about the nomination process, please reach out to the Co-Chairs of the Fellows Committee, our Members-at-Large at:

For any technical questions regarding the online application, please email