Award Description


The Mary Sears Women Pioneers in Oceanography Award is one of the highest honors presented by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). The award recognizes long-term, life achievement and impact, with special consideration given to candidates who also have shown leadership through mentoring junior scientists, technicians, or students.

Mary Sears was the first recipient of the original Women Pioneers in Oceanography Award when it was initiated in 1994. Mary Sears passed away in September 1997 and in December 1999, through efforts of the Women's Committee and in response to recommendations based on the Equity Climate Assessment Study of 1988, the Director and the Executive Committee of the Institution Board of Trustees renamed the Women Pioneers in Oceanography Award in honor of Mary Sears.