IAPSO Medals

Prince Albert I Medal

The Prince Albert I Medal is an award offered by the Foundation Rainier III of Monaco to a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the enhancement and advancement of the physical and/or chemical sciences of the oceans. It is awarded every two years to a most prominent scientist chosen by a specially appointed IAPSO Award Committee. One year prior to each IAPSO Assembly, the Secretary General of IAPSO will call for nominations for the award. Nominations must be sent to the Secretary General within three months after the announcement.

Prince Albert I Medal recipient 2021 – Prof. Carl Wunsch

Prof. Carl Wunsch, Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physical Oceanography, Emeritus, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the Prince Albert I Medal recipient 2021, in recognition of his groundbreaking contributions to the development of modern physical oceanography.

The Award ceremony, led by Prof. Trevor McDougall, President of IAPSO, took place online on Monday July 19, 2021, during which Prof. Wunsch will delivered the Albert I Memorial Lecture "Physical Oceanography 1970 and Onwards: Through Outstanding PhD Theses". The video recording can be seen here.

Use the link below for further information. 

The Prince Albert I Medal

IAPSO Early Career Scientist Medals

This award honours Early Career Scientists for their outstanding research in the physical or chemical sciences of the oceans, and for their cooperation in international research. The IAPSO Early Career Scientist Medal is presented by the IAPSO President, every two years, at the biannual IAPSO Assembly, where the Awardee will be expected to give a talk on a scientific topic of their choice. Financial assistance to attend the Assembly will be available.

Given the cancellation of the General Assembly in 2021, the 2021 Medals will be presented to Awardees in person during the IUGG General Assembly, Berlin, July 2023. The Awardees will make a presentation of their work during the ECS session of the IACS-IAMAS-IAPSO Online Seminar Series, scheduled for 21 July 2021.

The following early career scientists are awarded the IAPSO Early Career Scientist Medal 2021:

Physical ocean science
Dr. Thomas Wahl, University of Central Florida, USA, is the recipient of the 2021 IAPSO Early Career Scientist medal in physical ocean science. This is awarded in recognition of his fundamental contributions to the research on changes in mean sea level, tides, storm surges, waves, and their interactions.

Chemical ocean science
Dr. Jessica Fitzsimmons, Texas A&M University, USA, is the recipient of the 2021 IAPSO Early Career Scientist medal in chemical ocean science. This is awarded in recognition of her contributions to advances in the analysis, distribution and cycling of trace elements in the oceans, particularly iron.

The Medals will be presented in the session IAMAS-IACS-IAPSO Early Career Scientist Awards of VACO21, on Wednesday 21 July, 15:00-17:00 UTC,  when the Awardees will present their groundbreaking research and exciting results.

  • Thomas Wahl: Bigger ships or less flooding? How tidal changes affect flooding along the U.S. coast
  • Jessica Fitzsimmons: Micronutrient trace metal dynamics in the Arctic Ocean

Use the link below for further information.

Eugene LaFond Medal

The Eugene LaFond Medal shall be awarded to an ocean scientist from a developing country making a presentation (poster or oral) in a IAPSO-sponsored or co-sponsored symposium at the IUGG or IAPSO assemblies.

The Eugene LaFond Medal 2019 was awarded at the IUGG General Assembly in Montreal, Canada, July 8 - 18, 2019 to Mr. Rohith Balakrishnan from India for his oral presentation "Indian Basin-wide sea level coherency in the tropical Indian Ocean driven by Madden-Julian oscillations". This was delivered on July 11, 2019 within the IAG-IAPSO joint symposium 'Monitoring Sea Level Changes by Satellite and In-Situ Measurements'.

Given the cancellation of the General Assembly in 2021, a medal will not be awarded this year.

Use the link below to learn more about eligibility and how to apply
The Eugene LaFond Medal



To promote the study of the oceans and the interactions that take place at its boundaries with the sea floor, coastal environment and atmosphere, through the use of physics, chemistry, mathematics and biogeochemisty.


IAPSO gives importance to involving scientists and students from developing countries in oceanographic activities.


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