The Meritorious Teaching Award in Herpetology

Announcement and Call for Competitors

The Herpetology Education Committee (HEC) seeks nominations for the Meritorious Teaching Award in Herpetology (MTAH). The award is sponsored by the American Society of Ichthyologists & Herpetologists (ASIH), The Herpetologists’ League (HL), and the Society for the Study of Amphibians & Reptiles (SSAR). Nominees must be current members of at least one of the sponsoring societies. Current officers and committee chairs of ASIH, HL, or SSAR, and members of the HEC are not eligible for nomination.

This award recognizes superior teaching and mentoring of students in herpetology. Awardees will be active teachers and mentors, with classroom teaching within the last three years and a substantial history of teaching excellence. The award recipient will receive $500 US, an official letter, and a plaque from the HEC.

Nominees should have a reputation among their peers and students for excellence in herpetological education, including, but not limited to:

  • Demonstrated effective and innovative teaching in the classroom and/or other education settings (e.g., zoological parks, aquaria, museums, field stations, environmental centers);
  • Superior mentoring of students in herpetology, as evidenced by student testimonials, student publications, and placement of students in professional positions in herpetological fields.

The nomination packet (submitted as a single electronic PDF) must include the following documents that are clearly numbered and labeled:

  • NOMINATING LETTER: A nominating letter, from a current member of ASIH, HL, or SSAR, highlighting in detail the nominee’s experience and accomplishments (limit 2 single spaced pages)
  • CURRICULUM VITAE: A current CV of the nominee, including teaching experience
  • COURSEWORK TAUGHT: List of relevant coursework taught, including years taught
  • RECOMMENDATION FROM STUDENTS: Letters of recommendation (at least 1, limit 2) from former or current students (graduate or undergraduate) addressing the teaching and mentoring skills of the nominee
  • RECOMMENDATION FROM PEERS: Letters of recommendation (at least 1, limit 2) from professional peers who are qualified to review the merits of the nominee with respect to teaching and mentoring

Nominations must be received by the Committee Chair  (see below) by 31 March for consideration. Incomplete nomination packets (e.g., those that do not include each of the above 5 items) will not be considered. Nominations will remain active for three years, but nomination packets may be updated from the prior year by the March 31, deadline. After that, the nominee must wait six years before being eligible again. Send electronic nomination files, including all letters, as a single PDF with the subject line “MTAH nomination” to the Chair.

In cooperation with the other professional societies for herpetology in North America, HL has helped establish the Meritorious Teaching Award in Herpetology. This award recognizes superior teaching effectiveness and mentoring of students in the area of herpetology, and provides student members of the herpetological societies the opportunity to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to herpetological education, in either the classroom or mentoring student research endeavors. The award is presented annually at the Joint Meetings of Ichthyologists & Herpetologists, and includes a commemorative plaque and a $500 cash prize.

Committee Chair: 

Alison Davis Rabosky, PhD
Museum of Zoology
University of Michigan


J. Whitfield Gibbons, University of Georgia/SREL


Bob Powell, Avila University


Craig Guyer, Auburn University


Alan M. Richmond, University of Massachusetts Amherst


H. Bradley Shaffer, University of California Los Angeles


Emily Taylor, California Polytechnic State University


John Maerz, University of Georgia


Fred Janzen, Iowa State University


Nancy Karraker, University of Rhode Island


Steve Mackessy


Alison Davis Rabosky, University of Michigan


Brian Todd, University of California, Davis


Jennifer Moore, Grand Valley State University