The single annual recipient of the Honorary Membership Award shall be selected by the Board of Governors from candidates submitted by the Awards Committee, which shall be responsible for and limited to soliciting nominations and supporting material from the membership for the board’s consideration.  As stated in the membership bylaws, the Honorary Membership is for contributions to speleology broadly defined.  If the recipient of the award is not already a life member, the Society will pay to the Life Membership Fund the current life membership fee to support the life membership privileges received by the recipient. The recipient will receive a certificate signed by the members of the Board of Governors.

Tips for Writing a Good Award Nomination

The Honorary Member Award is for people who have made significant contributions to speleology broadly defined. The nominee does not have to be a member of the NSS to receive this award.  Please note that the description of the Honorary Member award is “for contributions to Speleology, BROADLY DEFINED.” As you review the recipients, you will note that many are scientists with advanced degrees. However, the award does not require any degree.  The award involves both the study of and the exploration of caves and encompasses contributions in many areas.  As one of the two highest awards given by the NSS, the contributions should be over a period of time and usually include a body of work.  Your nomination letter should include details of the nominee's contribution to speleology. Please do not assume that "everyone" knows your nominee and your nominee's merits. A good nomination letter should give explicit details about what the person has done over the years to benefit caving.  The letter should be inclusive and filled with cause and effect.  Give details about what the person has done and how it positively affected the world of caves and caving.  The easiest way to obtain answers specific to your questions about your nomination is to contact the sub-chair.